(THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS TO SUPPORT MY KIDDOS. OUR DISCLOSURE POLICY IS REALLY BORING, BUT YOU CAN FIND IT HERE.)
When I had first found out I was pregnant I realized that I didn’t know much at all about pregnancy or having a baby. Honestly, I was scared out of my mind being so uneducated about it all. But who isn’t scared in some way or another when finding out they’re pregnant? I felt the same way four years later seeing that little pink plus sign once again.
This doesn’t just apply to being pregnant. Anyone blessed to raise a child will face these same events or issues that I had learned the hard way.
Knowing your soon to be a parent, or raising an infant, of course the first thing you want to do is research anything and everything you can to try to prepare yourself for the life-changing person who is soon to be. But nothing had prepared me for what I am about to share with you.
Lets just say parenting has its surprises.
#1 Nothing is just “yours”
Once you have a child, practically everything you own past this point becomes theirs as well. Anything these little guys can get their hands on, or anything they see you with that they all of a sudden decide they want… MINE! That amazing chicken you just grilled to perfection, with a little one swiping at your plate trying to clear you out… MINE! You wanted to finish writing that essay that’s due later this evening but what do ya know, your little one decided she wants your pen and won`t give up… MINE!
So what am I supposed to do you ask? If you have something you don’t want to end up battling with your child over or just trying to avoid saying no, hide LOL. Go in your bedroom and close the door, hide in the closet with your chocolate bar if you need to! I’ve been there. Make sure your child is somewhere they are safe while you’re hiding out though.
#2 Bring your own change of clothes
If looking nice is important to you, always have an accessible change of clothes for the messy things having a child brings. One of the things I deal with on a daily basis is getting spit up on. Nothing is safe from the baby puke. My personal favorite is when she aims right for my chest and it ends up running all in my bra, down the middle to my stomach and even soaks my shorts… Yay me!
With an infant you may end up with formula, spit up, slobber, boogers, pee, poop, and sometimes all of the above on you. Once they are mobile and start eating solids, you can be sure to end up with food or liquids on you no matter how hard you try to avoid it. Not even after 20 minutes of my baby being up this morning, I had spit up and applesauce down the front of my dress. At least I gave being cute today a try, you learn to accept it as a normal thing after a while.
#3 Never put your diaper-wearing child to bed without shorts/romper/etc!
At my house, nap time is something I cherish because that is when I get my “me time”. Nap/bedtime is supposed to be like a break. No parent wants to scrub the crib, the walls, and the baby of a poop explosion!
Warning, this sh** is real LOL!
If your child is in diapers, make sure when leaving them unattended that they aren’t able to pull the diaper off. It will become an art project that you’re going to be so excited to clean up!
I had made this mistake with my first child. Then with our second, dad had laid down the baby in just a diaper. He sure learned his lesson this time, and hasn’t had any problems with our little “Poop Picasso” since.
#4 Learn to love doing laundry.
If you thought doing laundry was a pain before, it just got a lot more fun by adding about two massive loads of little clothes. New parents underestimate the chores that come with a new baby. My youngest has always had an issue with spitting up, and because of this her basket fills quicker than anyone in the house!
That isn’t even the worst part! Seriously, folding the world’s smallest clothing takes time like no other.
You just doubled your amount of laundry just by having a child. Triple it if you decide to cloth diaper like I did!
#5 Outings turn into a process!
Leaving the house turns into a checklist of things needed to bring for your little one. Preparing for the worst always seems necessary with your first child. You have to get this many diapers, and make sure there is an outfit just in case it starts to rain, and so on. Especially if you have a child who has to have a certain something for comfort. Like my daughter and her binky (pacifier). Without it all hell could break loose while I am trying to pick out oranges at the store.
#6 You can’t always “entertain” them.
As a first time mom I felt like if I didn’t spend every moment I had with my son trying to teach him things, talking to him, or just doing something with him that I was being a bad parent. I exhausted myself and neglected my own needs just to do all I could for him. I should have let him hang out in his crib to have some alone time.
There is no way I can benefit them both all the time. Its just unrealistic and I had a really hard time accepting this.
Sometimes I`ll have my older child play by himself so I can do some laundry while the baby is napping. Again with the laundry, but things have to get done and there is nothing wrong with that. So don’t beat yourself up with your own expectations like I did.
#7 Sleep train from the start!!!
If you enjoy your sleep, start sleep training as soon as you bring baby home! Having your child`s own sleep space is a good habit to start your child off with. If not, you could end up sharing your bed for years! There are a few different ways to go about sleep training but do whatever fits you and your family best.
There is no right or wrong way, but the sooner you implement sleep routines, the better!
#8 Monkey see, monkey do…
If you wouldn’t want your child doing it, don’t do it in front of them. Children observe and take in everything around them like sponges. It`s only a matter of time before your sweet little angel starts squawking the F word. Lately my boyfriend and I haven’t really been trying to use “kid appropriate” language and we paid the price. The other day grandpa informed us that our four-year old used the F word multiple times while he was visiting them, and in different ways too.
Parenting fail, but it happens. So good luck!
Plan ahead! Pin these sample schedules for later reference: