I was at Babies "R" Us yesterday buying a gift for a friend, and I found myself in line next to an obviously new mom. There was no baby in sight, but she reeked of baby powder and had the tell-tale unshowered and glazed look emanating from her. She was in her own little world, probably on her first outing without child, so I didn't bother her with any pearls of wisdom. But, damn, I was tempted. For her, and for all of those other first time moms, I offer some of the many mistakes I made ...
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1. Washing newborn clothes before the baby comes home. I know, I know, it's so tempting to rip all of the tags off and have everything waiting neatly in dresser drawers. But, the thing about washed and folded clothes? They can't be returned and you're shit out of luck when your baby breezes through newborn sized onsies in a week.
2. Not accepting offers of help. Because, seriously, the offers have a very short shelf life, and before long, you're on your own.
3. Stressing about the perfect nursery. The baby doesn't care. Your husband doesn't care. Your friends don't care. Your mother doesn't care.
4. Stockpiling diapers. Have an extra pack or so, but when a diaper gets too small, it's completely ineffective. Oh, and if you have a boy, make sure and point his penis down when you put the diaper on. It took weeks for me to figure out why Ben was leaking through every diaper as soon as he had it on.
5. Buying everything new. With Lily, I scoffed at consignment stores and hand-me-downs. My precious baby deserved the newest and the best. By the time Evan came around, I was happy taking something someone discarded on the side of the road for him. A run through the laundry machine or wipe down with Lysol and it's as good as new.
6. Not letting your baby cry. Ever. I have some of the worst sleepers in the world and I'm quite sure this was the reason.
7. Not showering. Yes, you're tired. Yes, it's hard to find time for yourself. Yes, I understand. But a shower a day will do a world of good for you. And the people around you.
8. Pretending you have it all under control. You don't. And it's OK.
Image via Scary Mommy