Hello everyone! Happy Saturday! Today is the first Saturday of the month so that means 50% off at Goodwill! Do I sound excited? Hell yes I do. It’s starting to get cooler which means I can find cheap sweatshirts, cheap slow cooker cook books and Halloween decorations. People sleep on Goodwill but depending on where you go, you can end up with some great finds. This is not an ad for Goodwill. I just love all the deals. Of course, though, both the little man and I aren’t feeling too well so we have not ventured out to the sales or to do anything but lounge around the house. Lounging means he trashes the house and I don’t have enough strength to say stop and chase him around with a broom and dustpan. Don’t judge 🙂
The other night, Xavier woke me screaming at the top of his lungs. I immediately shot up out of bed in defensive mode. I grabbed the nearby walking stick (don’t ask about the walking stick. I don’t even remember the last time we took a walk) and took my stance in the darkness while waiting for my contact to focus. Yes I went to bed with my contacts in and yes I went into a warrior pose. Yep -that’s how I do it. Fortunately I didn’t have to attack anyone. I picked up Xavier and his screams got even louder. I physically checked his body thinking maybe he was bit by something. Nope -no bite. I sit on the bed, try to lay him down but he’s not having it. I give him a sippy cup. He screams no and starts rubbing his jaw. Oh crap –the phase of teething has come back around. It’s been a good three or four months since he was last teething. To a new parent, this is the worse. You can’t really do much. You can give Tylenol and/or Orajel but he doesn’t really do much with both. All I could do was hold him in my arms to which he immediately fell asleep. I thought ok cool -I’ll lay him down, I’ll lie down beside him and go back to sleep. His head hit the bed and he was back up screaming for dear life. Dang it Cassandra! You forgot that when teething, his head should be elevated.For some reason, it helps. Long story short, none of my pillows worked so I ended up cradling him like a baby for two hours before my arms couldn’t hold him anymore and he was in a deep sleep. At that moment, I thought to myself I wish someone had told me about stuff like this. So now I am going to share my top five pieces of advice to give to a new parent. I know I have more but between everything in my brain, these are literally screaming at me. Brace yourself 🙂
- Teething sucks! I cannot even begin to tell you just how much but it does. Good news -your child will not remember any of this blood-curdling agony at all! Bad news -not only will you remember but their cries ring in your head for days. It sucks.
- Breast feed or bottle feed -IT IS YOUR DECISION! Do not let anyone in your family, social circle, social media, or worse- A COMPLETE STRANGER make you feel any differently about your decision. You are the mother (or father) and you are going to do what you feel is right.
- It is going to be a struggle to keep your house clean, your meals perfect, to be the perfect weight, and keep the fire alive in your marriage or relationship so don’t! The operative word here is PERFECT. I am learning that there is no such thing. The hardest for me keeping the house clean. Finally I had to let that go. I have a toddler who now thinks it’s funny to pull clothes out of the hamper and drawer, hide his shoes in unknown places (still looking for one pair after two months!), and likes to walk around with his toys and leave them in other places of the house. It’s going to happen. It is going to happen. I repeat it is going to happen. Just take a deep breath and if you have to clean up, just make a clean space to walk. You don’t want to trip over that Lego Stormtrooper. It’s not fun.
- My husband is still trying to grasp this idea –if you have to watch Paw Patrol (or Coraline in our case) five or six times to pause for a second to breathe or to run to the bathroom, do it. If you have to listen to Old MacDonald Had a Farm and the soundtrack to the Lion King every single time you’re in the car because they are at least halfway content with hearing it, do it. As a parent, do what you have to do because those toddler screams are treacherous. I can say that at least with Xavier. His vocal pipes are on point. I keep telling people that I am going to sell the audio of him screaming (out of excitement and anger) to the haunted house this month. It’s gut-wrenching. Now I know some parents will say I’m not going to change my life because I have a child. That’s fine. Like I said in number 2 -you are the mother or father and you are going to do what you want. However comma (yes I spelled it out on purpose), IF it works, why not do it?
- Your cooking is not the reason why your child throws it across the room. I’m learning that toddlers are picky but more importantly learning what they like and don’t like. Don’t take offense if they throw it…even if their face looks like they’re disgusted. It’s not you. It’s them.
There you have it. My top five words of encouragement for the new parent that I wish I heard before my beautiful child entered the world. I’m sure I’ll come up with a part two of this. Probably when my mind slows. What would you tell a new parent? What things have you learned along the way of this journey of parenthood? Share the love!