I’m ashamed to admit this, but before I had a baby I was all too often the childless jerk in the background. You know, the one critiquing and commenting on how other people parented, while I had ZERO idea what I was talking about.
“…Why don’t those people just control their screaming infant. Is there a mute button? I mean, GEES.”
I hate admitting this, but I learned from it. And now I shall publicly poke fun at myself. Here are 10 parenting things I swore I’d never do, and now exhibit daily.
1. Obsessively ask everyone around the baby to wash his or her hands. All. The. Time. ‘Innocent until proven guilty’ has no relevance in flu season.
2. Post an infinite number of photos and videos of the baby. Because who doesn’t want to bask in the radiant glow of my child’s cuteness on every existing social media channel?
3. Smell my daughter’s bum in public to determine diaper-change urgency levels.
4. Call the after-hours line at the pediatrician’s office to ask what can only be classified as utterly ridiculous and paranoid new-parent questions. Including but not limited to vivid descriptions of baby poop consistency.
5. Speaking of poop, I now incorporate it into daily conversations. Sigh.
6. Make a full chorus of animalistic sounds and gestures to conjure up smiles.
7. Become a mom blogger. Whatever.
8. Join a million different mom groups on Facebook. These people understand my levels of fatigue and insanity. They embrace my showering schedule. They know everything and are my saving grace.
9. Wear my baby all over the place. I thought it was for hippies…I had no idea it would be a miracle comfort to my baby and the best way to simplify my life (hands free, what what). On maternity leave, this was the only thing that allowed me to eat, since baby girl vetoed ever being put down.
10. Ignore baby “experts” and trust anecdotal tips from other moms (who are the real experts, anyway). I thought it would be easy to stick to what famous baby-book authors told me to do. I wasted a lot of time watching YouTube videos on everything under the sun. Truth be told, sometimes babies just cry, and no magic combination of 5S-babywise-sleeptraining-CIO-rocking will be foolproof. But any time I did some random thing another momma suggested, it worked.