New Parent Reading Material

As a brand new mom, the amount of time I spent Googling and reading message boards is impossible to quantify. Let’s just say it was all I did, and I didn’t sleep–ever–so it was a 24/7 timesuck.

Suffice it to say, I read a lot in a desperate quest to learn things that are, in retrospect, completely impossible to understand without experiencing them firsthand.

A lot of what I came across was nonsense, and after a while it all seemed to contradict itself. Occasionally though, I’d come across something golden. Something so perfectly hilarious or poignantly accurate it moved me to offer silent thanks that IT WASN’T JUST ME. That sounds silly, but when you’re in the thick of it, seeing that someone else was there too is what you need to make it through.

I started bookmarking articles and sharing them with other new moms, to overwhelmingly positive reactions. A lot of these posts are sarcastic, written simply to poke fun at or highlight the negative, and while it can be reassuring, it’s certainly not what parenting is all about. But I think that goes without saying; anyone blessed enough to be a parent knows there aren’t enough words in the world to sum up the wonder and joy of every day. But for the moments when it’s just hard, maybe some of these words will make you smile.

Without further ado:

Having A Baby Solved All My Problems

Meeting in the Middle

It’s OK to Hate the Newborn Stage

‘Mommy, Somebody Needs You’

Oh, he looks “JUST LIKE YOU”

When You Just Want to Quit Being a Mom

What I Want U.S. Companies to Know About Maternity Leave

You Won’t Remember, But I Will

10 Mommy Items I Can’t Live Without

All of my Issues With the “Goodnight Moon” Bedroom

Why You Should Never, Ever, Ever Get A Tattoo (but Having a Baby is Fine)

You Began in Love (or Someone Once Wiped Your Ass Over and Over Again)

Why You’re Not Failing as a Mother

Motherhood is Crazy.

Why Baby Sleep Books Can Suck It

[Love Looks Like] 2:07 a.m.

The Parenting Myth I’ve Finally Stopped Falling For

5 Universal Truths of New Motherhood

10 “mom things” I swore I wouldn’t do

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.