"Baby! Welcome to the world! Mommy's gonna love you with all of mommy's heart (every ounce of warm pumping blood included), clothe you in the finest silk (or the best baby rompers on sale at Target) and feed you every last drop of mommy's precious breastmilk (either that or the best formulated milk available). I'm going to be the best mother in the whole wide world and provide you with everything you need and still be able to live a life that would put the Kardashians to shame!"
This, my dear ladies sums up how most mothers generally think when they birth their first child. Sticks and stones may break their bones but they will wake up in the middle of the night (or every few minutes) just to check on the baby, buy the cutest and most ridiculous baby products that may or may not even see the light of day and become masters in family trip planning. So stick around and check out what nearly impossible and borderline ridiculous things that newborn mothers try to conquer before waving their white flags.
16 Planning The Day
First you will wake up to a glorious morning with the sun blazing in the sky and the birds chirping in the trees. Your baby will be extremely well behaved and allow you to change her diapers without peeing or soiling you. Then you will proceed to sit and enjoy a cup of Darjeeling tea while your baby gargles happily in her bouncer. This week will be followed by you successfully sending a cooing baby to daycare and you having a blast at work. Oh, and you get promoted, too. When evening comes, you'll drive happily avoiding any form of traffic along the highway to pick up a happy and well fed baby.
Upon reaching home, you will bathe your child and feed her a bottle of milk without any fuss from the little one and triumphantly put her to bed by eight. You shall then unwind with a glass of Chardonnay in a warm bubble bath before calling it a night thanking the almighty for such a blissful life.
Only, the exact opposite happens.
You wake up to your screaming and wailing little one and realize that it was all just a dream. You laugh. Hahahahahahah (kill me) ahahahaha. Plan your day? Right. Snort. Sniff. Wails......
15 Conquering Laundry
Perhaps your ultimate goal for each day would be completing your laundry tasks without a glitch. That might have been possible except you have kids. When have you ever heard a newborn mum being able to complete her laundry tasks successfully? (Celebrities and the filthy rich don't count). You'd be waiting for your pile of baby rompers and bibs to tumble dry only to find out that your baby just soiled his diaper and that cute little dinosaur outfit for the umpteenth time today. Or you might have just fed and burped a happy baby when whoops, an unexpected spit up occurs and your arm, your baby's dress and that newly bought rug gets covered with baby vomit. Laundromat here we come again!
14 Mastering The Formula Mixer
First time mothers who feed their babies with formulated milk might be tempted to invest in the wallet digging formula mixer. After all, we want the best ratio mixed to 99.99% accuracy for our babies don't we? Anything slightly diluted (God forbid that we accidentally starve them) or too dense (what if they choke on milk that's too thick?) is a no no and the perfectionist in us can be tempted to invest in the oh-so-expensive formula mixer. If you have the extra cash, why not? All you need to do is spend an extra 10 to 15 minutes every 5 to 6 times a day (that amounts to around one precious hour each day) just to wash the darn mixer.
You'd think that babies in the past who never had formula mixers before would end up starving or something. Hello? Did we all not come from an era where our parents just dumped the formulated milk in a warm bottle of water and then popped them in our mouth? We all grew up fine didn't we? Er, we did right?
13 Keeping It Spic And Span
You'd think that by being a SAHM or WFHM or taking leave once in a while, you'd be able to keep the house spotlessly clean. Spick and span. The house would be immaculate. Not a single dust in sight. Except that you're wrong. Dead wrong. Do not even expect the house to be clean for the next two decades. Diapers (unused and soiled ones) will dominate the house. Toys will be strewn all over the floor no matter how hard you keep and hide them. Baby spit ups will be a norm and piles upon piles of laundry will be a part of your daily life.
Oh, top that with all the unwashed dishes stacked high up in the kitchen sink. Not to mention, bread crumbs, sweets and candies will somehow find their way under your sofa, bed and even bathtub. Keep the house clean? Hahahahahahah. Don't even think about it. Just close your eyes and step over the ant ridden food spilled on the floor and get about with your life (if you even have one right now). Sob!
12 Expecting Spouse To Understand
The baby was up all night crying because she's growing a baby tooth. She has a mild temperature which you've monitored the whole morning and afternoon. You are tired, worried sick and irritated. Suddenly your spouse comes home from work and plops himself down in the living room armchair. He whips out his phone and starts checking his Facebook mumbling ' is dinner ready?'. You carry the wailing baby in your arms and place his dinner on the table. He takes one bite, makes a face and says something that puts his life in danger.
"This sucks. What did you do the whole day? Can't you cook something better?".
You'd think he would be able to see your eyebags and notice that you've not even been to the bathroom since this morning. He doesn't understand how worried you have been about the baby's health and how much you need to rest and how big of a hug and a pat on the back you need. But don't worry ladies, it's not because he refuses to see this from your perspective, the primitive caveman in him just isn't programmed to understand us, the more supreme being of our species.
11 Baby Proofing Everything Right Away
Child safety drawer and cabinet locks? Check. Cupboard screwed in? Check. Finger pinch guards? Bought a dozen. Faucet cover? Yeap. Table corner guards? Covered every corner. Universal outlet covers? Yes, wait what? Oh no! Goes into panic mode and literally screams head off before running off to the nearest Walmart to buy a whole rack of the covers.
Chances are, if you just had a baby, he or she won't be able to crawl for the next half a year. You'll have more than 6 months to properly plan and baby proof your home. Not to mention to actually ask around and observe whether we really need to invest your whole wallet on some fancy baby gates (you can get really cheap and user friendly ones from Amazon by the way or if you're feeling extra creative, why not DIY using pvc pipes and sockets?).
10 Bathing Baby Everyday
Unless your baby sweats buckets every 5 minutes, it is not necessary for you to bathe your little one every day. It's not like they jump in puddles all day long you know. Bathing your baby too much will strip them of the natural protective barrier of their skin and therefore make their skin dry and irritable. If you are worried about diaper rash or their urine and poop contaminating them, then invest in a good amount of baby wipes. Once you learn the art of cleaning up your baby's butt (among other parts) at the speed of light then you can sit back and relax.
So long as you pay attention and clean the important parts like their faces (they salivate a lot and tend to rub their faces with them), little pudgy hands (those fingers tend to find their way into their mouths), necks, armpits and the little creases between their fingers and toes (these areas tend to collect dirt from their mittens or clothes), then you have nothing to worry about.
9 Taking Tons Of Pictures
While you may think of your baby as the cutest little thing on earth and would love to share his or her development (aka post every new move they make, share every poop video, upload all their latest outfits, etc) with the world, not everyone will share your sentiments. In fact, some may not find your baby's crying photos cute (sorry to say but the rest of us average Janes and Joes just won't sprout America's Next Top Baby). Worse, there could be sadistic stalkers out there waiting to lock their next target for baby trafficking (not to scare you or anything but these things do happen).
If you would really like to chronicle your child's growth, you can. After all, your child is God's gift and definitely your bundle of joy (soon to be your source of angst and financial woes). No one is stopping you from posting a picture every other second. Just don't overdo it. Why not save your child's photos in a hard drive and print them out on photo books or send monthly emails to your child so they can look back at their baby pictures when they grow older. It'll be even more meaningful that way.
8 Committing To Every Invitation
If you were a party girl before, or used to be the life of every event you went to, you might as well say goodbye to them for the next few months (or years, no wait, make that a decade or two). The first few months of a baby's life are the most delicate. Their immune system would be at an all time low so having too many visitors over to see / hold / kiss them would likely expose them to virus strains that could harm them. So try not to have your baby interact with too many people so early in their lives.
This isn't to say you should move and live in an island, it's just that you should put your baby's health first. Also, if you think you can attend all your besties' high teas every weekend or have girls' nights out every Wednesday, you my dear are dead wrong. Hanging out with friends? Laughs and rolls on the ground. Slap yourself silly if you think you'll be able to have a social life after the little tyrant is born.
7 Dwelling On Past Mistakes / Googling Everything
Perhaps you had accidentally fed your baby too much milk causing him / her to vomit (you freaked out on that more than when you bumped into your crush when in high school maybe) or unintentionally knocked your baby against the car door when carrying them to the car (car door gets the evil eye from you for the next year or two). You spend nights if not weeks mulling over your baby's vomit and Google up on all the potential brain damage symptoms you can possibly find from baby's head trauma. You curse yourself every time the baby cries and hog over the iPad for ways to increase your breast milk.
If this is you then whoa, take a step back lady. Take a few deep breaths and relax.
Motherhood is going to last you a lifetime so do not stress yourself out too much. Ask your mum, surely she must have a plethora of stories about how she messed up looking after you and yet here you are. Healthy and wholesome (albeit physically, mentally and emotionally drained as a new mum). But the point is, don't fret over the smallest mistake or dwell too much on them. If baby is fine then move on. Simple as that.
6 Stalking Other Mums
Humdeedum. Let's see what's new on Facebook. Ohhh, baby Jane's mummy bought her a new stroller! Wait, did she just shed off ten pounds from her belly? And how is it that baby George's mummy can look so fabulous and still bring her baby travelling every other weekend? Heck, she's wearing the latest pair of Jimmy Choos too! So why do I look like a tornado just hit me and why does my baby cry all the time? Why can't my life be glamorous like the other mums? Waaaa! Wails in self pity and blows nose into baby's diaper.
A majority of newborn mothers subconsciously check social media to compare the state of other newborn mothers. Their brain is somehow wired to see who is doing better in their newfound motherhood. This is very much like checking out each other in high school except that you now have a baby in tow and have probably sprouted a few grey hairs (amidst some balding spots) and fine lines. If you are guilty of stalking other mothers online, stop. While comparing yourself to others can drive you to improve yourself, overdoing it is unhealthy (mentally, emotionally and physically). So do yourself a favor and check out the latest value meals at MacDonald's instead. That would definitely make you a happier person.
5 Filling Every Second Of The Day
Is the baby finally asleep? Yeap. Good. Should you take a wink too while the little one zonks out for the next hour or so? Heck no. That would be unproductive. Surely you wouldn't want to waste a single minute of your life taking a much needed rest. Oh no, that would not be right. You've got to make the most of every single second you can spare! You pump your fist, full of determination and fire burns in your eyes. You set out to spring clean the garage (while checking on your baby every other minute) and manage to clean about a cubic meter of junk before the little one starts wailing for mummy. Then it'll be another uphill battle of entertaining and feeding the baby before putting them to bed again.
Perhaps you did manage to complete some tasks with the limited free time you had and even managed to get some office work done from home all while singing wheels on the bus to the little tot. But think for a minute, do you really need to fill every single minute of your time with something to do? You don't need to. While the euphoria of being a multitasking supermum may give you a surge of pride, we also need to realize that we are, in reality, only human. It is absolutely fine to do nothing at all for an hour or two (anything more than that would truly render us unproductive). So kick back and relax. You're already doing a marvelous job being a mother already.
4 Checking If Baby Is Breathing Every 2 Seconds
This is something every mother of a newborn child is guilty of. Every. Single. Mum.
We jolt up from our much needed nap just to put our fingers underneath their little noses to check for signs of the teeny weeny breaths. We freak out if we don't feel air coming out of their little nostrils and call 911 for the tenth time. Other times we put our ears close to their noses just to try and hear them breathe. Others have their palms forever glued to the baby's chest for fear of missing out on their heartbeats. While it is true that babies are fragile little things, they were genetically designed to breathe.
If for some medical reasons they cannot breathe, they will definitely give you a sign. So stop checking on your baby's breathing for the hundredth time already! By the time they hit puberty, you'd wish they had never been born. Kidding!
3 Trying To Eat A Full Warm Meal
Remember the good old days when you could sit down comfortably in your dining room chair and enjoy a delicious piping hot meal of beef stew and French loaves? Or when you could laze in the lounge and chomp into the steaming hot pepperoni pizza while watching GoT? Those days are long gone my dear and will elude you for many years to come. If you think you can actually sit down and enjoy, let alone finish a nice warm meal then you are either filthy rich (with an army of nannies to back you up) or just plain crazy.
Ask any average Jane who has recently birthed a child and she'll look at you in the eye and laugh before bursting into an endless stream of tears while telling you between sobs on how she had to swallow and eat cold (literally ice cold) cream of mushroom soups and risottos that shouldn't even see the light of day. Some had to carry their wailing babies in one hand while eating a measly peanut butter sandwich with the other for lunch. How tasty is that?
2 Trying To Trim The Baby's Nails
Okay, the baby fell asleep. You gingerly lift up their little arm and drop them. They fall lifelessly back onto their crib and the baby peacefully sleeps on. A triumphant smile creeps on your lips. Bingo! Now is the time to trim their nails! (For a baby, they have pretty sharp nails. Look at all the scratches they decorated your face and hands with). You pick up the baby nail clipper like a pro and hold one of baby's hands in yours. You proceed to cut the nail on the baby's thumb. Baby moves a bit. You quickly turn into a statue and hold your breath. No! Don't wake up! Baby falls back to sleep.
You continue cutting their nails with stealth at ninja speed. And right before you can finish trimming the nails on one hand, the baby's eyes bolt open and baby smiles at you. Ahhhhh! You'll have to wait for the extra round of their nap before you can finish the baby manicure now. Did you really think you could conquer nail trimming in one session? Hahahaha(slap me)hahahaha.
1 Over Decorating The Nursery
While you may want to decorate your baby's nursery with the finest linen, the cutest curtains, install dangling star shaped night lights and paint a mural on the wall, buy an avalanche of soft toys and baby books....don't. What? Why? Doesn't my baby deserve the best? Yes, your baby deserves nothing but the best life has to offer, but take note that minimalism is the key.
During the first year of your baby's life, he or she would probably have no idea what is going on, let alone have any preferences or demands on how to decorate their nursery. They'll be entertained just by watching you crumple paper or some crinkly plastic sheets. Once they grow bigger, both of you can then decorate the room together. That would be a lot more fun (and cost-saving since you won't have had to spend a fortune during the first year). Their toys are only going to pile up as they grow so don't be in a hurry to pamper them with all the good stuff yet. Plus both of you will probably end up sleeping together on your own bed or on the couch anyways. Cries, sobs....wails 'I want my own bed back!'
Sources: Babycenter.com, Parents.com