We’ve all heard someone say it; “There is no manual for raising children!” Well I say, why not?? In those desperate hours of early morning when that baby just won’t go back to sleep, wouldn’t you just love to be able to open your manual and look for a way to fix it?
Here would be my entries for the chapter entitled “Baby and toddler years”:
Teething: stop looking up homeopathic remedies. They are crap. The only thing teething biscuits and frozen juice pops are going to do is soothe the pain momentarily; once they are done you are left with a baby who is still in pain and also hopped up on sugar. Great combo. The ONLY help is a triple punch of baby ibuprofen, Scotch (for both of you), and ear plugs.
Television is your friend: The key to making sure that you are not stuck watching mind-numbing kids’ television all day is to convince them that what they like to watch only comes in DVD form. Now, you can control your, I mean, their viewing pleasure by buying only shows/movies that you can tolerate. This works. Man may be the only two year old who doesn’t know who Yo Gabba Gabba is.
Don’t ever compare your kid to someone else’s, it’s bad form: When you see the mom with the nine month old who is jumping hurdles while your little one just sits there, imagine how tired that mom must be running around after that kid and congratulate yourself on birthing a kid who understands the importance of sitting still.
Similarly, don’t judge lest ye be judged: mommy friends are the only way to get through the crazy days of parenting. You want to know the quickest way to alienate other moms and be friendless? Be a judgmental bitch!
Husbands are your ally: gone are the days where husbands are portrayed as bumbling idiots who can’t change a diaper; just look at all of the tv shows/movies that are based on how “cool” it is to be an involved dad. Equality works both ways; if we can wear pants to the office, husbands can wear the Bjorn to the park. If they tell you they don’t know how to do something, tell them to read the manual.
Never say no to hand-me-downs: hand-me-downs are amazing because they are FREE. I get it, it’s your first kid, you want everything to be new and clean and matching… Well, that lasts for about a minute. By the time you have changed your third footie in two hours, you realize that bin of old semi unfashionable onesies with sayings like “I love my great aunt’s Christmas cookies” would have been super helpful. Toys, books, clothes, anything and everything; someone else’s trash really is your treasure.
Don’t be afraid of alcohol, it can only help: your kid’s not sleeping; have a glass of wine. Your kid’s having a tantrum, ignore it… By having a glass of wine.
Sleep is a touchy subject. It’s best not to talk about it unless you’re willing to admit that your child isn’t doing it. If you are lucky enough to have one of those magical babies who sleeps through the night at six weeks, then shut up and get out the rest of our faces before we all bitch slap you and blame it on our own sleep deprivation. Oh, and also you’re lying!
Time management is a necessity: no longer will you and your husband be able to hop in a shower and be out the door in 30 minutes. Everything takes significantly longer with children. Don’t be afraid to leave upwards of two to three hours for a task that might have taken an hour pre-baby, make lists, and stay organized. It’s ok to let your anxiety level get to about a four, this will motivate you to work faster without further impairing your abilities.
There is no one right answer; trust your instincts, you know your baby best!
Please leave your entry for the manual below, I would LOVE to hear what other mama’s have to add!