When you gleefully spread the word that you're expecting a bundle of joy (squeal!), people come out of the woodwork to tell you all about the trials and tribulations of the process - from pregnancy to early parentood. What seems like every conversation starts off with "When I was pregnant..." or "[insert kid's name] did this and that" ("this and that" being the most brilliant, funny, or nightmarish thing ever, of course), and is followed by cure-alls, fix-its, and other various ways to cope. Let's just say the advice was not in short supply. Not only that, but it was totally helpful. Like with everything else in life, once you go through the process yourself, you not only connect your experience with all that advice (ah, now I get what she meant by "pain like you've never experienced before"), but you also build your own stories and come up with personal words of wisdom. After all, you're now an old pro. But, you're also left scratching your head at some tidbits that apparently missed the advice train. Here are some of those things, in no specific order, that you wished They would've mentioned:
1. Despite heroic efforts, sometimes you're just not going to know what in the hell your baby wants. And that's OK because eventually you'll figure it out (but be prepared to not look graceful in the process).
2. Parenthood is not always full of blissful goo-goo and ga-ga moments. Sure, They warn you about the sleep deprivation, but there are moments when you want to tear your hair out from what seems like nothing (which is actually the cumulative stress of the life-changing transition you've just been thrust into).
3. Formula smells disgusting.
4. It's not the middle-of-the night feedings that are the roughest, it's the one that takes place 45 minutes before your alarm clock goes off that makes you want to pound your fists into the mattress.
5. Lanugo, the downy fine hair that keeps your baby warm in utero, is frightening when you see it in person. The ear hair alone can rival that of any 80-year-old grandfather. Quick, make that wax appointment at the spa for two! (just kidding, don't call Child and Family Services on me).
6. Babies develop acne and, just like with teenagers, it's not cute.
7. Despite their convenience (those suckers snap into everything!), car seats are bulky, awkward, and more difficult to schlep around than what those fabulous moms in 4-inch heels make it seem.
8. Your beautiful bundle of joy will molt. Not only that, you will find yourself itching to slather her with any lotion you can get your hands on (a newfound no-no).
9. We definitely all know about and expect the sleep deprivation, but what They don't warn you about is that you do asinine things as a result of this extreme fatigue - like, oh, say walking into a Thai restaurant to pick up a pizza you ordered from the Italian place nearby (and, instead of realizing you're in the wrong place, you wonder why the Italian place has Asian decor).
10. If you weren't already, you will become One with the clock. However, that's only for timing the feedings. Otherwise, you will be late for everything despite giving yourself 5 hours to get ready.
11. Along those lines, spontaneity is totally out the window.
12. Babies have ironic timing. Example: Leaning down to your beautiful bundle to teasingly say, "You're smelly" only to have her respond with two farts in your palm and a sly little grin (that's our girl!)
13. The clothes may be tiny, but laundry loads double. And, although you're prepared for multiple onesie changes, what They don't tell you is that you go through that many outfit changes yourself because, unfortunately, the baby doesn't just spit up on herself.
14. On the spit up note...pristine, adorable baby clothes acquire tan splotches after only one wear. Worse yet, that tan crap doesn't seem to wash out. Booooo hissss.
15. The baby monitor doesn't just capture the baby's noises. You can be heard over that blasted thing, too.
So, these are just a few tidbits I wish someone would've told me. I'm sure there will be plenty more to come, and you can bet they'll show up in the blog....