Before I get into the nitty gritty, there is one important thing you need to know. You are going to have an amazing, funny, sweet little boy that is going to simultaneously give you gray hair and melt your heart. Sound confusing? Welcome to parenthood. While adding details will ruin all the excitement, I can give you a few hints to help you along the way.
Surprises are around every corner; learn to laugh and roll with them. Despite how it may feel, pregnancy and labor are worth every single heart burny, bloated, uncomfortable second. Everyone around you, whether they have children or not, will try to give you parenting advice. Smile and nod, but don't feel like you need to listen to any of it.
Be prepared to put your patient pants on and keep them on. You will be tested in ways like never before, but will be a better person for it.
Sleep is overrated and cuddling is underrated. An afternoon on the couch with a squishy baby is the best medicine. Always follow your Mommy instincts. Don't fall into the "I can't wait until..." trap; the future is coming fast enough. Celebrate the littlest of milestones for YOUR kid; there is no need to compare.
Do everything you can to remember the small details. The way he folds his hands when he sleeps, his bright soft skin, the way he grips your shirt when you hold him, the fine curls of hair at the back of his head, the way his deep brown eyes light up when he smiles, how he says Mommy when you come home, everything.
Not everyone is good at every age. You'll be an ace at some ages and stages and feel completely inadequate during others. It will happen over and over again, but its okay. You still love him dearly. (Thanks to my friend, Lisa, for that one!)
The house can be cleaned up later. When he wants to play and bang and sing and dance, join in. Do everything you can to say yes! He will do adorable things that will make you feel like your heart is going to burst. Don't worry, it won't.
There aren't enough words to explain or express what parenthood is truly like. All you can do is strap in and enjoy the wonderful, scary, hysterical, magical, messy, and entirely-too-short ride of a lifetime.
Good luck, Self. :-)
For fun, I asked J what he would tell his pre-baby self...
- Sleep now.
- Don't worry, you won't drop him even though you think you will.
- He will eventually walk. Don't worry and hang in there.
- He will eventually sleep. Don't worry and drink lots of coffee.
- Changing diapers isn't actually all that bad.
- Learn some nursery rhymes, but when in doubt free style beat boxing works just as well.
- Don't get too attached to the red Lay Z Boy - he comes with a lot of stuff and it will eventually go in lieu of a ball pit.
- A jumping toddler will land on your crotch 99.9% of the time.
- He's the best jogging, gardening, and reading buddy a guy could have.
This week's Toddle Along Tuesday topic is letter to your pre-baby self! What do you wish that you-now could tell yourself from years past? There are no rules here, except that you link up a relevant post (old or new) rather than your whole blog.