One of the worst parts of becoming a new parent is all of the unwanted parenting advice you get from the second that sperm makes its cozy home in your uterus.
‘Take these prenatals.’
‘Don’t eat fast food you or your baby might get fat’ (As someone who had two 9 lb babies, this one might hold some truth. But that’s neither here nor there. You eat that double quarter pounder girl.)
‘Get the drugs!’
‘Do NOT get the drugs!’
‘SLEEP WHILE YOU CAN!’ (OH! I should sleep now? With this watermelon inside me? With these back pains? And leg cramps? And this full bladder? OK sure let me try that out because I was actually planning on seeing how many hours in a row I could stay awake for before the baby arrives. But you’re telling me that’s not a good idea?)
Co sleeping vs Sleep training. Bottle vs breast. What baby products to use. The list goes on and on…. and on….. and on. Literally there is nothing in the world that people have more opinions on than the way you have and raise a child. It’s INSANE.
So today I’m here to give you a little piece of advice (el oh el)
But seriously. While a lot of parenting advice is unwanted and unnecessary, sometimes you run across that one thing that saved your life and your sanity. Maybe this will be that for you. And maybe you’ll end this article and think ‘well there’s five minutes of my life I’ll never get back’ in which case I apologize. But in the chance that it winds up being helpful, you are welcome. I will accept ‘thank yous’ in the form of Starbucks gift cards. abussard7 At gmail dot com. But I digress.
When my husband and I were getting ready to welcome our third little bundle to our clan we knew we needed a game plan to help us survive. Three is a lot of babies you guys. One is a lot of babies. Babies are A LOT!
So he came up with a motto. “Embrace the chaos” Simple as that. You either embrace it, or you drown in it. So that’s just what we’ve been doing (embracing, not drowning) (most days) And you know what? It’s kind of been working.
What exactly do I mean by this you ask?
Take a trip with me. Down the toy aisles of Target. Are you familiar with this land? Something tells me you are. Often times this land is filled with the screams of tiny humans whose parents are telling them ‘no you may not have that $30 wubble bubble that pops after one hour of use and I know that because we have literally had three of them and they all popped after one hour of use so I think I know what I’m talking about.’ But tiny humans are not a rational breed of people. And sometimes they don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. And that’s when the screams set in. And so in order to deal with what’s going on you fall back onto your motto ‘embrace the chaos.’ Do NOT give in. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Stand firm. Calmly explain that the screaming is not going to end in a toy. In fact for every second you continue to scream you will lose 10 minutes of screen time. This is bound to piss the tiny human off even more. But that’s OK. Really it is. You see, you have to parent like nobody’s watching. Don’t let the fact that you’re standing in the middle of a crowded store break your parenting spirit. Don’t give in because you’re embarrassed. You’re kids will scream. They will throw fits. They will force you to drag them across the floor to the check out. Because they are kids. And that’s what they do. And its OK!
Are you being judged by other people? Maybe. Probably. But it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you aren’t giving in for all of the wrong reasons. And when you get home, and the fit subsides, and you didn’t spend $10 on tiny rubber grocery items with eyes, you’re going to feel really proud of yourself.
And then sometimes you have to know when to just give in. Like when you venture out for the first time with two kids and you push your luck by hitting up two stores instead of just one. And everything is going great until you hit the checkout line and the baby decides he’s hungry. And at the exact same time the GD candy bars temp your daughter ( WHY WITH THE IMPULSE BUYS?!?!? WHHHYYY!? are you trying to kill me?) And then it’s almost your turn when you start to feel the pee leaking out of your son’s diaper down your stomach and onto your shoe. So you throw the candy bar into the cart, hand money to the cashier, and run out as fast as you can leaving a trail of urine behind you. And then laugh about it later with your husband and a glass of wine. Because it may not have been the ideal outing, but you survived. And that is awesome.
Don’t let the chaos hold you back. Don’t be afraid to leave the house. Is every outing going to be a scene from the Stepford Wives? No. In fact, most of them aren’t. And knowing that, and accepting it, is going to make your life so.much.easier. Parenting is a hard gig you guys. So don’t put more pressure on yourself than you need to. Drown out the tantrums, ignore the sideways glances, have confidence in your abilities, teach discipline, love hard, and embrace the chaos.
You’ve got this. I promise.
Guest Post written by Ashley
Hi guys! I’m Ashley. I’m a 27 year old mom of three. I have a degree in fashion design and merchandising but right now my biggest job is raising my tiny humans and making sure they turn out to be decent, not so tiny, humans. It’s not as easy as it sounds. When I’m not changing dirty diapers you can find me perusing Instagram or painting for my little shop, Chartreuse Daydreams (shameless plug) I love Buffy, Dancing with the Stars, and the smell of Barnes and Nobles when they are attached to a Starbucks. Can we please get Yankee to turn that into a candle already?? I used to blog and then life started getting in the way so I’m very happy to have a little space here to fill the void. Thanks for having me!
Other great resources for moms:
GENERAL // Things I Wish I Knew Before Our Baby Arrived (Written by over 50 other mothers!) // What to Bring a Mom after she has a Baby // New Mama Must-Haves // How to Transition from a Bottle to a Sippy Cup // Why you Should Hire a Birth Photographer // What I’ve Learned as a Mom Thus Far
BREASTFEEDING // Best Foods to Eat while Breastfeeding // Nursing Essentials // 10 Tips for those that Plan to Breastfeed // Nursing Essentials II // How to Increase your Milk Supply including a recipe for Lactation Cookies!
& don’t forget to join in on the #latenightnursingfeed!