People are going to be sharing A LOT of their opinions on pregnancy and parenting with you. (Oh, and be prepared for people to touch your belly without invitation. I actually crave the human touch, so I am good with it haha, but you may not be!)
If the “advice” hasn’t started already, then brace yourself!
For the most part people have the best intentions and sometimes their advice is super helpful, but other times their “help” just hurts. I asked some of the women in our office, who are also mothers, about tips and hacks they’ve been given that actually do help. No judgy, pushy, bossy business – we’re here to help and we hope it doesn’t hurt.
I remember taking my eldest daughter out in the summer to a grocery store when she was almost four months old. It was the end of August and it had been a very hot summer, but summers are meant to be hot! A woman of a different generation, again no judgements, just saying she was not close in age… yelled at me loudly, exclaiming, “How dare you take your daughter out in this heat!”
Of course, she was the type of person who would probably tell me it’s too cold in the winter too. Since I am not a brown bear and do not hibernate, nor am I a polar bear and must live near ice, I tend to venture out in all kinds of weather with my children. If I had listened to her, or taken it personally, I would be a recluse to this day.
As for how my fellow office mothers gracefully digest advice and also dish it out, here you go:
“Always have a little potty in the car.” – Joan Massaro, Senior Art Director
“I can’t remember much in terms of advice I was given (probably from lack of sleep). I feel like I was thrown to the wolves without any warning, but here are a few: 1. Sleep when the baby sleeps [Haha, I wish.] 2. Drive around with baby if they won’t sleep. [I think I had the only baby ever who HATED the car. Every drive was torture.] 3. Breastfeeding will help you lose the baby weight. [Nope, just nope. Maybe for some people, but clearly not for me.]” – Brandy Leinhauser, Paid Search Manager
“Feed your kid what you eat. When they’re first starting solids, give them mushed up ingredients from what you’re using in your meals (avocado, sweet potato) and eat together. Later you can give them simplified versions, all cut or mashed for them to easily eat. Eventually they’ll eat the same meal as you! I would also say not to worry if you have a picky eater. Encourage them to try, but don’t force them to eat. They will eat when they’re hungry.” – Stacy Lyons, Visual Merchandising Manager
“V is 7, and I still use my good ol’ spit to wipe schmutz off her face if I have to. (She hates me for it, but it has worked great for the past 7 years). AND, always have a little “emergency kit” in the trunk of your car. Mine consisted of a roll of paper towel, garbage bags, sanitizer and a change of clothes… you just never know.” – Klaudia Vitale, Senior Art Director
“Set a timer when you are pumping just in case you fall asleep. I once pumped for 45 minutes because I was so tired. I also received the advice that if I just kept trying to breastfeed it would eventually work, so I shouldn’t give up and just push through. I tried everything with my first to make it work and my milk never came in. I always said that I would try to breastfeed, but if it didn’t happen, I would be ok with it. When the reality hit that it wasn’t going to happen for me, I was super emotional and felt like I had failed at the ONE thing I was supposed to be able to do as a mom. I wish that the person who gave me the advice to not give up would have just said do your best and it will be okay.” – Chrystal Morgante, Senior e-Commerce Merchant for A Pea in the Pod
“When Rudi was born The Simpsons came out. It was so brilliant that I used to wake him up to watch it from the time he was 5 months old FOR HIS EDUCATION. I didn’t know anyone else who had a baby and didn’t know what to do with one, and someone finally told me to never wake a sleeping baby!” – Lily Bragge, Director of Copy
“I always kept a compact foldup stroller in my car trunk for short trips when I didn’t want to lug the big stroller.” – Kara Stickley, Visual Merchandising Manager
Second, third, fourth time moms please share your advice with our mamas-in-the-making @motherhoodmaternity
My advice? Listen to your gut. Or as I like to say, you do you Boo!