Ok, random list of stuff that has turned out to be REALLY important/or valuable info. This is not all of them – just the ones in my head today:
1) When diapering a baby, run your finger around the leg holes to make sure all the little flappy bits are outside. A friend told me this at my baby shower – I thought, “right – ok, thanks – whatever.” My child had loose, breast-fed poop for most of a year. When I did not do this, we had nasty major GROSS leakages. When I did do this we had FAR fewer. Also less irritation on her bottom.
2) Buy at least a dozen (I got 2 dozen) PLAIN, basic, thin, white cloth diapers – like you grandmother used to use (Gerber sells them, I found them at Target). Not for use as diapers, but for messes and spills of al lother kinds. They are soft and absorbant and can have the daylights bleached out of them. They have proven invaluable for spit ups and car throw ups, chocolate issues, protective padding, emergency nose wipes, etc. I can’t remember who recommended this – but I knew it before I got pregnant and it was on my shower wish list.
3) Seriously, get it done (whatever it is) before the baby is born.
- Major remodeling/decoration of the house – I remodeled her room for the 5 months before she was born. I did not feel done at the time she was born. I kept trying to finish it when I should have been resting, relaxing, or sleeping.
- Sewing – Thank goodness for my mom. I had all these plans to sew – and they simply did not happen. She sews for me…do not buy lots of fabric planning cute clothes unless you are a seriously professional seamstress who can whip stuff out in an hour or less. BTW – if you can’t whip it out in an hour or less, it is not worth it, she’ll grow out of it in 3-6 months.
- Housecleaning – I cleaned the entire house, vaccuming, dusting and polishing things that had been unvacuumed/polished/dusted in over a year. My thought was, “I have no idea when this will get done next.” And the answer was, “In over a year or at random points or when someone outside the family does it.”
4) Go to the bathroom first. Seriously. When relieved of child, for any reason, go to the bathroom – even if you went only an hour ago. Keep your bladder as empty as possible at all times. Do not ever put it off. Because you never know when you will be trapped by a sleeping baby/toddler – that you DO NOT want to wake up – for the next hour, or two, or four. And your husband (or other support person) cannot do it FOR you (as he has so often pointed out). Corollary – after the bathroom, prioritize what you do next based on what someone else cannot easily do for you. Like change your underwear, or take a shower, or eat. Sorting laundry, reading mail, tidying a room, writing thank you notes… all can be done by someone else. Don’t get distracted by lesser stuff. Change your underwear because it is danged awkward for someone else to do it for you.
5) Bite the bullet – spend the dough – give in to the need for convenience. The two best things I did for my sanity, family and work were to buy a 3rd car and pay for monthly parking right next to my building at work. [Your specific examples may differ.] Prior to my pregnancy, I proudly carpooled as much as absolutely possible – 3 adults drove to work in 2 cars and only one paid for convenient parking. Before she was born, I admitted that I was not going to be able to continue that with daycare drop off and pick up involved, and keep my (or my husbands) sanity as well. So I spend the money and dropped out of the “green” commuter program. Trust me. I am MUCH saner. I still recycle ‘tho, and use green cleaning products….so I’m not like totally a bad person, right?
More like this when it comes up – but these have been banging around in my head for a while..thought I should get them ‘on paper.’