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5 Things to Learn While You’re Pregnant and Use the Rest of Your Life

I had five kids the hard way, and I’ve been La Maze breathing ever since.

Every once in a while I look around for an epidural.

Hey, there’s no extra credit for suffering.

That’s one of the latest mommy things I’ve learned.

For example, ideally you should be nursing your little pumpkin for a solid first year, but when weaning is moving along and the horrors of mastitis set in, subbing a bottle of formula is not going to compromise his future football career.

It’s not, no matter what the little pumpkin insists otherwise.

So let’s get some things on the table right now and realize it’s never too late to stop being a mommy martyr.

1.   Vitamins. Those nasty horse pills that make you constipated just looking at the bottle. You take them for your baby and the minute he’s out you toss those vitamins. Don’t. You need those for the rest of your life. Maybe reducing to a lighter version will help those “side effects” but you will not be eating right for a couple of frantic years followed by years where everything edible for miles is eaten by your kid. You will be reduced to sharing the applesauce baby food jars. Do you want to be able to walk in a straight line? Take your vitamins.

2. Stretchy Pants. Keep em. I know you are as big as a house and sometimes you walk into your closet and fondle the cute little ‘wild thing’ wardrobe that got you into this situation in the first place. You look into the mirror and promise yourself that the minute this little parasite exits the building, you aren’t ever going to be seen in these rotten maternity clothes again. Ha. Yes. Yes, you are. Because not only does your pregnant body take it’s sweet time deflating but you will be barfed on, pooped on, peed on and bled on. You do not want baby’s precious bodily fluids ruining anything but the clothes you already loathe.

3.   That Birth Plan. Yeah, remember when you were taking birthing classes and hospital tours and shopping for pediatricians? You have a cute little paper that you filled out stating all of your wishes while in labor and delivery. Then you go into labor, the hospital staff “files” your paper, and after 24 hours of screaming, you get your C section. Frame that ‘Plan’. You need to remember over the next twenty years (okay, much longer) that this is the new norm.

4.   Perfectionism sucks. So will your house. Enjoy the view at the moment, while your bun is still in the oven. The seven pound cinna-bun already has her own room, freshly decorated with new paint, new crib and bedding, adorable bric-a-brac, a closet of clothes with accessories, and a battalion of strollers, carseats, bassinet, swing, highchair, diaper bags, changing table, bathtub, potty seat, cutlery and “entertainment”. Organize it all. Find spots that seem logical and color coordinated. Take a photo. Now imagine every single item rearranged, filthy, and possibly hanging from the ceiling fan a month from now. None of this was needed, except the carseat, because all the cinna-bun wants to do is remain attached to your body forever. Your only respite is to strap baby bun into the car and go for a long drive involving the 24 hour drive-through Starbucks. You didn’t even need the house.

5.   La Maze is for life. Breathe with me here. Iiiiinnnn…..hold it…..ooooouuutttt. Good. Every time a life contraction hits, remember your training. Sit down or lean against the wall, close your eyes and count your breath until the pain passes. Your baby may come out of your body but your body will still hurt every time your child has a growing pain. Remember, it’s a natural process. You need to release and roll with the pain; if you tense up and fight it, you will hurt more than you need to. It’s a good pain, a hard working, sweaty and worthy pain. And just when you think you can’t take it one more time, your child shows up with a new lease on life. Maybe a little messy, but you made it through. Well done.

Yes, I know.

That dazzling little creature smiling at you makes it all worth while.

Which just goes to show how you’ve really lost your mind.

You may as well get used to that, too.

Published inLiving Larger

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