I met a woman--let's call her "A"-- at Portico a few years ago and instantly wanted to be like her. She was funny and kind and really smart. She also had enviably beautiful skin which, for some reason, made me want to befriend her even more...shallow? I asked if she would mentor me, and she said yes. I ask for her advice a lot (not something that comes naturally to me), and she usually answers with
"Let me think before I answer that."
She's amazing. She drives an old tricked out car with killer rims sometimes. Other times she drives her minivan. You never really know exactly what you'll get with A, and that's one of the many reasons I admire her. That, and she laughs easily, which I love.
I told A. I was pregnant when I was about 7 weeks--pretty early by some folks' standards. She starting giving me gifts each month to celebrate the milestones in my pregnancy. She gave me gum some time in the first trimester and toe nail polish in the second, so I could paint my nails "while I could still reach them."
One of the last gifts she gave me was a piece of paper entitled "Mama to Mama."
She shared some of the best advice I've gotten so far, and I feel like I should share it with other Mamas out there. I've highlighted some of my favorites:
-Trust your instincts
-Swaddle that burrito TIGHTLY. He will be okay.
-Don't be afraid to use the nasal aspirator when baby has a stuffed nose.
-It's always okay to call the doctor, even when you think you might be irrational. You probably are being irrational, but better to take care of your sweet boy than worry about what anyone else thinks.
-You don't have to bathe baby every day.
-When you change baby's diaper, make sure his boy parts are pointed down.
-When "blow outs" are frequent, it's time to move to a bigger size diaper
-Try your best to keep up with the baby book and organizing all the photos. Time will slip away.
-If your baby falls asleep on you, hold him. Everything else can wait. One day he won't fall asleep on you anymore.
-Make sure you go on dates with your hubby. I know one or two or fifteen people who would love to babysit.
-Read and sing to Simon often
-Remember parenting is not easy. It's a beautiful picture of your dependence on God.
-Ask for help
-Generic baby items are okay
-Put baby clothes on Simon before the actual month tag says. You'll be amazed what will fit now.
-Let him be naked every once in a while. Everyone deserves a little freedom.
-Be very firm and very loving (thank, J.C.--you know who you are!)
-It's ok to tell a stranger, "Please don't touch my baby."
-Call your Mama for advice
-Call me, too
Thanks, A. Love you.