I got pregnant in 2006. I was 25, as were the majority of my girlfriends—some were even younger. This meant I had the pleasure and pain of becoming the group’s first mom. It was a blessing and a curse.
My baby was coveted from conception by my girlfriends who immediately began calling themselves aunts and plotting my SoHo baby shower. I felt loved and special. Then JD arrived and I realized how incredibly different life would be from there on out. I left many of my girlfriends in NYC and moved back to NJ.
I never stopped working, but I did stop dating, going out, brunching, sleeping in, among other glorious single gal rituals. Maternity leave was basically me, JD, my family and an occasional visit from friends. I totally got it, too. As much as I was busy with my baby, they were busy with their lives.
These days many of my girlfriends are married and on baby no.2 I see how they gather for baby play-dates and go on outings at toddler friendly places. We all have kids now, but we’re going to Monster Jam and the Pit Party on Saturday, not the super-fun NJ Children’s Museum (we loved it there!) Get it?
This doesn’t mean JD and I don’t crash play-dates. He loves playing with my friends’ little ones and being the cool, big kid.
And my 5 years of motherhood puts me in a position where I can lend advice. Here are just some recent nuggets of mommy wisdom I’ve shared:
- I didn’t potty-train JD until he was 3. Naked time and dollar store bribery worked best. Get a spare bath mat for the couch. If you let your kid have naked time and sit on the couch, they will pee on the couch. TRUST ME. The bath mat is cushy and soft and has a rubber bottom to stop leakage. (Yes, JD peed on my couch. The couch you’re sitting on.)
- Don’t focus so much on what your kid eats in one, single day. Look back at the week on Sunday and analyze. There were days when JD would eat whole milk and nibbles of things and ones where he had three meatballs at dinner. It all adds up.
- JD used his pacifier until he was 3. That Christmas we left them on the table with the milk and cookies. Santa brought them back for the elf babies. We still discuss the elf babies. You can also leave them out with the carrots for the bunny babies this Spring.
- I don’t mind co-sleeping. I don’t function well if I don’t get enough sleep. JD slept in my bed on and off from newborn to … now. I cherish this. He’s not going to want to sleep with me much longer. He already gives me the eye roll.
- If your gut tells you to go to the emergency room, just go. JD smacked his head once and it took the wind out of him. We went to the emergency room. He was completely fine, but what if he wasn’t and I didn’t go?
- The Ped said to give JD 2% milk when he turned 2. Sometimes he drinks whole milk. The dentist said not to give him juice, but he’s been drinking reduced sugar juice since he was 1 and he’s never had a cavity. Imagine a life without coffee or diet coke.
- We only listen to adult music in the car. JD doesn’t know kid stations exist on SiriusXM. It’s fine.
- I am the baby whisperer. Give me your infant. (See main pic. My best friend’s baby and JD. Sleeping on me.)
- You are all so lucky to have each other. I had to make brand new friends when I had JD. Luckily Amy and Ed existed, but Ed put me through this weird hazing ritual where he didn’t speak or smile.
- It’s totally fine that you feel lonely, crazy and like you want to start a habit that might send you to rehab. Being a mom is hard. If you weren’t 8-months-pregnant, I’d pour you a shot of tequila, girlfriend.
Feel free to share some random nuggets of mommy wisdom in the comments. XO
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