Splitting It 50-50 1 of 20
You Can Stop at One 2 of 20
2. You Can Stop at One
Or two, or three. But no one expects you to have more than that — unless you're Angelina Jolie.
Diaper Options 3 of 20
3. Diaper Options
Gone are the days of safety pins and fabric squares. Cloth diapers are easier to use and prettier than ever. But if you find they're not for you, don't worry; even disposables can be environmentally friendly.
Maternity Leave Is More Humane 4 of 20
4. Maternity Leave Is More Humane
It's nowhere near where it should be, but the Family and Medical Leave Act is still a huge improvement over the Don't-let-the-door-hit-you-on-the-way-out Act. Plus, more lactation rooms (spaces for moms to pump in private) have been popping up across the country, from "boob cubes" in the Capitol to The Village at the Super Bowl.
The Interweb Is Always On 5 of 20
5. The Interweb Is Always On
Have a teething question at 3 a.m.? Log on and get 5,000 suggestions from parents who are just as (reluctantly) awake as you are. Beats your mom's dog-eared copy of Dr. Spock.
Even Celebrities Are Doing It! 6 of 20
6. Even Celebrities Are Doing It!
And by celebrities, we mean supermodels. And by supermodels, we mean Victoria's Secret supermodels.
You Don’t Need to Opt Out 7 of 20
But If You Want to, That’s Okay! 8 of 20
8. But If You Want to, That's Okay!
Stay-at-home moms and dads no longer need to feel isolated, thanks to the network of web communities and meet-ups that offer support. And if you're seeking a compromise, new telecommuting jobs open up all the time.
Get a Load Off 9 of 20
9. Get a Load Off
The scale can be scary during pregnancy, but a large percentage of that weight is the baby and surrounding fluids — meaning it will be gone by the time you get home from the hospital. As for the remaining weight, a lot of it can be eliminated by calorie-burning breastfeeding and easier-than-you-think exercises. (Like walking — you'd be surprised at the ways in which taking a stroll can help you parent!)
Photo Sharing 10 of 20
10. Photo SharingWhether you use Flickr, Instagram, Picasa, or one of the dozens of paid sites specifically for parents, your distant family and friends can get an up-to-the-minute look at your offspring. And in case you haven't realized how precious baby photos are, just look at these.
Who Needs a Partner? 11 of 20
11. Who Needs a Partner?
More and more adults are choosing single parenthood, whether through sperm donation, adoption, or other means. If you've been waiting for Mr. or Mrs. Right to walk through the door, remember that you have a choice. Plenty of loving families consist of just two people.
Bringing Sexy Back 12 of 20
12. Bringing Sexy Back
You may have to deal with more interruptions, but having a baby does not mean the death of your sex life. In fact, after that mandatory six-week post-baby hiatus, adults-only time often feels really good.
You May Be Jaded and Cynical… 13 of 20
13. You May Be Jaded and Cynical...
But your baby's not. Watching him interact gleefully with a ceiling fan may just give you a whole new appreciation for the little things.
Blame It On Baby 14 of 20
14. Blame It On Baby
If you tend to be a little on the late side for social events and really hate having to iron, guess what? Now you have a built-in excuse for tardiness, slovenly dressing, and a whole host of other things. "Sorry, but with the baby and all, it's practically impossible to [fill in the blank]." Hell, you'll even get to leave boring parties early!
Two Words: Halloween Candy 15 of 20
15. Two Words: Halloween Candy
It's way less embarrassing to scarf down copious amounts of candy when it was given to your kid. By eating most of it yourself, you're saving your offspring from OD'ing on sugar (not to mention saving yourself some cash on dental bills.) Plus when you didn't pay for it, there are no calories, right?
Yes, You Can Still Eat Out 16 of 20
16. Yes, You Can Still Eat Out Did you know that many infants will sleep through the clatter at a restaurant, allowing you and the dinner companion of your choice to enjoy a decent meal in peace? It's true, we swear. 10 simple ways to teach your tot table manners
You’re Never Too Old 17 of 20
17. You're Never Too Old
We're going to live forever — for sure, until we're 120. So, like, 30 is the new teen pregnancy. Eighty-year-old new grandparents will be the norm (and with those brand-new knees and hips, they're practically teens themselves!). So don't worry about being the oldest new mom in the world. You'll even live to see the grandkids graduate medical school — maybe kick in some funds from your retirement to pay for it.
Perfectionism Is Overrated 18 of 20
Hand-me-downs 19 of 20
If you have parent-friends, they're probably dying to give you their kids' old bulky swings, toys, and clothes. If not, free stuff abounds on Craigslist, Freecycle and local parenting groups.
You Know More Than You Think 20 of 20
20. You Know More Than You Think
You can buy instructional DVDs and parenting manuals by the dozen, but the results will always be the same: The #1 expert on your baby will be you.