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My advice for first time parents

Another spinoff entry!

I wrote that the wonder weeks seemed like a stupid book, because it acted like it was full of all these ANSWERS about a baby's behavior when come on, nobody has all the answers. I said that parenting is easier if you just roll with it.

I liked smittenbyu's response though... she brought up the fact that first time parents love the book because they feel like they NEED answers! Reading back on the book with experience made her eye-roll, but when you're hit by the truck that is your first baby it's incredible.

She's right! But why can't first time parents just relax and roll with it? What's the difference really, what advice would I give to a first time parent to make their lives easier? when there are so many people giving first time parents advice about how to "slow down and appreciate every moment" from so many directions, why can't they relax?

over advice syndrome, I'm saying. It's what plagues all parents their first time.

It's like this: people are annoying. They tell you "oh just relax, you neurotic first time parent!" in one breath, then turn around ten minutes later and say, "you mean she's not sleeping through the night?! aren't you going to DO SOMETHING about that? God you don't know anything do you!"

So with Josie of course we tried to Do Something! Bedtime routine, darkness at the same time, leaving her alone, letting her cry, not letting her cry, etc etc etc, I read at least four sleep training books and that damn adorable kid still didn't sleep at night until she was 18 months old.

I think that's the best thing about being a second time parent. When people give you assvice ("do something!" "don't do something!") you can smile and say, "Don't worry. I've been through this before." and they just shut up.

except they say, "Isn't it so much easier the second time?"

And you say "well yeah. because YOU aren't bitching at me!" Well, no, they deny that they ever made it hard FOR you.

So really that's my advice for any first time parent: lie and say you already had a kid. You'll be instantly free of everyone's expectations, and you can finally relax, enjoy your baby, and truly just roll with it.



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 4th, 2013 04:18 pm (UTC)
*makes a note*
Dec. 4th, 2013 04:23 pm (UTC)
Haha, I will keep that in mind if I ever need to.

Seriously, though, taking advice from people will be way harder for me than having an actual baby. I will be very inclined to tell even the most well-meaning people in the world to shut up.
Dec. 4th, 2013 05:36 pm (UTC)
Hahaha awesome! Of course it doesn't work with people who actually know how many kids you have but hopefully they aren't as annoying about advice. Hopefully.
Dec. 4th, 2013 11:09 pm (UTC)
This is one reason why I think everyone should have at least two kids. The experience is just so much different the second time around.
Dec. 4th, 2013 11:19 pm (UTC)
haha! I completely feel this way! I feel so confident I will completely ace the second child! lol… Of course, if we were to ever have one he/she would be so different from the first we would be in a whole loop again, but yeah… at least the books will be off the shelves and in the give-away pile!
Dec. 5th, 2013 06:41 pm (UTC)
Turns out the second child - and this shouldn't be so friggin' surprising, but it IS (as Spacefem's posts on the topic affirm) - is A WHOLE DIFFERENT PERSON than the first kid!

All through my recent pregnancy I was convinced I would have a boy (no ultrasounds), just because of this sense I had of the new baby being So Unlike my daughter. Guess what? Another girl. But New Baby is nonetheless profoundly unlike her big sister. </p>

A lot of what I learned the first time is helping, yes (I am much better, for instance, at keeping the baby's socks off her poopy bottom), but a lot of it is entirely new too. Sleep especially is a whole different beast, both because of baby's temperament and because our schedule must accomodate big sister.

It is true I get less advice. I even get fewer impertinent questions ("Is she a good baby?" Grr!!). People do seem to assume a second-time parent has her shit more or less together.

The reality is that, just as I did when the first was a baby, I have once again begun to fantasize about moving back in with my folks. ;)

Dec. 5th, 2013 04:31 am (UTC)
No. No one should EVER have more kids just because. People should have more kids because they want more kids. IF they want more kids.

Who cares if the experience is different or not? That is not a good reason to have a second kid.
Dec. 5th, 2013 05:33 am (UTC)
I knew, as soon as I made this comment, that someone was going to be offended by the lazy wording. So, because I didn't take the time to go back and re-word then, here it is now: Let me be clear: NO ONE SHOULD DO ANYTHING THEY DON'T WANT TO DO, AND I'M NOT SAYING THEY SHOULD.

(Also, I think it's a perfectly good reason. I'd hope a person had some others as well, but even on its own, it's no worse than many reasons people use for major life decisions.)
Dec. 5th, 2013 05:26 am (UTC)
I think anything is easier the second time because you know where you need to pay attention and what isn't important
Dec. 5th, 2013 06:26 am (UTC)
I think its just that you really really do not know what you are doing. Its hard to trust yourself when you can't see that this will work out just fine whether you do a bath and part of bedtime routine or not. Also, as a SAHM, being home with just one little? Can be mind numbingly boring. My first didn't want to play alone, and she wanted to do the same thing over and over and over again. I had lots of time to think and worry and obsess over the details.
Dec. 9th, 2013 02:32 am (UTC)
So true!!!
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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