A Letter To My Future Self, Should I Ever Have More Children

Dear Vita,

Congratulations on Marcus’ first Birthday! You are now officially a mom of a toddler. You’ve done a pretty good job so far (don’t forget to also thank Stephen for that!), he is a great kid, and it’s OK if you decide to concentrate your parenting only on him. However, if you do plan on becoming a mom for the second time, here are a couple of tips from me, Captain Pregnancy. You’ve used some of them with Marcus, while others are new to you. Either way, I hope you’ll appreciate them with your new baby. And don’t forget to brush up on the Survival Guide to Parenting!

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

You won’t need most of the stuff you wanted

Do you remember seeing the commercial for Sproutling Baby Monitor for the first time? You were far from being pregnant back then, but it still blew you away, didn’t it? Being a tech-savvy smart-watch owner, you knew you needed this wearable for the future baby. So, when you got pregnant, it was the first item on your baby registry. Sadly, all the Sproutling official website offered was to join the waitlist, with no information when the device will actually be in stock (it’s been almost two years now and nothing changed). Remember how you felt devastated and doomed? I mean, how else would you know that your baby’s hungry or if he’s sleepy, right? Right?! Wrong!

You remembered that you used to want Sproutling when Marcus was 3 months old. You completely forgot about it once the baby appeared because you were simply too busy getting to know your baby and learning to live with him. By then, you’ve become a pro at guessing what, when and why your baby needed something. And just like every other parent, you’ve figured out that all an infant really wants is a mummy and boobies, not a cool wearable device. So, yes, you won’t need most of the stuff you wanted. Which doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy it ;) I mean, if by the time you’re pregnant again Sproutling would appear in stock, you’d probably still buy it.

Don’t buy too many baby clothes

Colorful bodysuits, funny onesies and socks so small you can’t believe were made for a real-life person are adorable. International baby clothing giants, baby collections of popular brands, small baby wear businesses on Instagram all want your baby to be the baddest fashionista in the sandbox. But, damn it, babies grow so fast! Plus, baby clothes can be pricey. So, while it’s tempting, try not to buy too much of them. I realized what “too much” looks like when you saw how many cute outfits Marcus never even got to try on. I know that with the advent of online shopping it has become more difficult to control yourself, but at least try to wait until the baby stops growing so fast.

Be prepared for everything in the delivery room

You do remember that you were a very responsible pregnant lady. You attended parenting classes, did pregnancy yoga, stayed home when there was a flu epidemic, never missed a checkup, took all the necessary tests and even went to give birth to another city because you heard the labor process there was more natural compared to the hospitals in your hometown. But that didn’t save you or the baby from an emergency c-section. You do regret not paying attention when they were discussing c-sections on the parenting classes, do you? Why didn’t you listen to the peculiarities of the surgery, post c-section nursing or the rehabilitation process afterward? I know, no one could imagine you’d need a caesarean, but that’s the thing about life — you can’t predict anything. If you get pregnant again, you’ll most probably have another c-section, but don’t you think you’ll know everything this time. Just try to prepare yourself for anything that can happen in the delivery room.

Don’t iron baby clothes

This is just a waste of time, seriously. First, you ironed every piece of cloth that would come in contact with the baby, later you ironed only bodysuits, but by the end of the first month, you were sick of it. You do hate ironing, it’s a tedious task that just takes too much time — do you remember that you “should” iron baby clothes front and back and reverse front and back?! You stopped ironing a year ago, and the baby is still alive. Coincidence?

Don’t buy a baby bath

A useless giant piece of plastic the baby will grow out of in a month. Your regular bath will be just fine for bathing the newborn. Also, don’t boil the water for the bath — it’s just another trick that doesn’t do anything for the baby but makes a mom’s life harder.

Don’t make everything squeaky clean

Do you remember how that turned out? When the baby started crawling, you were washing the floor every day, then every other day, later — once a week. When you first saw the baby licking the wheels of the stroller, you questioned the concept of washing anything at all. No, you’re not lazy! Think of it as a gym for Marcus’ immune system.

Don’t weigh your baby too often

This is just too stressful! You performed the weighing ritual way too often! I mean before and after feeding up to 5 times a day! Why? Just to know if the baby is eating enough? Honey, you’d notice that without weighing. If the baby is constantly crying, being fussy while eating and doesn’t gain any weight in a week or two — that’s a sign she’s not getting enough milk. So save yourself a couple of nerve cells and weigh the future baby at least once a week.

Think twice about the breastfeeding diet

It was painful. Limiting yourself in everything you like eating or drinking was probably the hardest thing about breastfeeding for you, wasn’t it? After the c-section, you had to stick to the diet which was basically water and biscuits. After that, there were only about a handful of items you allowed yourself to eat. I get it, with your family history of allergies, the baby could have easily inherited it. That’s why you avoided tomatoes, berries, beetroot, cabbage, grapes and so much more up until Marcus turned 6 moths old. But admit it, you were too precautious about the breastfeeding diet. Though sticking to the diet had one major upside — losing pregnancy weight quickly and maintaining the result, try not to be so food-paranoid with the next baby.

Take any help you can get

You are a Wonder Woman. You’ve conceived, grown and brought a human being to life, maybe even more than once. Now, try to relax. You don’t have to do everything yourself. Focus on the baby and let someone else do the housework. The baby doesn’t care if the dishes are done or if the floor is vacuumed and your husband is probably old enough to care for himself and older children.

Love,

Vita