A reader asks, “Hey GYST, any advice for a soon to be, first time mother?” Of course there is a more advice out than than may be helpful…but when it comes to getting your shit together on being a new parent..here are the top things that came to mind:
1) Put your own mask on first – they tell you that on the plane for a reason. A happy Mamma makes a happy family. Whatever that is – crossword puzzles or crossfit classes – make time for you and guard it like your life depends on it.
2) Get life insurance now. Like, as in yesterday.
3) Start putting 20% of your income into savings. As Suze Orman said, “Pay yourself first.”
4) Read Ron Lieber’s The Opposite of Spoiled.
5) Cut yourself some slack. A lot more than you might be comfortable with. Visualize deep, wide, luscious, green canyons full of patience and gratitude.
6) Don’t tell anyone the baby name(s) ahead of time. When you do, everyone has an opinion or says, “that’s the name of that kid who peed his pants at school in 3rd grade”. When you tell them after the baby is born, they will almost always say, “ohhhh, what a beautiful name.”
7) Write a will, living will, and power of attorney asap (the checklist makes it easy).
8) Spend your values, not your impulses. You can buy a ton of squishable-adorable onesies and plastic items that are supposed to make life easier. Fuck 98% of that stuff. Find solid advice and follow it.
9) Ask for help. Accept help. People will want to do stuff for you and it will make them happy to do so. Let them.
10) Enjoy every minute. Even when your boobs are leaking at the grocery store and your kid threatens to run away the first time (in-between the perfect moments) – it’s all of it, all the time, that makes a big, wonderful life.
And lastly, it would be un-wise not to encourage you to get your basic shit together. Scan the mac-daddy everything checklist, sign-up for GYST and do just one or two things a week.
Being a Mother was, and is, the hardest most awesome thing I’ve ever done. It is, in fact, what inspires me to get, and keep, my shit together.