Blue field like crop rows and burgundy border, saying "Don't Just Survive - Thrive
Me screaming in front of a huge playground slide

Surviving Early Childhood if Modern Motherhood isn’t Your Calling

I pride myself on doing things a little differently, on doing things that give me joy when it might embarrass someone else. So when I found out I was pregnant with twins, I was pretty excited because it was gonna be a little different.

But I also . . . wasn’t excited about the basic experience of US motherhood. And if you’re not, either, here’s my advice for surviving that first year.

  1. Go to the birth classes. The person that teaches them is probably really progressive and the idea of a birth plan and gentle music sounds good but . . .
  2. Just assume that the moment you became pregnant, your body is not your own. Your whole job is to provide the world with a new baby – alive. All your feelings won’t matter, all that careful planning will fall apart if anything is not going just perfectly and . . .
  3. If you hang on too tight to whatever that experience is supposed to be, you’re for sure going to end up with some post partum depression and PTSD. I’m not a PhD in psychology or a licenced therapist, but I’ve seen this play out way too many times.
  4. In fact, if you have a history of anxiety or depression, go see a psychiatrist WHILE you’re pregnant and be prepared for if you need some medicine and get on that medicine as soon as you feel like you’re drowning. You’re drowning, but you can’t go relax and take a bubble bath because that baby will be screaming and you will either be in pain because nursing hurts, or you’ll be angsting not breastfeeding, or your boobs will be shooting milk all over you while you attempt to feel normal. Drugs, in this case, are good.
  5. The reason I told you to go to the birth classes, EVEN IF YOU KNOW ALL THE THINGS, is (a) they teach you how to swaddle, which is key and (b) pick some parents that are cool in there because their kids will be going to school and activities with yours and you will not be rid of them ever, ever, ever, so figure out who they are now.
  6. And then you will find out that having a baby is LONELY when people stop visiting and helping you – and they will. Right around when they stop sleeping so much you can still go out and feel like you got this (for me, that was about four months in). Those parent participation people will be your lifeline because you can sit there at a play date and just be familiarly exhausted together. Your friends with older kids can’t do it because their kids will be bored by your floppy, drooly thing.
  7. You will want to talk about each new thing with EVERYONE. You will be tempted to join mom groups. If you were not in every hobby group already, do not assume this is a utopia of support. Moms are like REALLY sure their way is the only way, and those who aren’t sure end up as minions for the sure ones.
  8. I’d say pick a parenting style and find a group like that but JOKE’S ON YOU, the kid picks the parenting style and you probably won’t have them reading early or doing cartwheels or potty trained at four months.
  9. Also, you don’t need all the stuff. Your kids will probably hate it all. Don’t waste money on your baby unless you are sure it will bring you great joy. A diaper genie is one of those things.
  10. Babies 100% have manuals. Here’s what I send to every pregnant mom who lets me: Kristin’s Amazon Expecting List
  11. Also, there was this app that made us survive that first year: WonderWeeks
  12. PokemonGo for that endless strollering. Catch em all, fight with teenagers in arenas. Be someone else in your head for a while.
  13. Your baby will probably roll off something – they will survive, probably.
  14. Learn how to do the wraps – way more comfy than the little packs, even if you got two.

    That’s it for now. ENJOY. IT WILL BE FUN.