i've been counting down since last Dec 26 ... are you ready? me neither!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

advice? ... ummm ...

andy and i went to meet jack and visit with the nedry's tonight. we talked about his slightly traumatic entrance and his miraculous beginnings. he is a trooper and is giving his mommy and daddy a much needed breather by sleeping 5-6 hours in the night. he is sturdy, alert and does NOT like getting his diaper changed! i just love new babies! they still smell like heaven! emily and brian are doing great, they are fantastic people and are shaping up to be even better parents!
brian blind-sided us with a question that i'm still mulling over and wish i had answered anything better than the quick cliche-ish one i gave ...
"what is andy and emily shaw's best parenting advice? as parents of 4 you must have some advice you can share ... "
andy blurted, "do your share ..." speaking mostly to brian. [do you think i have damaged him?]
i looked at andy and said, "advice? ... ummm ... " then said something so trite and corny like 'cherish each stage because they come and go so fast.'
in all honesty it's true ... those cliche-ish sing-songy dorky lines that you read in cards and hear in country songs hit the nail on the head - but they are NOT what you want to hear when you ask for advice.
i think i was mostly surprised by the question, when we were driving away i said, "are we really that old?? that people are asking for our advice!?!?"
andy, in all his wisdom and charm, said "we have 4 kids ... but we're young! we have the experience to reference but we're not old!" [good answer, honey!]

so i want to redeem myself - i do have advice to share ... but i wanted to sit down while i'm thinking about it and share what i've learned that may or may not help new mommies (there seem to be quite a few that i know).

1) you're the mom and you know best. pediatricians, lacticians, new grandmas and friends with children know quite a bit and can share helpful hints, medical knowledge and what works for them ... but in the end 'the mom' is the boss of that darling little baby and what you say goes.
2) sometimes all you can do is cry too. when you've fed, bathed, changed, held, loved, walked, bounced, patted, rubbed and are at your wits end ... if you can't stop the crying it's ok to join in. sometimes it helps to have a good cry.
3) you don't have to do anything else but take care of the baby and yourself ... for at least the first month. when you have that part down, you feel like you can face the world. don't push it - take it as slow as you need. toilets can be cleaned by dads, dishes can be washed by dads, windows don't really need to be spotless, and laundry by definition is never done [because what are you wearing?? potential laundry]. these are also things that can be put on a list and when you have people over and they say "how can we help you??" you can say "i just happen to have a running list ... " put people to work, that's why we offer!!
4) take a break when you need it! there are several people that would be more than happy to come over and hold that sweet baby for you while you go the the store, get a jamba juice or take a walk. it's ok to call your visiting teacher, friend, mom, mother-in-law, ME to come over for an hour so that you can have a breather!
5) the scriptures say 'and it came to pass' not 'and it came to stay' ... this stage is going to pass - they won't always poop up their backs and out their leg holes irreparably staining everything. someday they'll be driving you crazy with all the talking and running and 'mom, mom, mom, mom'-ing. and like the new country song says, "you're gonna miss this, you're gonna want this back ... "
6) dads are handy for just about everything - they don't know what they are supposed to be doing ... tell them.

there's more - possibly much more where these 6 came from ... but i will spare you all. know this: i have learned these truths from the best granny on the planet [my mom] - she never actually said any of this in so many words but helped me to learn them when i was a new mommy! good luck - enjoy ... and seriously - call me when if i can help!

and one more thing ... remember that you don't have to do it all! cut yourself some slack!! it took me a LONG time to figure that out ... kids only remember the good times, things you do together and family fun. you're doing GREAT!


Jenefer Reudter said...

So, Emily, according to your advice (which is VERY TRUE)...I can call on you to come over (down) for a couple hours and hold our baby (PHEBE) while I go get a Jamba Juice or get out of the house?? You better get your airplane tickets! I'd call you OFTEN!

Thanks for sharing your advice! I remember a lot of the same things and would probably give out the same advice you did, especially the one about MOM KNOWS BEST! Even after the dr, grandmas, neighbors and etc...say their three bits, it's MY GUT that prevails!

Hope you guys have a great EASTER! Love you all!

Super Angie said...

I remember YOUR advice to me: if the baby is crying, just think--they're just breathing!

This advice actually helped me a lot and with this third baby, I have used it a lot...its okay for Tanith to just lay in bed and cry. :) And its okay for me to do so too!!!

Happy Easter my friend!

Kedra Simpson said...

I love the advice and it is so true!!! By no means are you old but you are a wonderful mother of 4! One day I want to be just like you :)

Kristen said...

Love the advice. You "hit the nail on the head". I know the pressure of Brian's question...he asked me the same one.

kiley madison said...

ok, i kinda skimmed this, but that song... "you're gunna miss this"
i totally bawled the first time i heard it on the radio...
definitely gunna play that at my wedding...