A SURVIVAL KIT FOR THE REST OF US

When we were pregnant, we lived and died by the almighty list. There were lists for everything, coming at us from all directions. But being the task oriented, list-obsessed Virgos that we are – we secretly loved it.

We had lists of foods to eat for optimum fetus health, exercises to do for optimum prenatal fitness, and purchases to make for optimum preggo comfort.

Then, of course, there was the list of things to add to our registries, the list of things to bring to the hospital, the list of things that fancy babies need for survival (like $50 swaddling blankets and organic “orthodontist recommended” soothers), and the list of things we’d need to make it through the “fourth trimester” mostly unscathed.

But then, slowly, the lists stopped coming, until one day, they ceased completely.

How entirely strange it is that we put so much effort into making sure that new moms are prepped to the tits for the transition from maidenhood to motherhood, but once we’re well on our way into life avec bébé, everyone just kind of says, “OK, you’re good now; bye!”

Well, luckily, we’re not ‘everyone’ and we don’t plan on leaving you to navigate the turbulent waters of early motherhood alone; which is why we’re giving you the gift of – yep, you guessed it – ANOTHER LIST! And not just any list, a glorious list of all the things with which you should consider equipping yourself in order to make your first few years of parenting easy peasy lemon squeezy.

(Just kidding – they’ll be difficult, difficult, lemon difficult no matter what… but this should definitely help lessen the blow)

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THINGS YOU’LL NEED TO SURVIVE THE FIRST FEW YEARS OF MOTHERHOOD

  1. An absolutely insane amount of laundry detergent. Seriously, the sheer volume of dirty clothes that the addition of one tiny person creates will blow your mind over and over again for years to come. Don’t question it. Just accept it. And get a Costco membership.
  2. Picture frames. It sounds weird, but trust us. Load up. Buy them on sale. Do what you gotta do – but your kid will change so fast and will photograph so damn well that you’ll want to scatter their likeness throughout your entire house (we suggest printing these photos in black and white, though – if baby photos can be chic, why not make them so?)
  3. New bras. Like a hundred of them. Ok, fine, not 100, but definitely 2 nursing bras (in the proper size) if you’re breastfeeding and then at least 3 really pretty ones for after you’ve stopped nursing and your boobs have changed shape and size yet again – you deserve to look and feel like the goddess you are and a beautiful bra (in the right size) will help get you there. (Pro Tip: Go to a specialty boutique and get measured by a professional. It’ll change your life.)
  4. Panty liners. And not the period kind. Yes friends, pregnancy and childbirth put our pelvic floors through the ringer, and as a result, you may find that despite your best efforts, sneezing, coughing, or laughing really hard at a stupid Instagram meme may now result in some light bladder leakage (LBL). Remember that time when our pal Meg went out for a night on the town, only to realize (post-sneeze) that (in her own words), “leather leggings + pee = hot rubber pants of shame”? (click HERE to read the rest of the hilariously honest recap of her first “Mom’s Night Out”) Well ladies, the truth is that leaks happens to the best of us, so don’t waste your time getting embarrassed over it – just do yourself a favour and get the right stuff. Poise makes a whole boatload of pee-specific products from pads to liners to bladder supports that are designed to be super comfortable, super discreet, and are specifically designed to handle bladder leaks, unlike period-only maxis. Don’t let a little LBL action stop you from doing regular human being things – ain’t nobody got time for that.
  5. Tape. The clear, gift wrapping kind is ideal. Take it and put it all over all of the speakers on all your kids’ toys that spew that vile, high-pitched, robotic “music” (and mean “music” in the loosest possible sense of the word). The tape won’t mute it, but it will take the edge off… especially when that little angel of yours discovers the miracle of volume control. (#jesustakethewheel)  
  6. A cool backpack. Not a diaper bag. Diaper bags are fine for really little babies that require a plethora of small, sterilized things (including but not limited to bottles, soothers, and wash cloths). Sure, once you’re out of babydom and into toddlerhood, you’ll still need to cart some stuff around (change of clothes, snacks, random sticks and rocks picked up by you-know-who) but there’s no need for bells and whistles. Get something compact and easy to clean that matches the majority of your wardrobe and call that a day. (Bonus points if it looks great on dad too)
  7. Wine, wine and more wine. Cheap wine, expensive wine, box wine, morning wine, sexy-time wine, weekend wine – all of the wine. Newsflash: Young children are annoying. Sometimes, wine makes it better.
  8. Patience. You’ll need a lot of that as well. If you find somewhere to buy it, let me know – I’m usually running low.
  9. A good hard drive upon which you should back up your phone often. Toddlers have the grabbiest hands of life coupled with an uncanny ability to delete only the most important things off your phone. A hard drive is your key to peace of mind (technologically speaking, of course).
  10. A hobby. Seriously. If you’ve got a job you love then this one isn’t all that applicable; but if you don’t, then do yourself a solid and find some kind of passion project that feeds your soul and gives you something to redirect your energy to every now and then. Toddlers require a lot from you and in order to give them the amount love and attention they need, you’ll need to refill your energy stores as often as possible. (And yes, very very long showers count as a hobby. Desperate times, friends. Desperate times..)

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Featured image by Cuneyt Akeroglu for Vogue Turkey, October 2014.

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