Motherhood Do-Overs: 7 Things I’d Go Back and Change, If I Could
I’m sharing the ones I most regret to help you avoid them — or commiserate if you’ve already been there, oopsed that. 1. In retrospect, I realize that because I was so nervous about what to expect as a new mom, I was trying to impose some sense of order and control with a baby gear blowout. Which only made me feel more overwhelmed. Here’s the reality: It’s good to be prepared, but you don’t have to get every single baby item, especially stuff that you won’t need till a child is an older baby like toys and books. In other words, resist the wipes warmer. I read books. I had a breastfeeding consultant come to the house, watch me in action and give tips. But nothing helped. During my maternity leave, my husband would leave for work at 8:30 a.m. I’d barely move, except to eat and use the bathroom. In the end, you need to do what is right for you. 3. Letting the kids crash in our bed
There’s something snuggly and sweet about letting your toddler crash in your bed … for one night. The thing is, like bedbugs, once your child is there it’s very hard to get him out. A family bed in which the parents are not willing participants is a miserable situation; think twice before you ever let your tot in. 4. Giving up on photo albums
For the first several years of my children’s lives, I diligently created photo albums. Then life got in the way, and I stopped printing out photos or assembling them in any organized way. Now that my kids are older (9 and 11), I so love flipping through this early albums, and wish I hadn’t stopped. I may get around to creating some more … when I’m retired. 5. Many, many stuffed animals. In my kids’ early years, we acquired a virtual menagerie that threatened to take over our home. I finally hung up some netting in the corners of the playroom, where the animals stayed for years, doing nothing more than gathering dust until we finally gave them away. A couple of teddy bears and cuddly critters: fine. Just say no. 6. Creating a balanced homework division
From the get-go, my husband and I both changed diapers, fed the kids and gave them baths. But it gets more intense over the years, and you need all hands on deck—including the hands belonging to a partner who assumes that you are going to be the one to do it because you are the one who has been doing it. Avoid this trap; divvy up homework help early on in your kids’ school lives. Always cleaning up after the kids
My daughter’s room tends to resemble a demo site. My son leaves toy fire trucks smack in the middle of the kitchen floor. Do not be this mom; as soon as your little ones are old enough to clean up, encourage them to do so.