Thursday, July 29, 2010
International Mom tips for the new Mom
My husband's cousin is having a baby the middle of August. As a part of her baby shower, her friends are asking for tips from friends and family to give her as a surprise. The kicker is that she is Brazilian living in Australia. Her Mother asked me to participate because I'm also an international Mother and family member. I started writing and found these tips kind of funny. I thought I'd share. I'd also love it if you'd add to the list!
International Mom tips:
You may feel like you are so ready for your parents to go home after the birth. It's been months for goodness sake and it's time for you and your new family to get into it's own rhythm. That's true and it's all well and good but be prepared. You will cry. Those damn pregnancy hormones. I was never one to cry for my Mommy but I sure did when she left me alone with a tiny baby. And it lasted for about the first year. It's ok. Once you have one, you get your Mom better and it just makes you all the more attached.
It gets easier every time your family leaves or you leave them. Keep in mind it works progressively so it's pretty hard in the beginning.
Get your baby a passport and use it. Don't be nervous but be prepared. Kids will travel as calmly as the parents let them. If you aren't nervous, they won't be.
You don't need to bring every baby gadget you have when you visit Rio. We have man power to replace the technology.
Don't expect your baby to ever be put down when you are visiting your family. Especially when you are visiting YOUR family! So many people and everyone will want a turn with the little one.
Only speak in Portuguese to your kid. English will be a given. It is a part of every day life. Portuguese will be the exception. Make your home a Portuguese one.
Have your Mom/Dad/Friends bring you all the cool cartoons in Portuguese. Yes, Baby Einstein and Backyardagians are available.
Have your own traditions and bring your culture there. My boys have an American Christmas Morning with breakfast, presents, and stockings. I don't care if they were up partying until 1am and have a lunch later in the day. They don't either. It's our tradition and we love it.
Find a good international phone card or long distance carrier. It makes it a lot easier to call Mom at 4am to ask about the mucus poop diaper, when you know it's not costing you upwards of $1000. I know you'll have a pediatrician but they aren't your mother.
Here are some regular Mom tips:
Sunday brunch with friends is a great way to see other people and still be in a kid friendly environment. Make it a pot luck and have everyone take turns having it at their place.
A bedtime routine is priceless. Mine is bath, book, teeth, bed. For older kids: bath, quiet play or movie, book, teeth, bed. It makes bedtime a known thing. It also makes going to bed while traveling much easier. The familiar is something babies and kids love.
Have sex with your husband. You may not feel like it but you will be glad you did afterwards. Keep in mind that the "required" trying is only good once a week. The rest of the time you have to be in the mood or they have to get you there.
If you aren't in the mood have a glass of wine. Hell, have 1 glass of wine a night. Oprah says it's healthy, so it must be.
On a really hard day, have 2 glasses.
There will be really hard days. This does not mean you are a bad Mom. You rock! Babies, like adults, have bad days. It is what it is.
When your kid doesn't sleep don't worry about it. You'll survive. Everyone else did. It does make me feel better to imagine the day my boys are about 13 years old. I plan to go into their room around 3 am and wake them up just because I miss them and want to cuddle. I doubt I will but it makes me smile just thinking about it.
And remember, it's your baby. No one knows your baby better than you! If you think there is something wrong, don't hesitate to harass whomever you have to to make it better! And for the same reasons, you don't have to follow everyone's advice. Do what you know is right for you and yours.