15 Parenting Tips You Won’t Hear at Baby Showers

Best. Invention. Ever.

You know how at baby showers you’re often asked to put down your best parenting advice for the new mom-to-be? We all put down really lame stuff like “Sleep when the baby sleeps” and “Take lots of photos!” Cut the crap, people. Let’s get real with these friends. Here are some pearls of wisdom that new parents and, in particular, moms can actually use:

  1. Do not—under any circumstance—smell your kids’ clothes to see if they are dirty, particularly if they’re boys. If there is any doubt, throw them in the hamper.
  2. If it works for you and your family, do it. Don’t let your great Aunt Agnes tell you that you’re doing it wrong. She’s probably senile anyway.
  3. At some point in your life, you’ll be offered unsolicited advice from a stranger (or fifty of them). You’ll be at the airport on a four-hour layover in Chicago not knowing your child has a double ear infection and someone will come up to you and tell you that you should take your baby out and hold him instead of just pushing him in the stroller. Oh, sorry, that one got a little personal for a second. But it will happen, and you just have to know that you have every right to tell that person to kiss your overtired ass.
  4. If your child unknowingly stumbles upon Caillou while channel surfing one day, initiate a threat level orange distraction status. Throw something at him if you need to (something soft, of course). Do not let him be reeled in by the whiny siren of that bald Canadian bastard.
  5. You think you’re going to love play dates. YOU WILL NOT. They are an unfortunate reality of parenthood, but there is hope. You can heavily influence who your child likes and who he doesn’t. Do not be afraid to send subliminal messages or, if need be, blatant “HELL NO’s” when it comes to the kid who tells you your car stinks every time he gets in. Punk ass.
  6. Do not be lulled into the reasonable price and delightful colors of Play-Doh. You and your furniture have been warned.
  7. Travel as much as possible when your baby is nursing. Baby crying? Open mouth, insert boob. Problem solved.
  8. When you’ve reached the end of your day and the “Terrible Twos” (or Rotten Threes or whatever it may be) have made you feel like the worst parent in the world, remember one thing: It’s just a phase. It really is.
  9. When it comes to the “Cry it Out” method of sleep training, do what makes you comfortable. Can’t do it? That’s fine! Want to give it a go because you feel like you’re a walking zombie? Go for it! I’ll say it again: If it works for you, it works. Of course, if you’re up late nursing one night and you want to see some ladies lose their ever loving minds, read the comments on an article on this very topic. Don’t forget to pop some popcorn.
  10. Find a good babysitter EARLY and use her OFTEN. Of course, you need to be comfortable with this person to actually enjoy yourself but you need time away so as not to poke your own eyeballs out with a baby spoon.
  11. See number 10. Do not SHARE your babysitter’s number. Totally serious on this one.
  12. Don’t spend your money on baby shoes. They’ll honestly get more use hanging from your rearview mirror.
  13. Target and Costco are laxatives for kids. Make sure yours go to the bathroom as soon as they enter and, even then, it’s highly likely they’ll still have to go “number two” when you’re in the farthest corner of the store. Godspeed.
  14. At some point, you will be tempted to “pop in” one of your stores, whether it be Anthropologie or Nordstrom, with your children. “Just for a quick second,” you think. Unless you like to play peek-a-boo with your kids who have taken up residency among the hangars as people point, stare, glare, eyeroll, or possibly permanently ban you from the establishment, do not try this.
  15. Do not judge your parenting progress by what you see on Facebook, lest you want to end up ugly crying in your pantry as you pile-drive fistfuls of kettlecorn into your mouth. It’s all a façade.
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