1. ADVICE. Everyone from your in-laws to strangers wearing tea-cosies on their heads will offer you advice on raising your baby whether or not you ask for it or even acknowledge their existence. Just nod politely and then do whatever the hell you want. They’ve had their chance to stuff up a kid, now it’s your turn.
2. NURSERY. Don’t base your nursery design on the ones you see in movies. Here’s the thing, and I want you sitting down for this because it may come as a bit of a shock: movies aren’t real. Here’s another thing: they have budgets in the millions. You don’t. There’s a lot of stuff you can buy which, quite frankly, you don’t need. Bassinets look great in photos but aren’t necessary for a baby to sleep in: use the cot. My mum slept in a drawer when she was brought home from the hospital and she’s mostly fine. A bed makes for a great change table – but change nappies on your partner’s side, just in case there’s leakage. And as for baby baths, just use a flat plug for the laundry tub until you’re happy using your actual bath. All the trimmings won’t make you a better parent, won’t make your baby any happier and won’t make the whole experience more enjoyable, it will just put an unnecessary strain on your purse strings, vastly diminishing your alcohol budget. Plus a cluttered nursery just means more stubbed toes.
3. NAMES. Who cares if one of your friends has a kid with the same name you like? I’ve seen friendships ruined because someone ‘stole a name’. Are they worried it’ll be so confusing their kid will go home with the wrong parent? When I was in Brisbane I knew best friends with the same first name – Jess. No one ever confused them because they had different faces, personalities and surnames. Oh, and only one was a girl. The thing is, most kids will hate their name at some point anyway, so don’t over think it and don’t be turned off by what names other people like or are calling their kids. Call your baby whatever the hell you want. Afterall, you’ll be the one yelling it.
4. NAPPIES. Cloth nappies are the equivalent of trying to generate your own electricity using rubber soled shoes and a rug – it all sounds nice on paper but in my experience the reality is there wasn’t enough time in a day. I tried cloth nappies with my oldest. My wife couldn’t understand why she needed to buy another pack of twelve every couple of weeks. I knew why. If my son did a poo I’d just throw the whole mess in the bin. I don’t know the mechanics of what happens to the milk to make it come out the other end so nasty, but I want as little to do with it as possible. Go disposable – trust me, your life will be shitty enough.
5. CHORES. It is never too early to begin chore training – let’s start out as we mean to continue. I don’t mean with your bub, of course. When you bring your baby home from the hospital have your husband changing nappies, making bottles and extracting burps from the get go. If you don’t you may find yourself charged with all kid related duties until the little buggers finally leave home on their European gap year. Yes, I know their cuteness is unprecedented in the history of mankind and no one in the world is capable of satisfactorily wiping poo off their bum like their mum, but you’ve got to think ‘big picture’ here. Hog the baby at your own peril.
6. SIX. Men will be counting down the six weeks from when you have a baby. Why? Don’t pretend like you don’t know: you were there when the doctor said it. If your little bundle was born at 2 in the morning, you can expect a tap on the shoulder in the wee hours exactly 42 days after that joyous event. Your big hunka spunk really loves you, sure, but part of his logic for settling down was the idea of having sex on tap for the rest of his life. Well he’s been sitting on a bar-stool at the pub with no beer for a month and a half now, and the man is thirsty! Yes, we’re fickle and shallow and perker-lead – but that’s why you love us. Of course, doctors cause a lot of these arguments with their ‘you can have sex in six weeks’ pronouncement. There’d be less marital strain if they used a more accurate measure for when the sex tap will be turned on again. Something like, ‘once the baby is sleeping through, when teething is finished, after your wife is back to a size 10, once you’ve helped with the dishes and if she ever again has the urge.’ Then both parties would know where they stand.
7. CLOTHES. When people offer you bags of their kids clothes, ALWAYS take them. It’s not being cheap, it’s recycling. Given how quick the little buggers grow out of their clothes, it’s also common sense. Of course, you don’t have to use it all. Pick out any nice stuff from the bag of clothes and pass the rest on to someone else. Most importantly, the money you save using hand me down clothes can pay for more and better alcohol. And don’t kid yourself, you will be needing alcohol, that’s why I keep bringing it up.
8. BABYSITTING. There’s a prevailing opinion which says using the telly as a baby sitter is bad parenting. Poppycock. Teaching kids to ‘roll their own’ and blow smoke rings is bad parenting. Turning Sesame Street on and sticking your kid in front of the tube so you can have a quiet cuppa or go to the loo is like a sanity booster shot. But it doesn’t need to stop there – you could conceivably use the tellysitter for housekeeping, cooking dinner, gardening, afternoon drinks with the girls and naps. On a not entirely unrelated topic, we have perhaps the most extensive collection of kid’s movies outside of Netflix.
9. MILESTONES. Kids develop at their own pace. While the rumours Einstein didn’t talk until he was four aren’t true, doctors were genuinely concerned he was mentally challenged. As we all know, it ended up the challenge was for all of us to keep up with him mentally. The point is, if your baby hasn’t rolled at 4 months don’t necessarily book a doctor’s appointment. Don’t worry too much about your bub hitting those milestones – just watch and be amazed when they get there under their own steam, whenever that is. Having the only one year old who isn’t walking at your mother’s group doesn’t mean your kid is the dumbest. I have a 25 year old son who still can’t seem to make his own bed – and he’s been to university!
10. MEDICINE. Don’t wait until your child is cutting a tooth at midnight to stock your fridge with drugs. Kids have a habit of reaching their pain threshold within minutes of the local chemist closing for the weekend. Always have a good supply of kiddy painkillers and teething gels on hand. And Phenergan. Babies can’t have the Phenergan until they’re two, but then it’s not just for children, is it? Heads up – if you’re struggling with point number 6 (SIX) above, well, if a little was stirred into his cup of tea before bed the randy bugger probably wouldn’t even notice. Just saying 😉
Raising a family on little more than laughs
– this post is not sponsored or gifted –
I just passed this over for my partner to read. My third, his first and he is totally in Dad-to-be mode. He was most interested in #6…
Lol well said. I always have to smile when pregnant women say things like… Oh we are going to co sleep our baby, or we will not smack our child cos….. Insert rediculous over thought reason now. As a rule my friends who have told me these things in pregnancy are the ones on the phone a couple years down the track ranting about how they just wish their kids would stay in their own bed, or how they git a weird look at the shop for tapping their tantrumming two yr old on the backside. Love ur posts 🙂
It is great to see a dad having such a great input it is nice to know what goes on in the male mind at times regarding family matters it is nice to have such a down to earth view on family topics keep it up will be watching with interest.
WOOT WOOT well said!!
I read your blog on SAHM app, loved it!! Couldn’t stop laughing and advice was great. Wish I read this before I had four kids. Look forward to more of your blogs
Haha fantastic! As a new mum with a 13 day old boy I needed this. 🙂
Ha ha. Good to know. My wife and I are trying to have a baby. Can’t wait for all the unsolicited advice!
This is the second time I have read this and it still cracks me up. Too funny and too true.
thanks 🙂 it’s one of my favs as well
Number 10 = Soooo true!!!
I hope you mean about chemists closing just as you need them and not drugging your husband lol
I’d like to thank the academy…
Hilarious! I agree with all of your advice, well except maybe for the tongue in cheek drinking references. 🙂 as a Mom of two I can say that your top 10 are very accurate. I’d add an #11: Be prepared for surprises. Most of us well meaning moms go into this doing all kinds of research, reading every parenting book on the market and expecting a certain type of life with the little one (this is where you cloth diapers section fits) but the reality is our little ones don’t always fit into the mold we expect and we have to adapt. Each child has brought her own unique challenges too. I thought I was an expert after #1, but then #2 was born and proved me wrong. Ha ha!
If having seven kids has taught me anything, it’s how kids are like snowflakes – no two are exactly the same. In fact, Tracey and I are always amazed when any two are in some way similar.
ok I’m sending THIS to my sister, she’s just had her first
Congrats to your sister, Em 🙂 The main point is the first one – she gets that one right she’s home and hosed 🙂
Haha, love it! Except I am a cloth nappy fan….after 3 in disposables, I found the MCN’s way better. But in my job, I’m used to poo. Breastfed baby poo is far nicer than adult/granny poo. Believe me.
I’m so very happy to let you do the research on that 😉
But so true!!!! lol
This is beyond awesome!!!!
Cheers!! 🙂 🙂 🙂
I love this. So well put, especially coming from a male that’s been there and done that and might actually get through to a new dad.
I recall laughing when a new dad to be told me that he couldn’t wait for the impending birth of his child so that he could get some sleep. I pointed out that most babies don’t sleep all that well, and it’s likely to disturb his rest.
As for the cloth/disposable debate… do what works for you. I used cloth for my eldest, as he had to wear kite nappies, so no choice. But with my twins, I figured that I had enough washing to do, and being on tank water, the cost of importing water was higher than the cost of disposable nappies. All of my children managed to poop and pee in whatever kind of nappy they had on, so either one works.
And sex, will happen when it happens. It truly depends on the damage done on the way out. My eldest shredded me and it was well over a year before I could have pain free sex, but having planned c-sections with my twins meant that I didn’t have the same aversion and damage to navigate.
The most important thing, is to know that you are the parents of this child because YOU are what they need. And whatever choices you make, are the ones that are needed. Follow your gut instincts, and do what feels right. And to hell with the rest of the world.
Here here, Naomi 🙂
Pretty funny! And all of it is absolute truth!
It’s in there alright 🙂
Great post Bruce. The 11th point is not to go out an buy the high chair and subsequent items until you know you will need them. The Target mid year baby sales aren’t that great and you may find someone will pass a high chair to you at the time you need it. And the 12th absolute rule is that All Rules go out the window after 10pm. If you find the only way to get the baby to sleep that night is to hold it tight – do it. Tomorrow is a brand new day.
Absolutely brilliant. As a mother of four you’ve just confirmed what I’ve learned over the years…. incidentally having put into practice the above I’m enjoying motherhood now more than ever and I daresay the kidlets are enjoying me more too!