The biggest lessons I learned in my first year as a parent

what i learned in my first year as a parent

Today, Arlene turns one.

As any parent can attest, that first birthday comes with a tsunami of emotions.

Accomplishment: You made it a full year!
Bewilderment: Wait… how has it been a year?
Dread: Only 17 more of these and she’s out of the house?!
Panic: What if she fails to launch?

As I compare the photos of Arlene’s first day on earth to what she looks like today, I can’t believe just 365 days separate that skinny alien baby from my current chubby, funny munchkin. But honestly, some days I can’t tell who’s grown more– Arlene or me. With that said, here’s the biggest lessons I learned in my first year of parenthood.

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You know zero about being a parent until you are one.

Read all the books you like, listen to every podcast, have yourself a 3 Men and a Baby/3 Men and a Little Read more

I tried THINX and the DivaCup. Here’s what happened.

I tried THINX and the DivaCup. Here's what happened.

 

Is that?

 

It can’t be.

 

But I’m still breastfeeding!

 

My period returned 11 months after baby #1.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my 20 period-free months. No cramps, no PMS, no period-related acne, no ruined underwear. All I had to do was get pregnant! (and essentially experience all of those same period symptoms, but this time, I also gained a bunch of weight and grew a baby!).

Since birthing a babe, I’m less self-conscious about my body and feel more confident than ever. Or maybe it’s just that after a complete stranger assists you out of surgical-grade mesh underwear and/or manually milks your engorged breast, you just stop giving a rip.

Anyhow, with my new-found appreciation for my womanliness, I decided to ditch my old-school period tactics and try two alternative approaches: THINX and the DivaCup. Here’s what happened.

* * *

THINX

 

What they are: Period proof underwear that can replace … Read more

A Practical Baby Registry for New Parents

Hey Eleanor's Practical Baby registry

Overwhelmed with registering for your baby? Welcome to the club.

Before I had Arlene, I’d literally changed a diaper once. I knew nothing about babies, and all these gizmos and gadgets left my head spinning. Do I need the jogging stroller and an umbrella stroller and a snap-and-go and and and and…. waaaaaahhhhhh! What in the hell is all this stuff?

In my 10 months as a mom, I’ve learned that you just need a core set of items to start with. We live in a small-ish space and I don’t like heaps of crap, so I’ve tried to not overdo it on baby stuff.

Once your baby is here, you’ll be working with A LOT more information. That’s when you may realize that you actually DO need the $400 Mamaroo (and will be willing to pay for it if it’s the only thing that will keep your baby … Read more

The Truth About Breastfeeding, Sleep and Babies

The Truth About Breastfeeding, Sleep and Babies

My brother and I are both new parents. Recently, we had the following exchange:

Brother: How’s sleep going?
Me: Great, actually. She’s sleeping through the night mostly.
Brother: Jump off a bridge.

I didn’t take it personally. Nearly a year after the birth of their first baby, nights were still terrible. You know, the specific kind of hell that only a newborn baby can unleash. You’d be a raging, cranky shell of a human if you never slept more than four consecutive hours for a year.

I’M GRATEFUL THAT MY BABY IS A SLEEPER.

I’m reluctant to say this, but Arlene first slept through the night (aka six hours in a row) at five weeks old. I know. I KNOW! It wasn’t every night, and we’ve had a few sleep regressions. If I were him, I’d tell me to jump of a bridge, too.

But here’s the thing: Even though … Read more

How to Have a Fun Weekend in Boston

History, good food, cool walking tours and cannoli... what's not to like about Boston? Here's how we spent a fun weekend in Beantown (with a baby in tow!).

I NEVER USED TO SAY NO TO A COOL TRAVEL OPPORTUNITY.

But when my husband asked if I wanted to meet up with him on a work trip to Boston, I hesitated. It meant flying by myself with a 5 month old baby, and then traveling with said baby. How much would that change the dynamic of our trip? Would it be so stressful and exhausting that I’d wish we’d just stayed home?

Ultimately, I decided to go.

I figured Boston would be a great place to travel with a baby. It’s compact, walkable, plus people seem to be really family-oriented based on what I’ve seem of Bostonians in the movies. ALWAYS a good way to judge people and places, right? I mean, Mark Wahlburg is from Boston, and he’s all about “saying hi to your mother for me.”

We ended up having a great time, and are so … Read more