Be friendly or invisible. When you leave the house, there will always be at least one person to come up to you and ask you about your baby. Now, I may be a little biased, but my baby is super cute. She has big beautiful eyes and was born with a full head of dark hair, she is kind of a hair ball. People, mostly strangers, really love to come up to her and comment on her eyes and hair and usually they ask how old she is, what her name is, etc. Sometimes I end up talking to strangers for 10 minutes, swapping mom stories or just chit-chatting about the weather (So Canadian!). Usually I am fine with this, because I LOVE to talk, except when I am in a cranky mood. So developing good excuses (easy with a baby) is a must if the people dodge your other trying-to-be-invisible tactics. My main "invisibility" tactics - no eye-contact, sunglasses, a hood/hat and walking as fast as my little legs can go.
Babies make everything better. I'd say that 98% of the population, no matter how bad their day is going or how cranky they are, will smile at a baby (unless you are on a plane with a crying baby, then that percentage drops dramatically). People are drawn to the innocence of babies. They feel safe because babies don't judge. Even if they did judge us, it would still be cute.
Baby toes are the cutest appendages on Earth. Seriously. Have you seen baby toes? They are the most adorable, most gobble-able, wiggly, little things ever.
Nothing goes as planned. I'm a planner, so this one was a hard lesson for me. Of course I knew that my schedule would be different after having a baby, but I thought that I could just factor in a bit of extra time, a couple extra things to pack, then good to go. Wrong! Sometimes, I don't even make it out of the house and other times when I do make it out of the house I will realize that I forgot something (usually for myself, such as lunch or water or my sunglasses) half way to my destination. I have had to come to the realization that my expectations need to be slim to none otherwise it will throw me off emotionally. Before I had a baby, if things didn't go as planned, it would completely throw me off sometimes to the point of tears. Now I have realized that for my own well-being and my daughter's well-being, I need to limit my plans. This way, when I actually get my butt in gear and clean the house, I feel very accomplished!
How to take (sometimes ridiculous) advice. mothers get advice from all avenues of life; friends, family, co-workers and even strangers. Sometimes this advice is absolutely insane or extremely old fashioned (such as putting your child in an ice bath to bring their fever down - ummm no thanks). Occasionally, you may have to politely tell that crazy person to stick it where the sun don't shine. Learning to keep my cool while saying "I appreciate your concern, but my baby doesn't need a shot of whiskey to help relieve her teething pain," or "I will certainly bring that up with my doctor the next time I have an appointment," has been difficult, but rewarding. I know what is best for my baby and if I am unsure I will ask someone who is qualified to give advice in that particular topic.
Babies are the best excuse. House a disaster? Don't want to go to that family event? "Oh gosh, Sloan is sick and we were up all night, I don't think we will be able to make it." Best. Excuse. Ever.
Mommy-brain exists. Even though I use it as an excuse for a lot of things, mommy-brain is a legit mom-thing.
How to have a quick shower. Long showers were my guilty pleasure. Now I'm lucky if I get the suds rinsed out of my hair before my daughter starts hollering at
Baby teeth and nails are sharp. Nursing a teething baby sucks. My nipple is not your chew toy.
Why are babies born with little razor blades as finger/toe nails? When I'm finished nursing Sloan, it looks like I was fighting Freddy Kruger.
There are so many other lessons my daughter has taught me and I know the lesson plan is far from over, but acknowledging them in writing will ensure that mommy-brain won't erase these wonderful lessons.