This week I went to a birthday party with a LOT of children in attendance. In addition to all the toddlers running around, it seemed that every mom was also holding an infant in her arms. And since my child refused to participate in any activities (Me: "They're asking all the kids to go over there and play a game." Kiddo: "Not. Happening."), I had a lot of time to sit in the corner and contemplate even more First-Time Mom Mistakes...
1) I don't know if your gyno rocks as much as mine does (read: is a Rico Suave Italian type, whose cologne you can smell coming down the hospital corridors, and who says things like "You gained 4 pounds in 1 week? You're gorgeous, babe!"), but if he offers you an Ambien the night after giving birth, say YES PLEASE. Put that baby in the nursery (you are, after all, paying $50,000 for this "glorious" experience) and enjoy the last night of uninterrupted sleep you will ever have. Because post-baby? Recreational drug-use is frowned upon.
2) While it takes the skill of a Mathlete to figure out how to leave the house with a baby, there are certain places you should not go. Number one with a bullet? A restaurant. I once spent an entire (expensive) meal standing next to the table because my infant would only be content if I was swaying back and forth. (Luckily, the pretty pink drinks I ordered helped with the whole swaying thing.) And I dare you to try to keep a child under age 2 contained in a booth. When your child bolts from the table, runs into a server with a tray full of drinks, and then screams in delight upon finding a silverware tray to dump on the floor? Well, they don't make a Hallmark card for that kind of disaster.
3) This one is important: do not worry what the Other Moms are doing. If your baby is alive, healthy, and adores you, you are doing everything right. When my kid refused to sleep the "correct" way (on his back), I broke down and put him to sleep on his belly. (Not-sleeping for 3 straight months will make you ten-kinds of crazy. I shouldn't have been allowed to operate a vehicle or heavy machinery, but there I was in charge of another human being.) Also, make sure you know your audience before you discuss your Mommy Methods. For example, shortly after birth, one mom asked me how healthy my diet was when I was pregnant. Here's a tip: find out if she is a Dr. Spock-reading vegan before telling her about your caffeine-loving, lunchmeat-eating, third-trimester-wine-drinking self.
Remember, no Cool Mom is perfect. Any mistakes only make you a better mom the second time around. (Not that I know anything about the whole 'second time' thing, but I like to think that I would be more Julie Andrews and less Roseanne Barr.) So next time you see a mom chasing her toddler around a restaurant? Send her a pretty pink drink in solidarity.