As promised, this is part II in an unknown-part series. Again, these are my opinions and observations only.
Things Moms Need, II
1) Diaper rash cream.
Specifically, I recommend Weleda Calendula Diaper Care cream. It is more expensive than other diaper rash creams, but I promise this is superior. After my little Peanut had a horrible rash, we tried a different brand of diapers and creams from Aveeno, Burt's Bees, Johnson & Johnson, Butt Paste, etc and none of them helped. We used the Weleda cream after every diaper change for ONE DAY and it was gone. Trust me, you need this miracle cream. I think I'm going to order about 10 more tubes of this stuff . . .
2) A Confidant.
There is nothing I love more than being a mom, and there's nothing that's more helpful than having a friend/relative who is also a mom to cry to when you feel overwhelmed or to smile with when you've had a great day. It's most helpful if said confidant has a child the same age as yours or fewer than 5 years older. These are the same people that can give you a head's up on the best brands of things to buy, coupons, etc. (Thanks, Kristi!!)
3) A Dog.
If nothing else, a dog is good training to be a mom. It's not the same by any stretch of the imagination--dogs can be left alone for a few hours, babies can't. (It's so sad that I have to say that, but after reading the news, apparently it's not common knowledge.) It is, however, preparing you to take care of another being, no matter how exhausted you are. Our dog gets up to pee and barks all night. Our son pees/poops all night and cries all night. It's nice they have each other.
4) Chocolate Covered Strawberries.
A comfort food that also helps to increase breast milk supply? What could be better???? (Something I learned from my continuing education class yesterday!)
5) A Hobby.
Sounds strange, I know. I don't care what the hobby is--shopping, sewing, painting, scrap-booking, playing an instrument, talking, exercising, etc.--but you need one. I will never say that caring for a newborn is anything BUT a full-time job. I eat, sleep and breathe my baby Nathan. However, that being said, it is nice to have something you can relax with that's just for you. I'm still not 100% sure what mine is . . . I used to love taking walks, but that's an ordeal now and I haven't figured out how to control an insane mutt AND a stroller. It's just nice to have something that makes you feel like you're still (partially) you.
6) An Adequate Amount of Maternity Leave
If you are fortunate enough to be a stay-at-home-mom, I am very envious of you--that's my ultimate dream. But, since bills call, I will be returning to work in about 4 weeks. I absolutely LOVE what I do and I love where I work, but having 11 weeks off to just get used to being a mom has been a godsend for our family. (and because our little one doesn't understand the concept of sleeping at night yet, it's nice to know I don't have to make any decisions the next morning that could potentially kill someone . . . )
7) Easily Prepared Meals/Foods
I'm not a small person, nor have I ever been. I love food, even if it's the kind of food my husband classifies as "tree bark" or "rabbit food." That being said, I have noticed that it's pretty difficult to actually sit down and eat . . . anything. I have realized that the second I think I have a second to sit and eat something, someone ELSE wants to eat, needs to be changed, or just wants to be held. I have found my Trader Joe's granola bars (almost out of these! AHHH!) and hand-fruit to be some of my best friends. And chocolate. I can't forget my chocolate!