I’ve been proof-reading the galleys of my newest project, The Everything Baby’s First Year Book, which will be published January 18, 2010. While it’s been quite a while since I had kids in diapers, it’s amazing how the excitement of those days, as well as the fears and worries flood back.
I hope this book empowers new parents because while there are experts on just about every baby topic you can imagine, the one thing moms and dads should know is that THEY are the experts of their child. Read the advice, ask questions, carefully evaluate what you’ve been told, learn the tricks of the trade from those who have been in the trenches, but trust your own instincts too. You know what works best for you and your baby.
If I could give one piece of advice to new moms, it would be trite, but true. Don’t sweat the small stuff. I’d give anything to get back the hours I fretted over whether child number one would ever sleep through the night (now a bomb could go off next to his head and he wouldn’t roll over); whether he would ever be toilet-trained (I assure you he was); whether he would ever write legibly (which is why they invented word processing); whether he would be friends with the most popular kids in the class (the answer was NEVER because they were little snots and he knew it, but I didn’t. He made his own friends which have remained tried and true through the years). I worried he didn’t go to his junior prom, in fact, had one heck of a row with him about it and he just brushed me off, stubborn (or one might say, confident) in his decision. And he was more than happy to go to his senior prom, when he was good and ready.
I would have learned to trust HIS judgment and my own. I would have believed – as of course I did when I had subsequent children – that each kid marches to his own drummer and you’ve got to listen to that beat, and not allow it to be drowned out by the others in the crowd.
What I did know then – and now – is that you can never love a child too much. I wasn’t worried about spoiling any of them by giving kisses and hugs, for reasons and no reason at all. I did have standards – even if the older kids all insisted that I had let the baby of the family run wild (their definition? I bought chocolate milk one day!).
So I read these galleys with a wistful smile and a fervent hope that new parents enjoy these precious days of childhood because they go by way too fast, even if you are so sleep-deprived that you can’t imagine surviving that first year, let alone thriving.
Murder Takes the Cake by Evelyn David
Murder Off the Books by Evelyn David