Well, it wasn't raining cats and dogs at my baby shower, but it was definitely raining baby gear and advice (actually, it was nice and sunny outside, but that is why they call these things showers, right?)
As I was midway through opening gifts at my baby shower, two things quickly became apparent. One, the list of things I would need to pick up (and spend money on) for Trouble's arrival was quickly (thankfully) dwindling. And two, I have a pretty endless list of people I can turn to when I have one of many (most likely also endless) baby and parenting related questions.
Even before everything started, my mom, mother-in-law and a team of several other women, all of them mothers themselves (and some of them even grandmothers) were busy making sure everything was perfect—and I know a lot of the work was done days and weeks ahead of time. And it wasn't just ladies joining in—my dad and some family friends did some of the heavy lifting (My dad, when he saw the toy tractors decorating the tables, “I thought all you guys did at these things were girlie stuff, but you are going to play tractors!”)
Then there was the food (of course) and a game where the guests tried to guesstimate how big around my belly was (“You think I'm how big???” and “Oh, you are my new favorite person!”) and then tearing into quite a few gifts. And nothing helps the reality of Trouble's nearing arrival settle in like seeing all the little socks that his little toes will soon fill, all the clothes that'll make him the cutest kid around (though I'm probably partial and would find him cutest even butt naked) and all the toys he'll soon be gnawing on. And since everyone was invited to write a note in a children's book instead of a card, I have quite a few stories that will soon become part of our bedtime routine.
As I talked with family and friends, sharing pregnancy stories and just chatting, I realized how quick everyone was to share advice or their own experiences. I'm sure only a handful would answer my phone call when he just won't stop crying at 3 a.m., but I know I have countless people ready and willing to support me and my husband as we venture into parenthood. And so, in the spirit of the idea that it takes a village to raise a child (cliche, I know, but it just couldn't be helped), I thought I would share some of the advice I received here:
“Always pray with baby every night before bed. And let him see momma's and daddy's love for each other!”
“Pick out a soothing/quiet music CD and start playing it now. Then when you lay him down to sleep—play it. He'll recognize it and it will help lull him to sleep. It works!”
“Don't let him play video games, limit TV and read to him every night!”
“Love and cuddle all you want, this time is so special. It's God's best gift you'll ever receive.”
“Remember every stage does not last and all the cliches are true! Hold him, love him and teach him about God. The best gift to give your children is to love each other.”
“Call Grandma, then relax!”
What about you? What was the best parenting advice you received?