So, I've been around the block a few times with this whole kid thing. I've learned some valuable lessons along the way...In the giving spirit of Christmas I've decided to bestow on you a few things I've learned from having more than one kid. So here you go....if you are planning to have more than one kid let me save you from a few newbie pitfalls.
1. Monogram nothing!
I don't know if it's a southern thing or a new mom thing, but their is a compulsive urge to brand every item of pottery barn/gymboree/gap baby thing you are gifted. Once you have more than one kid you already have trouble calling them by the actual name you gave them, but then make them walk around with a pink pottery barn backpack that used to be their sisters and you get some serious side eye. Also, let's just remember, the excitement of others for each additional human you add to your family lessens with each kid (by the fourth you may hear "you're having another one, don't you have enough?!?")....that means less pinteresty baby showers and way less goods, MONOGRAM NOTHING!
2. Pace yourself with the birthday party shenanigans.
With our first kids (by the time Cole was 1 we had adopted Coop....sorry kid, kind of stole your thunder in the one year old birthday department) we threw and exhaustingly enormous carnival party. It was supposed to be outside. It rained. Like downpour. Did I mention we invited 75 people, mostly adults. DON'T DO IT! Fun fact, my kids don't remember that party. You best believe when Jude looks at his 1st birthday party pics and realized he had a redneck pool party with walmart baby pools and hot dogs he's gonna need to add that act of unfairness to his list of issues to bring up with his therapist. So think it through.....I say take that money and go out with your friends and celebrate that you kept a human alive for a whole year!
3. Plan your lies.
Whoever came up with the tooth fairy or the elf on the shelf or even Santa actually probably hated parents in general. I'm fairly certain I've forgotten to play tooth fairy more than I've remembered. Our tooth fairy has a habit of hiding the money really well so only mommy can find it AFTER you have woken up. One time a kid lost a tooth and somehow it ended up under the stove (how?). The kid wrote a note and all and I still forgot. I scribbled a note and tucked it under the stove and told said kid the tooth fairy only goes where the tooth is....LIES.
Let's talk elf on the shelf. From the pit of hell. I have more sleepless nights from sitting straight up in bed remembering I forgot to move the damn things. A few times the thing didn't move and I told my kids it was because they were so bad the elves were embarrassed to go to santa and tell him of the atrocities they had witnessed. Forget about Jesus kids, the elf is the one you should make sure to behave for....LIES.
4. Make sure you can follow through
When we had Cole we felt like buying him a Pottery barn stocking the size of antarctica....supes cute. Even took classy JCpenny pics of him and sent out Christmas cards that said "we got Cole in our stocking for Christmas this year." Witty. Fast forward 10 years, I have 5 kids. Last year I gathered old socks, underwear and shirts that were stuffed in the bottom of their drawers (because they don't ever dig deep to find a new outfit) and packed those giant stockings full. Again, I'll just add that to the running list I have for their future therapist, but come on!!! Think longevity people....mini stockings for the win.
5. Don't be Hallmark
A few years ago I got a Christmas tree advent wall hanging thing, monogrammed of course. Everyday from December 1 to December 25 I put in an activity for the day. I know, you can clap for me. Those first few years I had 25 activities printed and placed in that tree. ON MY GAME. This year, my ungrateful 10 year old informed me, "Last years advents were way more fun." Ummmmmmm....I had feelings of hate toward that kid. What, you mean you don't think reading a Christmas book is fun?!?!? Bye Felecia.
5. Don't make a baby book!
Cole has a super cute, creative memories, cut out all the photos and die cuts baby book. I could look and tell you the color and amount of his first poop. I just made rose's. It's a chatbook that I organized because I gave her a hashtag. A HASHTAG. That's a little better than Jude's...his shutterfly photo book has the wrong date on it. Whoops!
6. Eff pinterest
Here is the thing. Pinterest is awesome for ideas and for dreaming and for when you want to feel really bad about yourself, but its not real, it's an alternate reality. I don't know what planet most of those people live on, but it's not one I've ever been to. Do the fun things, but be realistic. Kids are gross, their gonna be gross, if you want a perfect gingerbread house don't invite the little people.
Before, during and after of messy memory making.
Here's the thing, in all these years of momming I've learned the hard way that the more pressure I put on myself the less fun everyone has...If I can learn to take a breath and enjoy this season I think we will all have better memories. So, take may advice, if you are planning to have more than one kid, Set the bar really low and you can only go up from there!!!