How to write a baby shower card: New mom parenting truths

Last year my sister and I threw my younger sister a baby shower, and while it was a lovely afternoon, it also sent me tripping down memory lane to my own showers (like this one and this pirate-themed sprinkle). It also made me think about how to write a baby shower card—and whether I wanted it to be super sweet, slightly snarky, or a combination of both.

At my sister’s baby shower, I couldn’t help but smile at the simultaneously awkward and sweet present-opening tradition, where she sifted through tissue paper-filled gift bags and tried not to cry.

I also remembered reading the touching sentiments people had written me—and the inane platitudes printed on baby shower cards. It’s pretty much guaranteed that if there’s a picture of a stork on the card, the inside message will mention “sweet bundle of joy” or “miracle of birth”—cliches that make me puke a little mimosa in my mouth.

If you’re trying to figure out how to write a baby shower card for the special expecting mama in your life, don’t fall back on some general comment or call it good at “congratulations.” Write out one of these parenting truths—with, of course, the humor and understanding of one mom to another.

How to write a baby shower card: Parenting truths for a new mom. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Parenting truths for a baby shower card

Many parenting truths are not Hallmark material. Here are a few realizations I had to make the hard way.

Feel free to co-opt them when you’re figuring out how to write a baby shower card of your own!

  1. You will be so tired that you will literally hallucinate. In the depths of newborn sleep deprivation, you and your partner will pass a phantom baby back and forth. When you wake up-ish, you will freak out because oh my god what happened to the baby? and of course she will be sound asleep in her bed.
  2. One does not simply put shoes on a baby. Trying to get those adorable Nikes and tiny Toms onto your baby’s itty bitty, squashy, totally uncooperative feet will make you feel like the most incapable person ever to have kids.
  3. Raffi is not all bad. Some of his songs you can actually get behind. And some of it is drivel that makes you want to puncture your eardrums with a teething wafer.
  4. Your wardrobe is no longer your own. Gone are the days you buy clothes because they’re cute and they make you feel good. Now the most important criteria are easy access to the boobs and ability to camouflage avocado puree.
  5. You’ll do everything you said you wouldn’t. You’ll breastfeed your baby to sleep, use all the sleep crutches and hand your phone to a fussy toddler when you’re in the checkout line. And you’ll still be a good mother.
  6. You’ll try to do everything you said you would—then give up. It turns out that cloth diapers actually do require more effort than disposable, pureeing your own baby food is a giant pain in the ass and making all those Pinterest sensory activities doesn’t feel worth it when your baby loses interest after 10 seconds. That’s ok—you probably grew up eating cold hot dogs and wearing clothes washed in regular laundry detergent, and look how great you turned out!
  7. Your baby will pee the second you change him into a dry diaper. Or the second you take off the wet one. (Where’s that peepee teepee?!)
  8. You will do whatever it takes to make your child feel better. Even if that involves sucking the snot out of her nose. With your mouth. Ew.
  9. You will become boring. Other people don’t care that much about how your three-month-old can roll over, or what her third solid food will be, but they will smile and nod. Which is a good thing, since you’ll be so sleep deprived that you’ll cut anyone who doesn’t indulge your mommy ramblings.
  10. You will be hopelessly, mind-bendingly, overwhelmingly in love. Seriously. There is no way to prepare for the monumental changes your heart will undergo. This one just has to be learned firsthand.

Do you have any tips on how to write a baby shower card?

7 must-dos for a kid-free business trip

7 must-dos for a kid-free business trip
Original photo by Jeremy Sternberg, creative commons

You’re on a kid-free business trip, so you’re probably feeling equal parts guilty and giddy. Chances are, you haven’t been away from home and kids in so long that the prospect of dealing with traffic and the TSA, crossing time zones, working long hours and eating what passes for a continental breakfast sounds positively like a vacation.

It’s also likely that you might not know what to do with yourself. I’ve been there, though, so I’ve done you the solid of making a little list of all the things you must do on your next kid-free business trip.

While you’re gone, drop me a line and tell me all about your kid-free extravagances like eating in a restaurant with no play place and sleeping on an un-jumped-on bed. Read more

What my love is worth

preschooler love bed snugglesThe other morning I was sitting on the floor, playing with Kiwi. I snuggled in close to her, ruffling her downy hair with my nose.

“I love you,” I whispered.

Then I looked up at Peeper, who was drinking milk at the table.

“Psst,” I started. She looked at me. “I love you.”

Peeper set her glass down.

Now can I have a popsicle?”

And that’s how I know the value of my love: It is preschooler leverage to get dessert.

Get your picky eater to try kale

In certain circles (*cough, cough* Portlandia), kale is shorthand for all things healthy. Want to make a smoothie? Kale’s in, spinach is out. Whipping up a frittata? Make sure those eggs come from organic-free-range-vegetarian-fed-deliriously-happy hens, and throw in some kale, too, obvi. Making a salad? Forget the romaine; you need to massage some kale instead.

But if your kid is anything like my picky preschooler, kale is not on the menu.

Until now.

(Sort of.)

picky eater kaleHow my kid started to eat kale

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*Forehead slap*

Amidst a sea of toys, books and stray socks covering the carpet, Peeper worked on a puzzle. She concentrated as she arranged several robots, fitting their wooden heads, bodies and feet together.

Then she moved on to a number puzzle.

As she was putting the numbers in their places, she paused. She moved one piece over to the robots.

“Look, now it’s a forehead!” she shouted.

And just like that, my preschooler is a punster.

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7 animal noises you’ve been messing up

Along with swaddling a squirmy baby, changing a diaper without smearing poop over every surface and operating on practically no sleep, making animal noises is a skill absolutely necessary to parenthood.

Between songs like Old MacDonald and books like Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?, moms and dads become pros at mooing, quacking and cock-a-doodle-dooing. As a child ages, though, the animal sounds parents must make become more complex.

But when was the last time you heard a toucan? And do you go all-in with genuine elephant trumpeting, or do you cop out and say “toot toot”?

In addition to these pressing questions, I am going to bet you’ve been making a handful of animal noises completely wrong.

So let me (and YouTube) enlighten you. Go ahead and click play (though not if your dog is in the room—he might will definitely freak out) to step up your animal noises game.

Animal sounds // noises you do wrong // kids and family // Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Pregnant at the beach 2

Burned belly button - Ten Thousand Hour MamaI just wrote about how I prefer to wear a bikini even though I’m pregnant. I think my growing belly is beautiful, and I don’t mind letting other beachgoers see.

Another pro to wearing a swimsuit while pregnant: You can eat a giant burrito and not worry about slipping into a tiny suit. You can be all, “Hey, that’s totally my baby bump!” and it’s true.

But as I’ve discovered, bikinis while pregnant are not all fun and games. The inside of my poor belly button, which has pretty much never seen the light of day, is a bit sunburned.

So along with putting vinegar on the tops of my feet (gah! I always miss that spot!), I’m using the sunburn-soothing home remedy on my belly button, too. Now I smell like Easter eggs from belly to toes.