The Sh!t No One Tells You
A Guide to Surviving Your Baby's First Year
Author: Dawn Dais
Publisher: Seal Press
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
This is the book I wish I had read when my daughter was first born. Except that I could barely keep my eyes open and I was still convinced that my precious free moments were best spent scrapbooking the precious memories of my baby's new life into an adorable hardcover book that I would proudly show off for an entire week and then never look at again. I was a sleep deprived idiot.
But had I been able to formulate cohesive thoughts during those first few months, let alone process complex sentences, I could have really benefited from this book, with such reassuring chapters as:
- "Breastfeeding is F'n Hard" (it really is);
- "No One is Loving This as Much as Their Facebook Posts Would Have You Believe" (soooo true...if you don't believe me, go back and look at your own Facebook posts from when your child was first born--if your child was born after 2007 of course--and notice the lack of posts that say "that little @#!$ woke me up every 30 minutes for no good reason and I'm starting to suspect it's some sort of personal infant vendetta");
- "Your Newborn is Not Cute" (screw this, mine was adorable! ...sort of);
- "Who Needs a Health Plan When You Have the Internet?" (the internet is hella dangerous to new parents--just ask the very nice nurses at my local emergency room when I brought in my five-week-old because when I took her temperature I thought it was half a degree higher than the other eight times I had taken it that day, and is it possible that she has malaria or scarlet fever or something?); and
- "It Does Not Go By 'Soooo Fast'" (especially those first three or four months...those are like the longest night that never ends...I mean awesome, but also awful...both)
It was just nice to know that I wasn't the only one who thought it was nutball bananas that everyone expected me to love having a living creature attached to my body and feeding from me for eighteen hours a day (give or take) while everyone screamed at me that I was doing it all wrong and I should really be better at this because it's "soooo natural." Okay, maybe that didn't happen, but that's what it felt like at the time. It got better. It all got better. But not until I relaxed and gave myself permission to admit that some of it sucked. I only wish this book had been written sooner!
P.S. For the record, I love my child (obviously) and I love being a mother (like, 99% of the time). But I also love that books like this make it easier to admit that you don't HAVE to love every single aspect of having a newborn because some of it is hard--CRAZY HARD--and that's okay. Loving your kid and being a good mom doesn't mean you have to love round-the-clock feedings and having someone else's poop all over your clothes. It means you hate all that stuff and you do it anyway. So thank-you, Dawn Dais!
Disclaimer: I received a digital galley of this book free from the publisher from NetGalley. I was not obliged to write a favourable review, or even any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.