Typically, a list entitled “15 Things EVERY new mom needs” would feature either baby products (You’ll need lanolin for your chapped nipples and a giant pile of embroidered burp cloths) or emotions (You’ll need the endurance of herd of wildebeests during drought season). My list features both physical things and emotional things.
Here are 15 things you will need as a human mother of children (no offense to intergalactic aliens or mothers of baby capuchin monkeys):
1. Caffeine. Toddlers have death wishes and you’ve got to keep on top of that. I was at the park and every time I got distracted by my baby ingesting mulch, I saw my two year old careening toward traffic. I like to start with a chai latte and follow that up with about,10 sweet teas.
2. Electrical outlet plug stoppers. If you do nothing else when you have a baby, plug up those gaping holes of death. Babies and toddlers stick their fingers into everything; their mouths, jelly doughnuts, the cat’s butt (true story), so you’ll want to be taking care of those electrical plugs.
3. The Internet. Being at home is lonely. You should probably instagram a picture of your child every so often so other stay at home moms know you’re still alive.
4. Macgyver like toy improvisational skills. Kid going bananas again? Shoddily tape some construction paper to a cardboard box, while simultaneously launching cheerios in your other child’s direction, to form a magical Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Replace the cool slide with a roughly cut hole in the box. Watch child be entertained for hours. (Or 15 minutes. But it’s a solid 15.)
5. Every new mom needs a veteran mom friend to frantically text questions to including but not limited to: “Why is my baby’s poop foamy?” “Why isn’t he sleeping?” “How much dog hair can the baby ingest without me calling the pediatrician?”
6. Deodorant. In your car. Because when Baby Macgyver is getting into the bathroom trash while you straighten your hair, you might forget to put it on. I manage to remember about 65% percent of the time.
7. Clairvoyance. I always set the oven timer for 2 minutes earlier than recommended because I know I can’t get there at a drop of a hat. Inevitably you’ll have a baby crying or experimenting with how to dump milk from her sippy cup onto an upholstered chair or just enough general foolishness and mayhem to prevent you from getting to that timer in time.
8. No defrost meals. Like “It’s 5 o’clock already?! I didn’t take anything out for dinner! What can I make with a can of pinto beans and an old box of saltines?”
9. Assorted sports bras. Nursing bras be damned, in the early days when your boobs are giant monolithic boulders, nestle the girls in some cotton and spandex. You’ll be wearing moo moos for the next 6 months anyway, no need to perk up the girls.
10. A parenting mantra- even if you made it up. People care way too much about your business now, you’re a mom. They want to know if you’re into attachment parenting, Babywise, Dr. Sears, co-sleeping, Ferberizing, placenta wearing, or otherwise. So, come up with some snappy comeback even if it’s bogus.
11. Humility. Get comfortable with looking stupid because you are now. You used to know things. Maybe you could identify bird species on sight. Maybe you knew Algebra. Now you’re calling birds “tweet tweets” and struggling through long division. (Why would anyone be doing long division when they have a smart phone? That was a weak metaphor. Or is it a simile? I used to know…) Your brain ain’t yer own no mo’. It belongs to making breast milk and keeping children alive all day. The closest you’ll get to real genius is watching a Baby Einstein DVD.
12. Mad Handy man skillz. One time my husband was out of town and I had to put together an entire wooden play kitchen. It. was. really. hard.
13. Just so many batteries. I once spent 20 minutes trying to put a battery in a motorized Thomas toy. Just dedicate a drawer to having every size battery imaginable and a vast assortment of screwdrivers. Some baby toys have lilliputian sized screws. Honestly, it’s just ridiculous. But you do NOT want to be up baby poop stream without a paddle when the sound machine breathes it’s last breath and baby is about to wake up.
14. Baby wipes. Baby wipes are not just for wiping butts, even though they are super good at it. They’ve been developed to be super absorbent AND super cleansing. Are you waiting in the car for your husband because taking the baby out of the car is so not worth it? Wipe down the dash board. Did your baby just throw up on you? Wipe down your hair! Did you forget about some really old ass mushrooms in the veggie drawer? Wipe that mold juice out with a baby wipe. They are really, really great.
15. An engraved prison shank. You weren’t expecting that one were you? Carry it on your person and wave it around at old ladies telling you to put hats on your babies or other mom’s at the playground looking at you judgmentally. They don’t know your life. Butt out!! Just don’t wave it at the baby. Too far dude, too far. (It’s a rhetorical prison shank. A “mind shank” if you will)