1. Put Clean Underwear on Every Day
You may not shower for three or four days, but fresh undies make you feel somewhat human. Otherwise, you’ll feel like a contestant on “Naked and Afraid”.

2. Invest in a Good Coffee-Maker
Some nights your head will never come into contact with your pillow. That could go on for __ years. At least you can look forward to a cup of caffeine as your constant companion.

3. Learn How to Say “No” in at Least 10 Different Languages
The constant repetition of the two-letter version will drive you crazy.

4. Taste Play-Doh Before Your Child’s First Birthday
This will allow you to understand their experience. Start with blue, which is generally the gold standard for first picks.

5. Run the Vacuum, Play the T.V., Blast the Radio and For Heaven’s Sake Do Not Whisper to One Another
Engage in all these behaviors from the time your bundle is placed in the bassinet. Babies need to become accustomed to falling asleep with noise otherwise every door that hasn’t been WD 40’d will startle them awake.

6. Pretend You’re Entering a Contest Where You Have to Walk on Hot Coals
In your case however, lay out mismatched LEGO pieces throughout the house, take off your socks, turn off the lights, and try to navigate this minefield without screaming when you step on one. If you yell it will only serve to wake the baby on the one and only night she went to sleep without a fuss.

7. Put a Dixie Cup Dispenser Next to the Bathtub
Your water toy budget will be cut in half and your cup experiments might become the basis for some neat scientific discoveries.

8. Learn to Sleep with One Eye Open and Within an 8-inch Space
This is how you’ll be doing things for the next __ years. Never expect to experience REM sleep as part of your nightly routine. This skill set will come in handy if you join the Green Berets or go camping in bear country.

9. Record a Charming and Delightful Voicemail Message on Your Home Phone
The likelihood of you being able to answer it anytime within the next __ years is unlikely.

10. White-out Your Name on all Nail Salon Gift Certificates You Received as a Present
Re-gift as holiday presents. You’re not going to have a manicure for at least another __ year.

11. Count Her Fingers; Count Her Toes
Smell her hair. Tell her you love her 100 times a day. Stare at her rosy cheeks while she sleeps. Take it all in because the time between her first step and when she steps on that stage to accept her diploma is merely a blink.

12. Thank God For This Glorious Miracle
He will appreciate hearing from you.

Lisa Leshaw

Lisa Leshaw has worked as a mental health professional for the past 31 years. She currently conducts Parenting Skills Workshops, Group Counseling for Blended Families and Empowerment Circles for Women. As a consultant, Lisa travels throughout teaching Communication and Listening Skills, Behavioral Management Techniques and Motivational Strategies. To de-stress she performs in children's theatre and plays piano whenever requested. She is hoping to either write the next memorable musical composition or Great American Novel!