Since I am an Amazing Parenting Expert and know Absolutely Everything About Parenting, I thought I would enlighten you all. Here’s a list of absolutely crucial tips that you can keep at the ready as you go about the next 18 years of parenting. You’re welcome.

#1 When making PB & J sandwiches, always put on jelly first.

As you all know, PB is sticky and cannot be easily wiped off of a knife. By putting jelly on first you make it a 1 knife job. Fewer dishes for the dishwasher (unless you usually just lick the knife and put it back in the drawer. It’s ok, I don’t judge.)

#2 Changing poopy diapers is not the worst thing about parenting.

The uninitiated often assume that poopy diapers (or getting other bodily fluids on you) must the THE WORST part of parenting. Really, really not.

#3 Parks are not as fun as you think they are.

Once in a while kids will have fun at a park or playground. Usually they don’t. It’s either too hot or too cold. There are no kids or there are too many kids. The equipment is either too boring or too scary. Best case scenario, though, you end up pushing your kid on each swing for an eternity (each swing), and you want to dig your eyes out with spoons from boredom.

#4 Never, ever, ever brag on your kid.

While it is really annoying to everyone but your spouse and the grandparents, the real problem is that the moment you brag about your kid they will immediately stop doing whatever it was you bragged about. So whether your kid sleeps through the night, plays by themselves, or is a world class nose picker don’t brag because it will curse you (except for the nose picking thing, maybe bragging would stop it. Hmmm…)

#5 There is life after birth and breastfeeding.

Obviously it’s my job as a doula and childbirth educator to prepare couples for those first days and weeks, but honestly, that’s only the beginning. After you get that baby out and latched on, there is more. More days and nights and days. Loving, feeding, disciplining, and playing. So whether you get the birth of your dreams or nightmares, it’s not the end. It’s only the beginning of the adventure.

Supporting my first doula client through her birth and initial latch with baby was such an emotional experience. I so wanted her to have a great birth – to get what she wanted and in the way she wanted it, so I was thrilled when she was able to have a natural birth like she had planned. We worked hard to get baby to latch with a lot of help from the nurses and settled everyone in to rest. I started to gather my things together to go, and I was struck with the realization that my part was almost over, but her life as a mom was just beginning. There was so much for her to learn and experience that I had not prepared her for, nor could I have prepared her for it.