The Only Real Advice for New Parents


“What advice do you have for the parents-to-be?”

Well, I mean, I could go on and on. There are a million decisions to make of every size, shape, and color, from the complexities of vaccines to the trivialities of pacifiers. From “Let your baby cry it out,” to “Snuggle them to sleep until sixth grade.” There is research to prove anything you’re looking to feel strongly about, and I don’t like arguing or acting like I know when I don’t.

I will always remember one Sunday morning a dozen years ago, when the pastor invited us to turn and greet the person next to us. The lady in front of me said, “So, do you have any children?”

“I do. Two little boys. They’re two and one.”

Her face got really gentle.  She took my hand in between both of hers, and she said, “Oh, honey, if I tell you what’s in front of you, you won’t believe me. It’s just better for you to not know what it’s like to raise boys.”

She wasn’t any kind of gypsy fortune teller. She was a mom of boys. And she was right. There are things it’s just best to see and learn with time. There are things you don’t know you’ll say, like, “We don’t put cheese in our eyes,” and “Everybody needs to wear underwear to the dinner table,” and “Please don’t shoot me with guns before 7:00 in the morning,” and  “No, I’m actually not jealous of your penis.”

The ultimate reality is that the parents and the child have to figure each other out, and no advice that I can give you will be foolproof.

Except for one thing.

There is one piece of advice I can give to parents who are waiting for a baby, and I promise you will never, ever regret the decision.

Here it is:

In the months to come, buy lots and lots of underwear.
I don’t mean for the baby.  I mean for YOU.
Every time you go to Target, toss a pair in the cart.
Seriously, every time. 

Because the only reason we really ever have to do laundry is for those little lovelies.  So save yourself some time and sleep later on, and stock up NOW with enough pairs to last you a month. (At least.)

You’re welcome.

Tricia Lott Williford

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