50 First Things To Do In Babies’ First Year | Amanda Rodriquez | MomCave Live
Get ready to laugh your way through motherhood with MomCave’s Jen and Amanda Rodriguez, the hilarious mind behind “50 Things to Do in Baby’s First Year.” Join their chat about the ups and downs of parenthood as they share Amanda’s personal experiences raising three kids (now 21, 18, and 15 years old). This must-read book is chock-full of funny anecdotes, witty illustrations, and practical tips on how to stay sane while navigating the first year of your baby’s life. Learn how to juggle relationships, keep the romance alive, and preserve your humanity in the midst of all the chaos. It’s the perfect survival guide for new moms who want to keep it real and have a good laugh along the way!
50 First Things To Do In Babies’ First Year | Amanda Rodriquez | MomCave Live
Jen: Welcome to Momcave LIVE, where we may have lost our minds, but we haven’t lost our sense of humor yet. I’m Jen from MomCave, and my guest to hang out with us tonight is Amanda, who is @thedudeMom. Hey, Amanda.
Amanda: Hello. Thank you for having me
Jen: Of course. So, the dude mom makes me assume that you have dudes as opposed to dudettes in your life. Is that it?
Amanda: That is an accurate but funny story. I have had people email me and like see, like little pitches or something. They’re like, Oh, hey, dude, you see that as my name. And I even had somebody once think that I was a dude who was a mom. So clarify, I am not a dude. I am a mom.
Jen: Yes, right. But you did tell me you’re from California originally. So that’s very like dude, like, yeah. Cool.
So I heard about your book. And I thought that would be fun to talk about. So, everybody, Amanda has a book, which I could probably put on the screen at some point. But we’ll get to that. It’s on Amazon, of course, where all the books are. And tell us about the book, what’s it called, and what’s in it.
All about 50 Things to do in Baby’s first year.
Amanda: It’s 50 Things to Do in Baby’s First Year. And it is a book that is written more, not from like, the 50 Like milestones that you need to cover as a parent or anything. It’s more about keeping your sanity as a mom, and yeah, that you should do to maintain yourself and your humanity because I don’t know about the rest of you guys, but that my mother, my early mothering days nearly snatched the humanity away from me.
You know, keeping yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally, attached to your partner, managing like all of the other relationships that having a baby throws into disarray at times. And really just like focusing on being your best self while also being the best mom that you can be. But tons of humor thrown in some, you know, funny illustrations not done by me done by an illustrator. Nice, nice. Yeah, it’s just a lot of humor, little side stories, anecdotes, and stuff like that.
The Sunscreen Song
Jen: So that’s what we’re all about here on MomCave, if you know about the humor because that’s really the way that I deal with stuff. Otherwise…
Amanda: If I’m not laughing, I’m crying.
Jen: You’re a little further down this parenting road than I am. So how old are your children?
Amanda: Yeah, two of them, I guess, can’t be classified as children anymore because I have a 21-year-old an 18-year-old, and a 15-year-old now. Yeah, my 18-year-old is a senior this year. And my 15-year-old is a freshman, and my 21-year-old is in college.
Jen: So okay, sidenote, you look amazing to have children that old so I don’t know. Like if you had them when you were 10, but you look great!
Amanda: It did, it’s sunscreen.
Jen: We’re all about the sunscreen. But yeah.
Amanda: Also, I consider myself an indoors mom, an indoors woman. Yeah, I don’t get a lot of sunshine.
They’re still young, but they’ve grown up.
Jen: Keeps you young. I actually made a video this week for a brand. I won’t say who it is because the videos are not out yet. But they do like UV protective stuff. And the joke was like, I don’t want to dress like Morticia Addams at the beach, that is how I end up dressing.
Oh, it looks great. No wrinkles!
Anything, anything to stop the wrinkles!
I had my kids a little later, I have my kids in my mid-30s. So they’re still youngins, pretty much. I’ve got a seven-year-old and a 12-year-old. But I love the fact that you have this book about the 50 things that every parent should do the first year that they are a parent and that you’ve come out you’ve kind of come out the other end. So like, whatever the advice was, it might be pretty good because
Amanda: I survived.
Jen: You survived, your kids survived. They grew up. Yeah, you’re still here. You’re still laughing and you look fab. So…
What are the things that you think are realistic?
Amanda: I would say it, and I wrote this book in 2019. Literally, like right before the pandemic happened. My book came out on December 31, 2019. Wow. Which was like the most random date and like the publisher came with that date. I was like, who’s gonna be paying attention to my baby book on New Year’s Eve? But yeah, we had this plan about you know, I had book-like conversations set up at different bookstores like in the DC area and all that kind of stuff.
And then the global pandemic came along, and I never did a single book signing. I had my book release party, like I had like a launch party in January of 2020. And you know, that was great. It was, you know, lots of people came out whatever. And that was like the last time I saw anybody in person for years. So, but I will say that at that time, my kids were older. So I feel like when I wrote that book, actually wrote that book at an AAU basketball tournament in Florida. Yes, they were, like, the deadlines were super tight.
And they were like, well, you know, you want to publish the book, we have to have it done at this time. So I remember saying, like, well, I have this vacation planned, and they’re like, We really don’t care. So I was like, Well, I can do this, I’m gonna go to Florida. And I’ll watch basketball tournaments, I’ll take my laptop, I’ll sit beside the swimming pool while the kids are swimming and doing all their thing. And I’m writing, and I am sweating balls. Like, drenched. I wanted to get the pool so badly. I’ve never been so hot in my life.
Finding time to write First Things To Do With Babies In The First Year
But I gotta done. And I feel like I wrote it a time. Like, I feel like I could not have written this book when my kids were toddlers, when they were babies, for sure. When they were toddlers like I had to go through it and sort of get far enough removed from like the trauma of early parenting. Sort of moving it to a space, I’d be like, well, here’s what I wish I would have done.
And here are the things that I think like, are realistic, because, you know, we all have read all these things about like, oh, you know, you have to put your mental health and like goals. And I’m like, sure, we all know those things. But at the same time, it’s like actually doing that in the midst of having like a newborn and a two-year-old and a five year like, it’s hard. So I really wanted to just focus on things that, like, you could do, and they’re not, you know, have a cookie, you know, nothing that’s like…
Jen: Nobody had to tell me to have the first year my baby was born or ever before after that, no. I already know about having the cookie. Like that’s yes. That’s my mantra.
Nursing while trying to stay healthy
Amanda: And the thing is, like, you know, I remember reading this thing. I nursed all my kids. So I remember, you know, oh, have a healthy snack while you’re nursing. Like, why would I have a healthy snack? I mean, I get it. But also, I’d rather have a chocolate chip cookie. It’s the only time the kids are not paying attention to me and trying to bat the food out of my hand. I’m enjoying my cookie. And I’m sorry if that means that the milk tastes like chocolate. I mean, maybe that’s probably a problem. Maybe? Yeah.
Jen: You know, and if your baby is still at an age where they are not like eating cookies themselves yet. Then take advantage of that and have a cookie because as soon as they start eating the real food, like, your food is always cold. And they always want whatever you have, right?
Amanda: Yes. I always say my food always wet. Because, Oh, I know. They want to taste it. And then they’re like, oh, they put it back and
Jen: No, no, that’s something nobody told me about. There’s so many slops and saliva, and not in the making of the baby afterward, right? Just yeah, it’s not a fun time. Not fun swapping of saliva?
What’s one of the surprising things in the 50 things people should do in baby’s first year?
Surprising Things In The 50 First Things To Do In The First Year.
Amanda: Oh, um, oh, you caught me there? Because I don’t? I don’t know. Don’t think anything is really surprising. I would say it’s more things that you don’t necessarily think about, like one of the tips is about meaning, being upfront with your in-laws about the relationship that you know, you want to have with your new family. And I think that’s a really hard thing. And something people don’t really think about when you know, it’s like, oh, everybody’s happy the baby’s coming.
But, like, do you want your inlaws in the birthing room with you? Like, you need to have that discussion in advance if you don’t because it’s otherwise? You know, like really talking through how and not just like your in-laws, but like talking to your partner about why that may or may not be something you want. I mean, some people want that, like, it’s a party, and everybody can come, but like, for me, I was like, I don’t, no. I don’t need an audience for this.
Every family raises their kids differently.
Jen: You never know how it’s getting going. Right. Different families do things so differently, and sometimes it doesn’t become apparent… A-Parent…. that was like a little, little pun there. It doesn’t become apparent until you are a parent that your spouse’s family is totally weird and different. Or in my case, my family’s totally weird. And I never, you know, it’s just different. So yeah,
Amanda: I like to think about that stuff. You know, before you have your first baby and then you’re like, everybody’s like, you know, you should be talking about what kind of a parent you want to be well, sure, but you don’t talk about what kind of a parent you want your own kind of a grandparent you want your in-laws, or your own parents to be so, you know, that like just thinking through some of those things and like trying to maintain those relationships because you know, your’re high emotion at that time, your hormones are all out of whack. And like, you know, you’re crying, and you’re yelling, and you’re happy, and you’re sad, and like all that stuff. And then pairing it with the fact that you have all these other interpersonal relationships going on at same time.
Put Yourself In The Picture.
Jen: Just figure it out.
Totally. One of the ones in there that I really like is putting yourself in. I don’t know how you phrased it, but put yourself in the picture. Make sure that you’re in the picture because we take so many pictures of our babies and then pictures of our babies with other people. And then sometimes we’re not in the pictures years later. There’s not that many.
Amanda: Yeah, yeah. And I’m still sort of guilty of that because I also owned a photography business. So I’m always one who’s like, Give me the camera. Yeah, you’re not doing it, right? Like, do you want the pictures to be good?
Jen: I understand. Totally.
Amanda: Right. So I have to make an effort to get myself in pictures with my kids. And just even without my kids taking pictures. Yeah, I think, like, the birth of Instagram really helped with that.
Jen: I see. I feel like it kind of hurt me Because now I’m like, Oh, if I take this picture, it’s not gonna look good, like, pictures on Instagram. Or, you know, I look so awful. There’s no way I’m putting this picture on Instagram. So why even take it but you know, yeah, it’s not just about that.
What’s in a Picture?
Amanda: No, no, yeah. And yeah, posting every picture. But like making sure, I mean, at this point, I feel like I’m to the point where not just actually being in the picture, but like printing the pictures, because how I looking back now, I don’t think I’ve printed pictures for like, the last like five to seven years. So all the pictures I have of my kids, they’re little and I’m younger, which is no problem there.
But you know, I haven’t printed a picture recently. I just got we recently remodeled our basement, and so I’m down, like going through all the photos. And I’m like, there’s not a single picture from like high school from any of my kids that’s printed on my computer, and they’re on Instagram, and they’re on Facebook, but like, I don’t have a physical copy of any of these pictures. I have tons of these photo albums and all are filled with pictures of my kids and pictures of me. But from when they were little so…
Differences in growing up now
Jen: Yeah, it’s a different way than when we were growing up. Um, just the technology. But this, this is not sponsored at all, but I have a solution. I have an app on my phone. It’s called Chatbooks. I don’t know. Oh, yeah. Yeah. So what you can do is like, you know, how you can put a heart a favorite of a picture, like, it pulls you just as you’re, you know, going about your daily life, and you take pictures and you’re like, that one’s really good.
You know, I’m going to favorite that one. Then as soon as it gets enough to print and one of these little books, they just charge you $9.99 or whatever it is 19, and I forget, it’s not a lot. And they send you the book of all your favorites. And so like we have all these little, little books now and at least that way, like I get a physical copy of a picture. That’s the only way because if I had to do it, and like pick it and then go to Walgreens and all I wouldn’t do it, right, so, so clearly, I’m not doing that, clearly. But that wasn’t a commercial or anything.
Baby’s First Year: 50 Things That Every Mom Should Do
Amanda: I have used Chatbooks before I think like when it first came out, I did like a sponsored thing with them. And I remember not favoriting but setting it up in a certain way where like after I got to a certain number of pictures just printed them. And it is like the most random array of photos. What was I thinking?
Jen: Yeah, yeah. Because you don’t think about the things, we take photos of, right? Yeah, parking space. So we remember it at the airport. A book is full of those. Yeah, we have @MommyinColorTV watching us. And she says,”Hello, ladies. Am I late to the party?” You’re never late. It’s always a party. Always party. Only moms can have a party at a quarter of eight. It’s not even, like, you know, real party time. I’m talking with Amanda, who is @thedudemom. I’m going to put her book in the comments. It’s “Baby’s First Year: 50 Things that every mom should do.” I think it went to the comments. Maybe maybe not. Sometimes this thing is rough. If it doesn’t show up in the comments you all let me know and I’ll deal with that afterward, and I will put it there.
Okay, what about are there any of the um the 50 things in the book? Are there any that people have disagreed or agreed with you or said like? No, that’s a bad idea. No, no one ever disagrees with me. What? No, Aren’t you lucky?
Are you serious?
Amanda: Yeah, agree, either.
Jen: See, I have an arguer. I have a debater he loves, you know, the whole like devil’s advocate?
Creating a book that is well received
Amanda: Yes, yeah. My husband is pretty chill, but no, I would say I don’t think anybody has specifically disagreed that the book was very well received. So I get a lot of feedback like, oh, that’s, you know, I wouldn’t like unexpected things because people pick up the book and just assume that it’s going to be like 50 tips or 50 things that, you know, you have to do with a baby like, take, learn how to diaper I don’t know, I can’t even think like those types of things. But so I haven’t gotten I don’t know, I don’t read the comments. So maybe people probably a good thing. Right people see it and add a ton of negative feedback, and I have put it out of my mind. And it’s amazing.
Jen: That totally. I just thought of one if I was going to add to the book, I just thought of one, and it’s kind of weird. But I’m going to put it out there because I wish I had done this. I missed the way my baby smells so much, right? Like, every time I pick the baby up, no matter where, when, or whatever, I always would like to pick my child up. Sniff their head. Yeah, every single time to like it was just weird.
Amanda: No, I used to do that too.
That new baby smell
Jen: Just the baby smells amazing. And every baby has their own smell, of course. So if there was a way to save the baby smell like, I don’t know, you know, a piece of their clothing and a Ziploc that might continue smelling like them for a while. I would do that.
Amanda: Yeah, I would pick my babies up and smell their necks, which always wasn’t always a great thing to do. Yeah, even when I got that, it was still better than what I get now at 15, 18, and 21. If I was to smell any part of their body, even as it passes me,
It’s not optional when your ears are burning.
Jen: I’m learning that mine’s only 12. I don’t want to embarrass him or anything but holy moly. And then they resist showering…
Amanda: Yes. Be like; I don’t want to shower tonight.
Jen: Dude. Well, you got to, dude.
Amanda: I’m like, my ears are burning when you walk by. You must take a shower; it’s not optional.
Jen: When ears that are of a different sense entirely are burning as opposed to the nose, you know? Yes.
Amanda: Yeah. So like, it’s so pungent that it’s coming.
Jen: That’s pretty pungent.
Mommy in color TV says she was not a fan of the baby smell. Wow. Like there must be a study on this. We need to like MRI your brain or something? I feel like it’s an evolutionary thing that we want to smell babies and you don’t. So let’s see why I would like to know. Let’s do a study. Amanda, tell everybody all the places they can find you on the Internet.
Tiktok on the Run
Amanda: All over the internet, the dude, I’m the dude Mom, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tok. But don’t be so my Tik Tok account now is pretty quiet. Because when 2020 was happening, and everybody was at home, you know, I did a bunch of fancy videos with my kids, they have since entirely moved away from that experience and not have anything to do with that. But even I was having a blast with that. But somehow, I put two videos of my dogs that went viral on Tiktok. And I was like, well, that’s great.
Because I don’t, I’m not a dog account. So I have basically like three videos. There’s two that were like crazy. And then, you know, I tried to make some other ones with my dogs. They don’t cooperate. They’re literally, like, just like my kids. They are don’t want anything to do with me or my camera in their face. They don’t do any funny things that other dogs do. It was just these two particular videos, and all these people followed me, and I was like, well, you’re gonna be sad because I’m not a dog. Not a dog. Person. Tick talker.
What has Tik Tok taught you?
Jen: So I don’t know tiktok taught me that way. Once it thinks you’re something, then you are that. My most viral video on Tik Tok was one where I was sort of making fun of certain dads that I know. And the way that they like don’t step up. Oh, okay. So that went viral. And so all of a sudden, like my tik tok, everyone that follows me is looking for things about how terrible men are and how terrible dads are. And that’s really not like I’m; I’m married happily married for the most part. He’s great. They’re like looking for a single mom who’s all like empowered, and I’m like, Well, I can just say from what I’ve observed, you know, I support the single moms anyway
Amanda: Know why
You can hear me right? And thank you, Amanda.
Jen: And yeah, Mommy and Color is a huge fan of yours. Amanda, you have a fan.
Amanda: So I’m telling my kids because they think I’m a dork.
Jen: So tell them because no matter what you do, your kids will always think you’re a dork. That’s what parenting is. Thank you so much for hanging out with me. You guys go check out the dude mom on all the places and check out the book, which I will put in the comments of the 50 things that you should do the first year you have a kid, and that would be a good gift for people. So just, just
Amanda: I second that 100%
Jen: Very true. Okay, so thank you so much. And I hope we can do this again.
Amanda: Yeah, sounds good. Thank you. Yeah.
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