I was recently asked to speak at a baby shower and share some sage advice with the young, first-time mother-to-be. Having five children, two of whom are now adults, puts me a little further along in the game, so I have collected a few bits of wisdom over the years.

- When packing for the hospital, make sure you pack the size 8 jeans you were able to wear before getting pregnant. That is, pack them away in a box in the corner of the attic. Your post-partum waist line will be much less depressing if those jeans aren't staring you in the face every time you open the closet door.

- Be prepared for the in-laws to claim every single part of your baby that is even remotely cute. She is sure to have your hubby's eyes, your father-in-law's nose, and the forehead of a distantly removed cousin whom you vaguely remember meeting at their last family reunion. However, newborn babies have round, dimpled bottoms that jiggle, so chances are no one will argue if you claim that feature.

- Forget the rules. I gave birth five times over a sixteen year period and the new baby rules changed every time. The human population has managed to survive thousands of years without video demonstrations on the proper way to bathe, feed, burp, and change a baby. Your natural instincts will serve you well if you learn to listen to them.

- Colic is a horrible thing. If your baby has it, try to stay focused on the fact that the screaming will stop within a few weeks. Whatever you do, don't try to soothe her by setting her punkin' seat on top of a running dryer because it could vibrate right onto the floor. (Ahem) The best way to deal with it is by running the vacuum cleaner. This does nothing for the baby, but at least you won't be able to hear her crying. Plus, clean floors will put you in a better frame of mind. In a few years when she becomes an emotional, round the clock, cranky pre-pubescent, you'll fondly remember the days when she screamed only between the hours of 6 and 9 p.m.

- The best advice I ever received was to remember that the days are long, but the years are short. Granted, the days may seem like an eternity when you realize that you are too tired to get the ladder so you are going to leave the pudding on the ceiling. Or you find that rather than scolding, it is easier to simply agree that your good pearl necklace does make a cool sound when entwined in the spokes of a tricycle. When little old ladies tell you how blessed you are, and that these are the best years of your life, try not to slap them. It might seem that if these are the best years of your life, you'd just as soon die now. But before you know it, those tiny little hands will lose their chubbiness, and the kisses you plant on those sweet cheeks will be wiped away with an, "Awww, mom!" Soon, you'll be dropping her two blocks from the mall so none of her friends will find out that she actually does have a mother. And maybe, just maybe, those size eight jeans will come back in style, and you can pull them out of the attic to show your daughter just how cool you used to be.

Ginger is an author, speaker, and mother of five. Find her on Facebook (Ginger Truitt Author), Twitter (@GingerTruitt), or contact ginger@gingertruitt.com.