As a human being who writes for the internet and indulges in the occasional (constant) guilty pleasure, at this point I'm used to people rolling their eyes when I reference my love for any of the shows within the Bachelor franchise. First of all, you guys can judge me all you want, because you're right — I should watch The Wire and get down to inbox zero, but I finally have a leg to stand on, and have actually come away with something to show for my obsession: parenting tips from Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici. Lowe and Giudici met and got engaged on Season 17 of The Bachelorette, and they've always been really good about documenting their lives together, from big events like weddings, to a hard workout at the gym, to new business ventures, to quiet movie nights in on the couch, and everything in between. So when Giudici announced in December 2015 that the couple was expecting their first child, I knew that we were all in for a new adventure, and these two did not disappoint.
Samuel Thomas Lowe was born Jul. 2, and from his first instant on the planet, his parents have been dutifully filling our social media feeds with not only adorable photos, but excellent "parenting advice". I'm putting it in quotes because the two of them probably wouldn't think about it that way — I think they post things they think are cute or funny or meaningful, without trying to sneak any words of wisdom in there at all — but what ends up coming out is as helpful as it is hilarious. Basically, their respective Instagram feeds show the world how to be the best parents possible, by putting positive energy into yourself, your family, and your relationship, and not worrying too much about the rest. What has stress ever gotten any of us, after all? So here we go, folks: the 19 pieces of "parenting advice" that we can learn from new parents and social media mavens Catherine Giudici and Sean Lowe.
1. Know Your Kids' Interests
...even if they don't have that many yet. "Hi I'm Samuel, I'm less than a year old, and I like boobs."
2. It's Never Too Early To Get Them Involved With The Franchise
Do you have any idea how competitive it's gotten out there? You have to start campaigning now if you want a shot at the Bachelor gig in 25 years.
3. Get Them Comfortable Crying On Camera
Do you really want to wait until you're on national television to find out you're an ugly cryer?
4. Buy Items That Your Kids Can Grow Into
Don't waste your money on perfectly-fitting clothing that your growing kid will be too big for in months — Samuel should fit into those sunglasses in a decade or so.
5. Don't Slack On The Dad Jokes
Constant. Vigilance. It's the only way you'll make it to the Dad Joke Olympics.
6. Embrace Every Phase That Comes Along
Pushing back is only going to make your son or daughter rebel against you, so might as well enjoy that your son is already trying to give you the eye when he can't even lift his head.
7. Don't Try To Stick To Your Old Schedule
OK but wait this is a real one.
8. Go In For Regular X-Rays
New parents carry a high risk of heart explosion, and you can never be too careful.
9. You Have A Limited Window To Make All These Bald Jokes
Sooner or later that hair is coming in, and then your Dr. Evil jokes won't make nearly as much sense, so get 'em out. Early and often.
10. Fill Out The Blooper Reel
He'll appreciate these awkward photos when he's older. (No he won't — opposite — but don't let that stop you.)
11. Don't Go Easy On Them Just Because They're Your Offspring
Hey dude? Get a job.
12. Build Their Brand
Samuel's seems to be oversize sunglasses and mean-mugging, so you should choose a different one.
13. Don't Stress
Honestly, though. Babies are more resilient than you think but oh my god be careful dear god what have I done.
14. Throw Out Your Mirrors
You should see your face reflected back to you in your baby's, so save yourself some money and some wall space.
15. Babies Are Shelves
Not sure how I can be more clear than that.
16. Sleep With One Eye Open
Otherwise you'll wake up to this... which is adorable but also terrifying.
17. Challenge Yourself
Doing well with one baby? Well here's another one. And a dog. And another dog. How you like me now, Sean Lowe?
18. Don't Get Too Attached To Your Wardrobe
"Mind if I spit up on that?" Case in point.
19. Check Your Pockets Before You Leave The House
Could be a baby in there.
Did you catch all that? Great, then you're well on your way to being an excellent parent — not only will your kid turn out fantastically, but other humans will want to hang out with you as well. Great job so far, Catherine Giudice and Sean Lowe, keep up the good work!