It’s here, the moment you’ve been dreading and looking forward to for what feels like forever: your first day on the job at the strip club, or…you’ve just gone into labor and it’s time to rush to the hospital to give birth. Or no, let’s face it, you’ve probably got hours to get there.

Regardless of which of these categories you fall into, you’re in luck: I’ve had many first days at different strip clubs and many—well, ok, three—trips to the hospital to give birth. So, I speak as an expert on these matters, and from my distant vantage point of all these events, I can now recognize eerily similar aspects between your first day on the job as stripper and your first day as a new mom.

New mom and new stripper have a lot in common.

1. Define and pack the essentials.

In preparation for your big day, you’ll need to pack your suitcase with all the essentials. You will spend hours reading lists that other strippers/mothers have made. You will consider all the possible needs and pack as if you’re going on a three-month cruise. And somehow, you will still find yourself with a bag full of stuff you don’t need (bras or pasties? Let the nipples free!), and the absolute essentials missing.

The answer?

Establish the REAL essentials: a few outfits that make you feel marvelous (strippers: what makes you feel sexy? Mothers: what feels and looks good and will actually fit?), a comfortable pair of cotton underpants to put on after all is said and done, and snacks (you will be hungry and you will not want to eat the food available in your establishment).

2. Get used to being naked in front of strangers.

Yes, it may feel odd at first, but trust me, within minutes, you won’t even notice that you’re the only person in the room naked. It will become…normal. You will feel comfortable with strangers examining you, commenting on what they see, even making suggestions on how you should and should not move your body.

3. Ignore the naysayers.

While most of your friends and family will be supportive and even excited about your big announcement (I’m going to be a mom! …I’m going to be an exotic dancer!), there will always be a few (with your best interest at heart) who beg you to reconsider your decision.

Questions you may hear include:

  • Do you really want to do that to your body?
  • Are you sure you’re ready?
  • What will Grandma think?

Accusations you may hear include:

  • But you’re too young!
  • But you’re too old!

4. Get your significant other comfortable with your new role.

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Obviously, you need to tell your significant other about the new label you will be wearing. Of course, if you’re going into labor, I hope it’s safe to assume your partner is aware of your condition. If you are going to a strip club, I imagine it’s also safe to assume your partner has noticed the uptick in your preparatory grooming rituals.

How do you get a non-enthusiastic partner on board with your new role, and hence their new attitude: forever nervous, protective and jealous? Give them time to absorb the situation, be supportive of and be willing to hear their feelings and reassure your partner that although your relationship will never be the same, it will be different in beautiful ways. The challenges you face ahead will be tackled together.

5. Prepare for your mother’s extreme reaction.

Your mother loves you and has been hoping and praying for your happiness and the achievement of all your goals since you were a baby. A huge announcement like, "I’m going to have a baby" or "I’m going to take my clothes off for ones and fives," is sure to elicit a strong flood of emotions from your mother.

Because of this assured emotional reaction, please be kind and considerate. Be sure not to tell Mom your big news while she’s driving, eating or drinking. Be prepared to explain your choice in terms she can appreciate and understand (over frappucinos, your treat!).

6. You will have an identity crisis.

Questions will flood your mind as you set out on this new journey:

  • Who am I?
  • What happened to the old me?
  • Will I ever be able to stop compartmentalizing my life?

Keep in mind that although you’re taking on a new role, a new self in a way, you still remain you. It can be beneficial to separate who you are on a deep level from who you are to the outside world. Make sure to give yourself breaks right from the start from having to be "Mom" or "Sexy" all the time.

Remember, there will be a time in the not-so-distant future that you will once again find yourself just being "you" again. Your baby may have moved off to college, your breasts may have sagged past your belly button, and you will know then that you made a good choice in pursuing outside interests and making yourself important, too.

7. You will make mistakes.

Just as in any new endeavor, you will have brief interludes of error. You are human; it’s normal to make mistakes.

What’s important to remember is to not get mad at yourself when you forget to change the diaper soon enough or forget to tip the house-mom (who will chase you out of the strip club, grab you and shake you to point out your mistake). Do what you can to fix the error: mop up your white sofa or pay the woman who did nothing to help you in the dressing room, but complained non-stop about her arthritis.

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These are the moments when you display courage in action. Take responsibility for your mistakes and move on.

8. You will have some truly beautiful moments.

You’ll be curled up against your sweetie, nursing or bottle-feeding your newborn and suddenly you’ll be washed through with a sense of perfection in the Universe.

You’ll be on stage and the music will melt into your soul, and the lights will make you glow and you will feel beautiful and abandoned and happy.

Cherish those moments as you experience them; seal their positive vibrations into your soul to enjoy in the future because

9. There will also be moments of what can only be described as pure terror and hideousness.

I know this isn’t breaking news for you, but I cannot stress enough just how seriously bad some of your parenting/stripping experiences will be. You may have read funny/scary Mommy blog posts or even watched Showgirls, but none of that can prepare you for the reality of the horror you will experience.

There will be screaming, cursing, and gnashing of teeth (and you know the punchline, not just from you, but also from your new baby or disgruntled, drunk customer).

And there will be fearful moments: your baby learns to crawl right off the bed, landing on her head, or you enter your first private room dance with a man who looks just like your grandfather.

10. Leave no photographic proof behind.

No matter what that seemingly nice man in the suit or your best hippie friend says about how beautiful you would look in nude photographs, your answer should be an adamant, No!

You do not want your naked form shared with the world.

And oh, please—no video. Oh dear God…no video!

Your child will not want to witness his or her entry into the world any more than your partner would want to see you online in Sexy Toe Jams IV (nevermind why he was on a foot fetish site to begin with).

Therefore, whatever you do, do it for yourself, do it for your family, or do it for what you think is in your family’s and your best interest, but do not do it for the camera.

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