There is a girl at my church who is in love with my baby… this doesn’t surprise me because he is seriously the cutest boy I’ve ever seen. She and he husband have been married for a while and she talks a lot about wanting a baby. Since misery loves company, I am all for it, the only thing is I feel like I should warn her about a few things first… but I won’t since it’s not my place and she probably wouldn’t listen anyway.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I was scared to death thinking about how and when she would come out of me. The mere thought of labor was enough to make me break out into hives. Women who had been through it all before me were happy to “help” by telling me all of the things that could go wrong, and how terrible labor actually is. If you are reading this and happen to be a person who enjoys sharing your terrible labor story, you should stop, it’s just mean. The day that my daughter was born finally came, and when labor was over and I held her in my arms I realized that I had freaked out over nothing (just kidding it hurt like hell.) Nevertheless it ended quickly enough.
As I held my sweet daughter in my arms, I knew that she was going to make me the single most happy person in the world. She was beautiful and I had this whole mom thing in the bag. Three days after her birth, they actually let me take her home. We put her in her little carseat, got her into the car, and drove about 20 miles an hour home. I was so happy to be a mom, and I knew exactly what I was doing, since I had babysat so often… then the sun went down and it was time for bed. I became filled with terror, what if something happened to this perfect child. I was so afraid of sids that I slept with my hand in her bassinet, I never put a blanket in her bed, and I would nurse her in another room with the light on so that I didn’t fall asleep and accidentally squish her. Since then, I have learned a great deal about being a parent that I never read in a book.
1. You’re tired ALL the time:
Seriously, children are like little energy vampires. Even when they start sleeping through the night, you don’t.
2. They are always looking for trouble:
Well, after they become mobile anyway. Dog food, pennies, shoes… they are going to put it in their mouth. They are drawn to anything that is potentially dangerous. I’m sure that’s in a book somewhere, but I never quite understood the magnitude.
3.They won’t save your marriage:
In fact, they make it so much harder to be married. The first isn’t so bad, but adding a second will definitely interfere with mommy daddy time.
4. You don’t get to put them on a schedule:
These tiny humans make their own rules and work on their own time. They will put you on a schedule, and you better stick to it, or else.
5. Sleep reversions:
I feel like I shouldn’t even write about this, because it must be a secret parent thing, since I had never even heard of them until I had a kid. Picture this: your baby has been sleeping well through the night for 8 months, all of a sudden they quit, with no explanation… it’s worse than the newborn stage since it’s unexpected and you are probably back at work.
I was so afraid that I would miscarry with my daughter that I spent 37 weeks and 5 days filled with fear. I thought that it would be over once she was here… but I had a whole new set of worries instead.
7. It flies by:
I am writing this as I lay in my 3 year old’s bed. It seems like we just brought her home. She is speaking in sentences, counting, and writing letters… I swear if I blink she will be driving.
8. It ages you:
Maybe not physically, but you just feel older. You no longer have much in common with childless people. Even people who are older than you will seem younger if they don’t have kids… it probably has something to do with the energy vampires.
9. It’s ok to regret it:
I have never had a day where I regretted having children… but I do have fleeting thoughts. Thoughts about how much easier it was before, thoughts about how much I miss when it was just my husband and I. I can’t imagine my life without my kids, I love them so much… but there are moments.
10. There will be a last
As parents, we are always concerned with baby’s first. First words, first time rolling over, first steps, etc… I never thought about the lasts. The last time I would rock my daughter to sleep, the last time I would carry her on my hip, or even the last time I would wake up with her in the middle of the night. I haven’t rocked my daughter to sleep in a really long time, but I didn’t know that the last time I did was the last time… seriously savor those moments.
I could write about this all night, but my daughter is finally asleep and I want to watch House of Cards, so I will end with this…
Most of us parents make jokes about how terrible it is, we aren’t lying. But it’s also wonderful, funny, and so rewarding. I wouldn’t go back to before my daughter, even if I could. To those thinking about a baby, you’re never actually going to be ready, so you might as well go ahead and do it.