Well, after several months of planning, 39 weeks of pregnancy, a whole bunch of excitement and a little bit of nerves, our little guy is here! Well, Samuel Liberty has been here for a little over 6 weeks now and we’re starting to get into the groove of this thing. Sort of. I have to say, as amazing and wonderful as it’s been, it’s been challenging as well! As many of you can identify with, I’m sure, being a new parent is the coolest, strangest, most stressful, happiest thing I’ve ever done!
First, let me tell you a little about myself; I’m a self-described independent woman. I’m almost 41, have a terrific marriage, a successful career in the high tech industry, a group of friends that amaze me on a consistent basis, and a very supportive family. Throw a newborn baby into that mix and what do you get? You get a relatively logical person trying to negotiate her way through the complete and utter non-sensical life of a new baby! I don’t mean that Sammy isn’t intelligent and developing perfectly, what I mean is that there’s no explaining the majority of what happens on a minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, day-by-day basis as far as somebody like me is concerned. Sure, you can tell me that it’s all normal and we’ll find ourselves looking back and missing these days in no time, but that doesn’t make it logical.
A baby’s schedule is totally unpredictable. One minute he’s happily cooing and looking all innocent and cute and the next minute he’s screaming his head off because he spit up 1/2 of his 3rd lunch through his nose all over your shirt. Or he sits quietly in his bouncy seat for 30 minutes and just when you go to pick him up and cuddle him, you realize the reason he’s been quiet is because he’s been busy over filling his diaper with poo. And did I mention that the poo leaked out of his diaper and all over his left leg, somehow found its way up his back and has managed to soak through to the bouncy seat cover?
Okay, okay, enough of these silly little stories and attempts at logical explanations. I want to share a little bit of my mental journey through this baby experiment thus far. Here are some things I’ve learned, forced myself to accept, and experienced so far:
– There is nothing better than being married to a guy that is a committed team member! My husband is incredible with the baby, loves him more than anything, and takes care of me along the way. I can’t imagine doing even a wee little piece of this without him!
– Let go!!!! I can’t say this enough…and I’m still repeating this to myself several thousand times a day. Let go of the perfectly clean kitchen, the neatly folded laundry, the need for a full-night’s sleep, having good hair days, and most of all, of trying to understand how and why your baby does all the strange little things that he does.
– Become comfortable with bodily functions! That’s right…because the main purpose of your little one is to poop, spit-up, eat, sneeze, snot, and pee endlessly. And you get the distinct honor of being in charge of the fallout from all of that!
– You’re not perfect, and neither is anybody else. Is the baby alive today? Then you’ve done your job…is the baby happy??? Then you’ve done a great job! Your job right now is to get through each day and learn a little bit more about your baby, yourself, and how you choose to deal with all of that.
– 80% of how your experience goes is completely dependent on YOU! The baby is going to eat, poop, sleep, and cry no matter what you do. How you choose to deal with each of those things will determine your experience as a new parent. Are you going to freak out over a crying spell or pour a glass of wine and realize that you’re not a superhero? Babies cry! Get over it!
– Be kind to yourself and others. Especially your spouse! Go easy on yourself, this is a big commitment, a huge honor, and a miraculous accomplishment. You’ve built a human and are keeping it alive. That’s a lot, pat yourself and your spouse on the back!
– This too shall pass…as logical humans we know that time passes. Babies develop and change at breakneck speed, so just when you feel like this phase of no schedule, no sanity, no logic will never end, it will. I think.
– Do what works! Forget all the advice, books, google, and the rest of the crap that gets thrown at you….and do whatever works for you, your baby, and your family!
– Use your instincts. After all, you have them! You know your baby better than anybody else, listen to your gut. You’ll have everybody from nurses to mother-in-laws to google to well-intentioned friends telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. Take a deep breath and remember that it’s your kid! You know what’s best…now do it!