A friend of mine recently started blogging. And she is REALLY good at it. Today she posted such a good post I had to share with all of you. Hope she doesn’t mind —
Planning for Parenthood by “Jacob’s Mom”
Parenthood is messy. And, unfortunately nothing can prepare for it – not even the movie Parenthood which I have watched at least 387 times in my life (so far).
I can’t tell you how many people told me before I got pregnant to enjoy the time I have now because EVERYTHING will change after the baby comes. How could I possibly grasp what they were trying to tell me? And, what’s even more disturbing is that I find myself trying to give the same useless advice to my friends without children. I pride myself in being a good communicator. I know how to get the message across to people, to make them understand, but this is not something that can be communicated. It simply needs to be experienced.
For me, it was in one ear and out the other. I would tell a colleague at work about my escapades over the weekend, which usually included calling it a night at 4am and staying in bed until 3 in the afternoon the next day. Of course, she had kids:
Her: You better enjoy that. Once you have a baby you will wonder what you did with all that free time.
Me: I know what I’m doing with my free time. I’m having fun and sleeping.
I would go about my day, leaving the conversation and unsolicited advice behind me. While I was pregnant the unsolicited advice and discouraging words continued. Here are a few responses I got to the following: “I’m so tired. I didn’t sleep at all last night.”
Them: You think you’re tired now? You just wait! Them: Your body is just getting ready for when the baby comes. Them: Get used to it! Them: You don’t know what tired is.
Yeah, yeah, I thought.
Then Jake was born. Woah. I DID NOT KNOW WHAT TIRED WAS! I remember one night in particular, Jake was less than a week old. Dennis and I went downstairs to watch a recorded episode of Conan O’Brien (our last big purchase before the baby was born was a 60” LED). We sat down, pressed play and before we got to the first commercial we realized we were not going to be able to stay awake for the next 45 minutes of the show. It was 5pm. OK, I get it. You were right.
I stopped nursing after three weeks which meant we had to start buying formula. Not just regular formula, which is expensive enough, but the soy formula which is $5 more expensive. Oh, $25 per week. Cool. And more bibs. A lot more bibs. This baby spits up all the time. Get some burp cloths too. Oh, honey you know what we need? More bottles. Let’s try Dr. Brown’s this time. Eh, I don’t like these. Get some Avents. Get more Avents. Can you pick up some diapers on your way home? And batteries? The swing has gone through them again. Just pick up triple-A, double-A, C and D. I don’t think he fits into these diapers anymore. Let’s get the next size up. And you can grab more wipes too? Don’t forget the aquaphor. We need more sheets for the crib. Jake really needs a jumper. We should get one this weekend. We should probably get him a high chair too. I don’t think he has enough toys. His brain isn’t going to develop properly unless we get him a Leap Frog drum and musical table. OK, I get it. Kids are expensive. I am told this will never end (as I flash to insisting my dad buy lunch for the family on Sunday).
But, one thing I did continue to hear is “It’s all worth it”. This year was my first official Mother’s Day. I was pregnant with Jake last year so even though I felt like it counted (since I had been carrying him around for what felt like two years), he wasn’t in my life yet. Jake woke up at 6:30am on Mother’s Day. Dennis rescued him from his crib, changed him and brought him back to bed with us. He looked at me and smiled, throwing his little body and big head carelessly onto me. He put his head on my pillow, face to face with me. I leaned in quick towards him and stopped, nose to nose. He giggled, showing off his six baby teeth. I did it over and over again. Each time was met with the same big smile and loud giggles. OK, I get it. It’s totally worth it.