- Family and Parenting
Crazy Days of Baby
I Got the Diapers Again!
Don't Spend Too Much Time Dreaming
We all do it, idealize moments we're excited for. We think labor is going to be this magical experience you're going to share with your partner. Then reality hits and you're sitting there pushing out a baby, while your husband fights nausea and passing out with 20 unknown strangers staring at a place you really don't want 20 people staring at. The pain is too extreme to describe to anyone, and you have lights shining in your face while someone is telling you "it's okay, you're doing great!" No, I'm not doing great. This is the worst moment of my life. That's what you want to scream anyways, but then you see the reason you went through all of that and you forget that someone is stitching you up while people applaud you as if you won the Super Bowl. Those football players don't have anything on you, and you feel like you've just been hit with an 18 wheeler.
The point is, we dream of our children before we even conceive them. We imagine their cute noses and how beautiful they look while they are sleeping. Oh, what an angel! You look at the crib and imagine the baby sleeping peacefully. You look at your rocking chair and dream of those moments rocking your little one to sleep or just cuddling and feeding him. It's a perfect life in your head. You smell the freshly clean blankets and smile while organizing the closets. You coo over how small those clothes are and imagine how adorable they'll look on your baby. That is one dream that you can keep, because your child will look absolutely adorable in those tiny little clothes.
Then, the baby comes and you realize they don't sleep to "sleep peacefully". That organized closet? It lasts a month after the baby's born because you're too tired to keep up with it. In fact, you're lucky if the clothes don't stay crumpled up in the laundry basket because you could only stay awake enough to clean them and bring them back upstairs. Putting them away was just too much. That perfect life you imagined? It smells like poop and sour milk. And happiness? Yes, I think it smells like happiness. And with enough Febreeze, the poop smell doesn't linger very long.
That's even before you have a baby that's quick on his feet. Everything goes downhill from there. He then they run around all over the place, while you chase them. Then they learn they can squeeze between your legs while you're chasing after them, knocking you down in the process. Then those poor puppies. He chases them around, begging them to play with him. He giggles the more pain he inflicts on people, and demands "babas" and to play with whatever he wants to. And the more you tell him he can't go someplace or have something, the more he wants it. And the more he wants it, the bigger his temper tantrum is when he can't have it. It's the "Baby Law of Temper Tantrums": the more the want, the loud he is. Eventually the tantrum makes you laugh because of their mannerisms while doing it.
You end up starting to cry with them, not because you feel sorry for them but because you feel sorry for yourself. What were you thinking?! This isn't the perfect situation I had dreamed of. This isn't my angel that I imagined holding. This is someone else's child, who just happens to look just like a good mix of myself and my husband. This is Satan's child, with the red face of anger to match it. There was obviously a mistake. My innocent angel is sitting with a family that isn't his, while I get this child that won't stop screaming. Oh, and the lungs they have! You can't get enough of that screaming though, it means he loves you. Well, at least you can tell yourself that it means he loves you. And you do tell yourself that quite often.
There is no mistake, that is your bundle of joy. He isn't evil, I promise. He's learning. He's learning boundaries and how to behave. He cries because "baba" and "dada" are all he knows. He knows he's tired, but wants to play instead. It's a test of patience, but it's the most important test of your life. He might not be the perfect little angel you've spent all this time dreaming of, but he is your perfect little angel anyways. Sometimes the best dreams pale in comparison to the best things in life.
Keep It Realistic, but Keep the Dream Alive.
So what if parenthood isn't the idealized fantasy you spent all this time dreaming about. Maybe you can dream about how amazing being a grandparent will be. Or dream about an empty house, quiet of yelling children. The ideal moments of parenthood are the few moments you can get in some sleep or those moments when your child's face glows with happiness looking at you.
Realistically, it isn't going to be perfect. There are going to be rough days where you want to curl up and call it quits. Those days will pass and there will be calmer moments where you can rest easy knowing you're in the same spot many parents with babies and toddlers find themselves. It does get better.
Despite how it seems sometimes, it's worth it. It's all worth it. You don't need to give up your dreams of quiet and angelic children. Dreams are achievable, and your child is perfect because he's yours. Don't be afraid of babysitters or family members that want to help, take them up on it whenever they want. You need your sanity because we all know there are days when you can't find any sanity to help you make it through the day.