Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before I Had A Baby
Some friends of mine are expecting their first child this fall and I couldn't be more excited for them! In their blog post announcing the pregnancy, they asked for advice from people and I thought I'd take the time to answer one of the questions they had that I thought was a good topic to tackle:
What are things you wish someone would have told you before you had your first kid?
Everybody who tried to convince me to have children before The Husband and I decided to told us how "it's the best" and, "it's hard but it's so worth it" but no one tells you the actual hard truths that come with having a kid that you need to hear. I get it, no one likes to be negative but if it means an easier transition into parenting, I will take it. And most people had great advice which I did heed, and trust me, you WILL get advice from everybody you know and even people you don't know because somehow having a big ol' pregnant belly is somehow a green light for unsolicited advice and touching.
But knowing what I know now? Here are a few things I wish someone had told me before we had our first baby:
1) Your baby will (more than likely) sleep more than they ever will in the daytime the first couple of months so take that opportunity to get your shit done.
Or don't and enjoy watching your wee one sleep because it's so damn cute and they're super super sweet! Just know that your baby will sleep for a couple to a few hours at a time during months one till three-ish and that is your chance to either sleep or go eat something or just watch some TV and catch up on your shows (if you're nursing, take that time to pump) or (if you're a freelancer like me) get work done.
I also encourage you to read a book, catch up on social media, take a shower, turn on the monitor and get some time to yourself... Point is, just do something that makes you feel like a regular person again because soon, what YOU want to do won't matter anymore.
2) Everyday is different.
This was something I learned quickly but just because your baby does one thing today doesn't mean she'll do it again tomorrow. One day Theo loved broccoli. In fact he happily ate it a few times so I go out and buy, like, four giant heads of broccoli and steam and pack and freeze them. The next day he gags and throws an absolute fit when I try to feed it to him. Hell, he'll probably like them again if I try in a week.
Another thing that changes every single day is the baby so take those pictures. Take those videos. Don't even worry about being "that parent" and BE THAT PARENT because it's absolutely amazing how (and you may not even notice it one day to the next) their faces and features change all the time!
3) This is the scariest thing you will ever ever do.
This is just one of the few hard truths I was talking about. People talk about how fulfilling it is, how rewarding having a child is, how complete you'll feel blah blah blah but no one warns you that you will worry about everything. I mean, EVERY DAMN THING.
Yes, this seems pretty obvious, like of course you're supposed to care! But these instincts and worries don't manifest till you are holding that tiny being in your hands, and suddenly the things you worried about yesterday? Trivial at best, and in their place new worries and new fears that go to 11. It can be paralyzing at times (especially these days) but damn, if there's anything that's going to motivate you to be your best self, it's that tiny human.
This isn't groundbreaking advice, but it's three things I wish I did know going into new-mom-hood because I like to plan and had I known these things, I would have planend more.
You're going to have a lot to look forward to and it's going to be equal parts scary and exciting. Babies are awesome; YOUR baby is going to be awesome to you and they'll surprise you several times a day and everything they do is adorable - even when they pee on you. The fun, tender moments outweigh the scary and till this day I still can't believe Theo is here and he's ours. It's a feeling I can't properly describe except to assure you that it really is amazing
This whole process is amazing, and what comes next is full of surprises and bumps and laughs and tears and a whole mixed bag of emotions.
You're going to love it.