As most of you know recently my wife and I welcomed a little guy into our lives. We waited the 9 months for our baby to arrive and were excited for the eventual arrival of our baby. Leading up to our life as parents we received a lot of unsolicited advice on what to expect. So of course we mentally prepared for the changes our life would encounter among the blessing of a new baby. Here are a list of things we did not prepare well enough for or we blindsided by:
1. Sleep getting destroyed.
Okay we were warned that our days of sleeping in were over and everyone says that adjusting to a lack of sleep with a new baby is difficult. The thing is I just didn’t really believe it 100%, for some reason. Especially in the first few weeks, this was a bit of a challenge to deal with. We really were zombies considering the long few days of labour and adding on the new lack of sleep. Over Christmas holidays was probably the worst of it so far, being outside of his regular bed seemed to really throw him off. He would sleep for an hour or so then wake up, and it would take an hour to get him asleep followed by a short sleep and repeat. After 4 or 5 cycles of this insanity starts to set in. After 2 months things have improved for sure, but consistently interrupted sleep can take some getting use to.
2. It takes forever to get out of the house
I guess we didn’t think about how long it would take to go anywhere post baby. Attempting to leave the house is a learned art form. Balancing your babies feeding, mood, sleep time and your plans might not mix perfectly. In the past we lived a relatively spontaneous life, Saturdays were a free day with open ended plans that might have included sleeping in (see above) perhaps an 11am trip to a coffee shop or a late breakfast/brunch at one of Bloor West’s cozy establishments. We did not consider that fitting such events would pose a challenge initially. As the weeks have gone by we have gotten a little better at these things and now can venture out a little more often.
3. The Car Seat is amazing
I know many people had told us that the best thing for settling their baby was car rides. This is so true. Every time we leave the house and he goes in his car seat he falls asleep. The key is to drive far enough so he falls into a good sleep and we will have some valuable time on our hands. This make shopping a lot easier or visits to coffee shops much smoother. The other day we really needed to do some groceries but Jackson was not in a good mood and nobody wants to hear a screaming baby in a store but our supply was critically low so we had to go out. All we had to do was get him in the car seat and drive around for a while till he was good asleep. The store is a two minute drive so we had to make a few detours but it worked like a charm and said grocery trip was successful.
4. A complete life change
Again this is one of those things everyone says but for some reason we did not really believe. When you combine some of the things I have mentioned change is inevitable. In all honesty this hasn’t been such a bad thing. While being spontaneous is a great thing, having to plan outings isn’t that bad. The complete change of focus was the part not really expected. I did not expect to alter everything around this new person. I had not considered that I would really think first about my child. Until that day came I had not really fully thought about how much our lives would change.
5. It is a lot of work!
Baby sitting or playing with my nieces did not really prepare me for how much work a baby is. I had heard the joke many times over as I would give back a crying child to its parent, “you can’t just give the baby back when its yours.” Among the cuddles, smiles and cuteness babies are a lot of work. I had not fully realized that some days how an hour of crying or fussing would impact me. I never thought how it could actually reach into your soul and I would feel bad for a crying baby. I saw parents trying to calm their babies but I did not realize the full emotion connection a parent would have. The hard work relates directly to the above mentioned things.
I do of course say these things as a fun look into my life and how I have found it interesting. This is one of those things you need to experience before you believe. More importantly I did not expect to have the capacity to care and love for another person in this way. Its entirely different then my love for my wife or family members. It is fresh and rewarding at the same time. I would have to say the last two months have been a wild and amazing adventure full of fascinating moments every day.Advertisement