As I sit here reading my friends status update who just announced the gender of their first child, I am so incredibly excited for them. They have taken all the right steps in their life to get to this point right here to welcome a child into their world. I feel excited for them. Just seeing the excitement on their faces, takes me back to the excitement I had with our first and also makes me reflect a little on how after three plus years of parenting how that excitement can fade a bit with every day life.
When you are pregnant with your first, you have all these visions in your head of how you are going to be the perfect parent to the perfect child. How you will handle those sleepless nights with a newborn. They seem like cake in your head. You certainly won't be the mom that looses her cool, you won't be the mom that gets completely overwhelmed and you will be the mom that does everything out of love and devotion. And certainly those first three or four months of parenthood are amazing and you probably can get thru the sleepless nights just due to the pure excitement of watching your newborn grow. I remember laying there just watching my son's chest rise and fall and just being so in love with this perfect little gift. The love in your heart is so huge how could you let such a little cute thing overwhelm you right? Well its easy, its easy when you feel like you are doing the whole thing alone. But if you do feel like you are doing it all alone, you can get tired, being chronically tired leads to depression, and agitation and we all know when we don't get our sleep, getting agitated is very easy.
...completely and utterly tired and overwhelmed with a baby who was having cold like symptoms and didn't want to sleep alone. He wanted to sleep attached. I can't sleep when he's attached and I kept trying over and over to put him back in his bed til 4 am when my older son peed the bed and woke up. Baby B screamed and cried while I changed J Myster's sheets and put him in new clothes. Then I tried once again to nurse and rock Baby B to sleep, and he would just scream as soon as I laid him back down. So the only solution at that point was to walk way. Since I hadn't slept yet I pick up J Myster from his bed, shut the door to Baby B's room, and the two of us headed downstairs to sleep while Baby B cried it out. I hate letting them cry it out, but knew if I didn't get sleep, I wouldn't be me the next day.
And I really hate the cry it out technique, but sometimes with two kids and lack of sleep, its the only option. He didn't cry it out for long. The Hubs got up with him. But I try not to burden my husband much with the night time wake ups as it is, because he has sleep issues of his own. So when he can get good sleep, that's always a good thing...so it just seems like I will sleep consecutively for 8 hours maybe sometimes after the next three to four years. ;)
But back to my main point of the excitement and feelings you have of your first child coming, and those first few months. Parenthood is amazing then! It really is and I won't take that back. Parenthood is amazing now with my two boys... I wouldn't take it back for anything....but some days I would love to just focus on me.
I would love to wake up first thing in the morning, wash my face, curl my hair, put on some make up and look good instead of wipes butts, clean up vomit, or soaked sheets and feed other people before myself. I think what most people need to know about parenthood, above the pure act of love that it is, is that its 18 plus years of thinking about someone else before your own needs. Its not a walk in the park, its ugly, tiresome, draining, but oh so worth it if you can see your life past the baby years. If you can imagine yourself loving an adult child whom you raised to be responsible and make good decisions.... if you can imagine the love for this child as an adult, one day completely self sufficient from you, then you know you are ready to be a parent. But if you can't look past the cute baby clothes and strollers, then you might be in a bit of trouble down the road when your child starts learning from all the things you do and say.
That's another blog post for another time when my son said "Your stupid!" to his aunt. I was mortified and tried to figure out where he learned it from. It was either from something I said, not directed toward him, or a P!nk song I listen to in the car. These days my main focus is censorship. I will never indicate on my blog that I am the perfect parent. We all make mistakes and when we start focusing on things other than parenting thru out the day, its easy to mess up in front of your children. I soo have and now I have to figure out how to correct some of the things I know my older son has learned, that he shouldn't have.
I totally didn't mean this post to become a downer, I wanted it to be more of a realization that parenthood sometimes isn't that picture perfect scenario you may have going on in your head. It is hard. Its the hardest thing I think I will ever have to do, and when my child is an adult and he can make good sound decisions, then I'll know I did something right.
Until then, if you are expecting your first child reading this, don't let this overwhelm you, this is just an honest snapshot at parenthood years down the line, but if you are like me you realize all the sleepless nights, all the tantrums, teething and parenthood difficulties are so worth it for all the smiles, giggles, hugs and kisses from your children. Just remember parenthood is messy, so roll up your sleeves, dive in and make it your passion, and you'll get thru it. ;)
Wife, Mother of Two Boys, Coffee Addict, Pinterest obsessed, an aspiring writer balancing every day life of raising a family and blogging about it.