Thursday, January 3, 2013
6 things that surprised me about be a mom
1. Babies make a lot of noise. And I'm not talking about crying. I'm talking about all the grunting, snorting, squeaking, coughing, sneezing, hiccuping, heavy breathing, and one I can only describe as "kookaburra". At night I sometimes feel like we've invited a wild animal to sleep at the foot of our bed.
2. Babies bounce. No, I've never actually tested this, but, while babies are tiny and delicate and need a lot of care, they are actually more resilient than I'd thought. I remember meeting a friends' newborn baby (who was a little early but of normal size) for the first time and been absolutely terrified to hold her or even breathe on her too hard thinking I'd break her. Scott is probably that size now, and we lug him all around the house, wrestle his clothes on and off, wrestle his diaper on and off, and he's no worse for the wear (although he'd tell you differently - especially when it comes to getting a bath).
3. Babies make a lot of laundry. I was told that this was true, but it was another thing I had to learn from experience. Scott will go for hours being a wonderful, clean baby and then *boom* he lets it fly, and in less than 5 minutes I've got a laundry basket full of changing pad covers, outfits, burp clothes, blankets and my shirt. He's especially hard on changing pad covers. Despite our best efforts to keep things... um... contained, I think we wash all four of ours every day.
4. I would get used to body fluids being expelled on me realquick - People say it's not gross because it's your kid. I think it's only not gross because it doesn't smell (at least for breastfed babies).
5. Things happen at their own pace. I worried a lot in the first week or two because things that I thought were supposed to have happened hadn't yet. When would he poop and pee more? Why wasn't he burping or spitting up? All those things happened shortly after I worried that they never would, and Scott has done a great job of making up for lost time.
6. Love at first sight. Yeah, I'm ending with a sappy one, but I've read from the parenting books that a lot of moms actually grow to love their newborns rather than feel in love with them from day 1 - especially because newborns are like little dictators: lots of demands without any positive reinforcement. Because I don't think of myself (or like to think of myself) as a particularly sentimental or emotional person, I was afraid that I'd feel like Scott was a stranger in our midst and that it would take a long time for us to bond. However, I was awed, amazed, and in love with him from the minute I saw him and feel like mothering has come more "naturally" to me than I thought it would.
What surprised you most about parenthood?