The ABCs of New ParenthoodPosted: 12/05/2013
Mixon is over two months old now, and as we near the end of the fourth trimester, the head is flopping less, the parents are sleeping more, and the ‘oh my god what have we done-ness’ has started to fade.
Now that I’m an expert at this parenting thing, I thought I’d break it down for those of you who have been there, those who are about to be there, and those who need a dose of schadenfreude. So, here are my ABCs of new parenthood:
A is for “awww” – you will hear/say this more in one day than you have in all of your years combined.
B is for BM – you have never cared this much nor been this close to poop in your life
C – clueless. They send you home with this new human who can’t speak and you’re supposed to know what to do. You won’t. If it’s comforting, remember that every other new parent, regardless of how many books they’ve read or things they’ve bought is equally as clueless. If it’s not comforting, I’m sorry.
Doubt. So, so much doubt. You will doubt your doubts and then doubt the doubting of the doubts. Now the word ‘doubt’ looks weird to me.
Early. Hopefully one of the parental units is a morning person, because you will watch the sun come up on a daily basis. Mixon usually goes to sleep again after he’s eaten, so it could be worse. Maybe it will be in a few months…
F is for failure. You will feel like a failure a good portion of the time. I don’t think this gets better as they get older. So…
Growth. It’s pretty amazing to watch someone growing up in real-time.
H is for hard. This is by far the hardest thing you’ve ever done in your life.
Internet. Your best friend and worst enemy. I tend to stick to forums and skip over WebMD
Judgement. Judge and ye will be judged. Everyone thinks their parenting style/decisions are best.
K – kids. You will become much more interested in other people’s children once you’ve had your own. See above for why. You will also become weirdly interested in when/if couples without kids will have kids. Misery loves company…
L is for love. There was no ‘wash of love’ for either my husband or me. In fact, you will probably experience feelings of hate in those first few weeks. Not hatred of this helpless creature screaming in your arms, hatred of the situation. But the love comes, I promise.
Mommy – you will call yourself/your partner this, and it will feel weird. Also: daddy. Also: son.
N is for nursing. A much-more-complicated-than-it-should-be process that can knock you down, lift you up, and leave you with a numb arm, painful boobs, and restless leg syndrome. Oh, and magic. And love. And whatever else you’re supposed to feel. Mostly, I just feel a kinship to cows. But ‘breast is best’, so we keep on trucking.
Omnipotent. You’ll wish you are.
P – partner. If you’re lucky enough to have someone you’re raising this child with, it’s helpful if you have a ridiculously strong partnership. This is especially true if you’re actually trying to work together to make decisions. You will fight, you will cry, but you’ll also see new sides of each other and find similarities that might surprise you. See also: hard.
Q is for quiet. When you finally get an over-tired infant down for a nap, you will do whatever it takes to keep him there. I have never cooked so quietly in my life.
Right. There are no right answers. Keep this in mind when dealing with your P.
S – stretching. Apparently, it’s human nature, because infants basically come out of the womb doing it. It’s adorable. S is also for smiles. Because seriously.
T is for tears. Yours, your partner’s, and your kid’s. There will be tears.
Underfed – Babies are very good for dieting. They see you chomping down on a sandwich or pasta and they start screaming. You eat fast or you don’t eat at all. Babies hate evenings, for some reason, so you can forget about a nice quiet meal at the dining room table.
V is for video. I thought I took a lot of pictures of my dog, but that was nothing. This weird little creature is fascinating, and you’ll want to capture every moment that doesn’t involve pooping or screaming. Though Mix is pretty damn cute on the changing table.
Worry. You will. A lot.
X is for X. There are always plenty of unknowns.
Yes. This is the answer to the question “is it worth it?”
Z – zombie baby. Maybe this is just Mixon, but he frequently gets crap in his throat. This makes him sound like a zombie when he breathes. It’s sad in a funny way.
Clearly it sucks sometimes, but I think (hope) you forget these early days when they start talking (the coos are already awesome) and hugging (we’re getting there) and playing until you’re ready for the terrible twos and it starts all over again. And since I now want everyone on the planet to have kids so that Mixon has a bunch of cool friends, I will say it again. Yes. It’s totally worth it.