So…I’m all about being informed and educated. I love school, learning, reading, etc. I read baby books and your blogs and all sorts of things about babies. I talked to my friends with babies (which is, face it, everyone) and listened to what they had to say. But there are things I wish I had known before it took me the past week to figure them out.
I’m not posting this to scare people – I just thought maybe I might be able to give someone a “heads up” that I could have used 🙂
Further more, I am NOT complaining – I am loving every minute of being Little Man’s mommy!! Again, my goal here is to educate!
I Wish I Had Known…
1) How utterly and completely exhausted I would be. I heard about the lack of/interrupted sleep. What I didn’t know about was the change in my quality of sleep. I wake up frequently just to make sure Little Man is breathing, and I wake up with every little sound he makes. No one (including me) can accurately explain to someone who hasn’t been there just how tired you will be.
2) How sleeping while the baby sleeps is easier said than done. Yes, I know I should lay down & rest while Little Man is sleeping. However, he is on a 2 1/2 hour feeding schedule. Here’s how that translates:
7:00 – bottle & diaper change
7:30 – cuddle & awake time
8:15 – nap
9:30 – start over
So…at most, I would get 1 hour & 15 minutes of sleep IF I laid down and IF I fell asleep immediately. However, I see needs around the house and think, “Oh, it’ll only take 10 minutes to put in the laundry.” That leads into something else into something else into something else, and suddenly Little Man is awake and we start over again.
3) How utterly incompetent I would feel at the beginning. Dressing a squirmy little guy is hard, and it’s worse when he’s screaming because he hates being naked and cold. Diapering a little guy who has a raw circumcision is hard, and it’s worse when he’s screaming because he hates being naked, cold and having vaseline smeared on his little wound. Knowing how many layers is too many or not enough takes some practice. Wondering if I’m paying enough attention to him takes some practice. Wondering if it’s okay, after interacting with him for almost an hour, to put him in his crib because he likes his little aquarium with nature sounds. I’m getting there, but as I keep saying to Little Man, “Dude, there’s a learning curve here. Give Momma a break!” Wish I could give myself a break.
4) How I wish people wouldn’t come visit. That’s a fine line. Of course I want Little Man’s family to see him and love him, and how do you say to people, “You can’t come over” when they’re bringing dinner so I don’t have to cook? But how much do I wish it was just the three of us…
5) How I hate having a messy house AND I don’t think anyone else can clean it the right way. This has never bothered me before – I’m certainly not a perfect housekeeper, and my house has never been picture perfect. But after a few days of being basically housebound, the dog hair, the dust and the clutter was getting on my last nerve. So instead of sleeping…I cleaned. And I actually felt better! But I should have laid down 🙂
6) How wonderful a blessing it is to have friends & family bring meals. I have taken meals to new moms for almost 10 years now, but I had no idea what a true blessing it is. The second night we were home my good friend brought over dinner. We sat down to eat and I burst into tears because I was SO glad I didn’t have to cook. If you don’t have people who can bring you meals, I am sorry. Try & cook & freeze some before baby comes, because you certainly won’t want to cook when baby gets home!! Or quickly join a church! Our small group is doing meals the rest of this week and then my school is doing the next two weeks. HUGE blessings…
7) How emotional I would be. I cry at everything now. Meals (as mentioned above), commercials, moments alone with Little Man, moments when Little Man is crying & I don’t know why, during worship at church…everything. And on the other hand, I totally lose it over my husband’s dumb jokes – I laugh a lot, too.
8) How much laundry one little body can generate. Holy crap. It’s like one full load every other day. I’m sure it didn’t help that there were diapers he peed out of, but seriously…blankets, sleepers, clothes, burp clothes. And it will only increase here shortly when we begin using cloth diapers.
9) How much my back and wrists would hurt. My back hurts from leaning over and picking up little man, from wearing him in a sling, from doing laundry. My wrists hurt from cradling him and holding the little bottles.
10) How amazing and overwhelming it is to be responsible for this little person. I just stare at him, and I just love him SO much. He is beautiful and wonderful and perfect and amazing and every other superlative you can list. I am overwhelmed by the responsibility, but I am loving every single minute of it. Even when I am utterly exhausted!
So…there are the top ten things I wish I had known. I cannot get over how perfect Little Man is and how much I utterly and completely love him.
I should go now – he’s asleep and I should be, too!!!