So, You Just Had a Baby
So, you just had a baby. Your first. Your heart is flowing with love for this little life that you created (or not! Sometimes it takes longer to bond for some moms, and that’s okay too!). You’re on your way home from the hospital (or snuggling in your bed post homebirth). You know your life is going to change, but you have no idea how much.
Laundry will pile up and be a permanent fixture in your home. The odd time that you finish it, your child will immediately spill something or their diaper will leak or they’ll spit up all down your back.
Your walls will never be clean for more than five minutes again. If you’re lucky, you will get to clean them when the kids aren’t home and they will stay clean for as long as they are gone.
“I’m hungry” and “Why?” will become the soundtrack to your life.
A trip to the grocery store alone will feel like a vacation. In fact, you will start considering that “me time.”
You will be so tired that you will put the milk away in the cupboard and the cereal away in the fridge.
You will find yourself yelling at your kids about them not being able to find their mittens, all the while you are looking for your keys (or phone or sunglasses or wallet).
You will realize said keys or phone is actually in your hand, and said sunglasses are already on your head.
Even if you were never late for things before, you will be now. This lateness is compounded by each additional child you have. You will learn that adding a child does not add just 5 minutes to your “getting ready to go” routine, but n! + 10 minutes where n is the number of children you have (so 1x2x3x..xn +10, since I have 4, it’s 1x2x3x4+10 = 34 minutes). Double that if you have potty training toddlers or newborn babies.
Your meals will rarely be enjoyed hot.
Your life will be ruled by naps. Plans will get changed/delayed because your baby fell asleep at the wrong time more than once.
You will find yourself just staring at your child when they are sleeping, in amazement with how cute they are. No matter how much of a terror they were that day.
Your conversations with your partner will become awfully poop centred. You will cheer for poop more than you ever thought possible.
You will feel guilty for all the things you thought about other parents before you had kids. This guilt compounds the more children you have.
You will realize your heart has endless boundaries. Every time you think that you have reached its limits, something happens and it grows even more. This becomes even more apparent the more children you have. At first, you will wonder how you will love another child as much as your first. But then your next child comes and your love grows rather than divides.
You will cry. Out of despair and out of joy. Sometimes the times of despair may outnumber the times of joy. And sometimes the joy outnumber the despair. Don’t feel bad for feeling like it’s hard and dark. Sometimes, parenting is hard and dark. Sometimes it’s lonely. Sometimes the storm feels never-ending. But I promise you joy is coming. You may not see it yet, but it’s there. Waiting for you. Like the song says, “if you ever want to see a rainbow, you have to stand a little rain.” And the rainbows that come out of the storms of parenting are the most vivid and most beautiful rainbows you will ever experience.