There's no denying that babies are precious and adorable and little mini-miracles that bring so much joy to so many people. Having said that and, hopefully, covered all my bases, I must also say: babies are work. So. Much. Work. I loved taking care of my newborn son however, now that my newborn son is now a wild, two-year-old toddler, I can safely say that there are things no one actually likes about newborns. Are they great? Yes. Are they also loud, poop-machine bumps on a log that don't do much outside of cry and eat? You bet.
Unlike many other mothers I've talked to, I don't really wax nostalgic for my son's newborn days. Personally, I like having a toddler better, as my son has now formed a personality, can do certain things by himself, can actually play and run and jump and can articulate what he thinks, feels and needs. Toddlers are work, just like newborns, but they're also way more active and (in my opinion) way more fun. Sure, sometimes I miss when my son was a tiny little ball of sweet-smelling skin and he was the perfect size to sleep on my chest. Those days, however, are few and far between.
The following isn't a knock on newborns or reasons why someone should second-guess their decisions to have one. Babies are pretty awesome, you guys. Still, it helps to be realistic about how much work they truly are and how caring for them is, sometimes, the pits.
How Fragile They Are (Or Appear To Be)
I remember holding my son for the first time, thinking, "You are way too small and fragile. There's no way the hospital is going to let me leave with you."
Spoiler alert: they did.
I know they say babies are built to survive their parents, but it's still somewhat unsettling (at least in the beginning and definitely when you're having your first baby) to hold someone so tiny and helpless in your arms and know you're responsible for keeping them safe. Talk about an immense amount of pressure.
How Boring They Can Be...
In the beginning, my baby was anything but boring. In fact, I could just sit and stare at his sleeping face all day long and be completely content (I also thought he was a lot of work, because changing diapers and breastfeeding on demand and changing more diapers isn't easy when you're exhausted).
Still, babies don't do very much. At all. They sit and sleep and poop and pee and eat and then they do it all over again.
...Because They Can't Really Move
On the one hand, it's awesome that you can put your baby down in one specific spot, and they'll stay in that one specific spot until you pick them up and move them.
On the other hand, they're kind of like a bump on the log.
...And They Can't Talk (Only Cry)
I can't tell you how awesome it is to have a toddler who can speak to me. Now he can articulate (sometimes oddly, but still) what he needs, what he wants, what hurts and so on and so forth. I no longer have to guess like I did when he was a newborn and I was still learning his cries and what they were all trying to convey. There's something to be said for learning a language, my friends.
How Often They Sleep...
All they do is sleep all day which, yes, can be great, but on the other hand; come on kid, do something cool!
...And How Little They Sleep
Then again, babies don't really sleep that often. I am so glad I'm passed the "up every two hours (or less)" stage of my son's life. That was rough, you guys. While it seemed like all he would do during the day was sleep, all he would do during the night was cry and eat and cry some more. Talk about exhausting.
How Much Stuff They Need
Why oh why oh why does such a tiny little human being need so much damn stuff? The moment my son was born, he took over our little apartment with all the toys and clothes and blankets and everything and anything else you could possibly buy for a newborn. It was ridiculous.
Don't even get me started on how much stuff you have to take with you when you lave the house with your baby. It feels like you're packing for a two week wilderness excursion.
How Needy They Are
I didn't mind doing everything and anything for my baby, because he was my baby and he needed me to. However, now that I have a toddler and he can do certain things by himself, I definitely don't miss having to do it all because he wasn't capable of doing anything at all. I mean, yes, we get to dress them in adorable outfits, but there's something to be said for having a child who can dress themselves (even if those outfits don't match).
How Weird They Look Directly After They're Born
I will always and forever think my son was (and always will be) the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I remember looking at him right after he was born and laying on my chest, thinking about how perfect and amazing he was.
Still, I can be objective and also say: brand new babies look kind of weird. I mean, they're covered in goo, their heads sometimes look a little strange, and they can't necessarily open their eyes so when they do, they look somewhat odd. Of course it doesn't mean we don't still think they're perfect in every single way, but they look like mini-aliens, you guys.
How Terrifying They Can Be
I don't know about you, lovely reader, but I was terrified of my son the moment he was born. In fact, I'm still afraid of him. Petrified, actually. I love him so much, I know how he can (and probably will) hurt me. I know that when he hurts, I am going to ache. I know that when he eventually tells me he hates me in some teenage, angsty rant, I will be heartbroken. I know that when he eventually leaves me and goes out into the world, I will miss him with every ounce of my being. Loving someone so much is so scary.
Would I go back and not have my son so I don't have to be so vulnerable? Absolutely not. This love is unlike any I've ever experienced, and even when it's truly horrifying and I don't know how I am going to be everything my son need me to be, I will gladly live in a mild state of fear for the rest of my life. Loving your baby is just, well, worth it.