If my own experience is any indication, being a brand new mother is overwhelming. You're excited and scared and nervous and happy and trying to adjust to the new life you've created, and the new life you're now living. In between the gratitude and love every new mom feels for her baby, there are most definitely moments (okay, hours) of frustration and desperation that can outweigh some of the best things that new moms should never take for granted. In other words, the grass always looks greener, but it rarely ever is.
For the record, most new moms I encounter tend to be straddling the line between feeling enamored and lucky, and being an inch away from a full-on meltdown (and I don’t mean the baby’s). So of course, in no way do I hold anyone responsible for failing to realize that there are some things about brand new motherhood (and infant care and those initial postpartum weeks or months) that should be savored, because really a new mom is busy keeping another person alive and recovering from pregnancy, labor and delivery. As they should be.
However, now that my son is a full-fledged toddler who is two going on twelve, I feel like I have a slight (very, very slight) amount of perspective on those early days of motherhood. So, it’s my humble pleasure to offer up some suggestions of things that might seem like a normal part of parenthood, but in fact are some things that are pretty special about that #NewbornLife and should be savored immediately by all who are still experiencing them.
A Baby That Sleeps Constantly
Yes, I’m using the word “constantly” a bit liberally here, but the fact remains that babies take lots of naps, so I stand by it. My own son is starting to skip the occasional nap so, recently, I’ve been holding those early days in high regard. I fondly recall the days of yore when he’d sleep through errands and outings and episodes of Smash. Yes, Smash.
Countless Friends And Relatives Who Want To Hold Your Baby
It’s actually pretty sweet, if you think about it. Personally, I used to be a little nervous around babies, but now that I’ve had one I can totally understand the desire to hold someone else’s (and then hand it back when fussing starts). Yes, at first it's kind of annoying and you want to tell people to freakin' back off, but trust me; a day will come when an extra pair of hands will seem like a damn holiday.
The Extra Offers Of Help And Support
Under most circumstances, I’d feel a little guilty having my own mom over to cook and do my household’s laundry. However, when there’s a ten-day-old person crying for me, I’ll take all the help I can get, and that help was all around me when I first brought my baby home.
Now? Yeah, now those offers are nowhere to be found. Initially, and when there's a beautiful newborn baby involved, everyone wants to lend a hand. Now that there are toddler tantrums in the mix? Nope.
How Gentle And Soft All Toys Are
There can never be enough pastel fuzzy animals in a baby’s room, especially when there are soft bells sewn inside. Now that my son has moved on to toy trucks and plastic tools and various other toys that are not as gender-neutral as I’d personally like them to be, I kinda miss the cute, fluffy stuff. Especially because, well, throwing those fluffy toys across the room would probably cause less damage.
How You Can Take Your Child Out Without Shoes
Once they start requiring shoes, all of a sudden they are scattered throughout the house and never where you actually need them to be. Not that I’m speaking from experience, or anything.
The Fact That Feeding Your Child Doesn’t Involve A Menu Or Pack Of Cereal Snacks That Spilled In The Backseat Of The Car
To be fair, both breastfeeding or bottle feeding can come with a slew of complications of their own, but at least those issues didn’t (usually) result in restaurant meltdowns and thrown ketchup.
That New Baby Smell
Someone needs to figure out how to bottle the scent of new babies, because I think it could solve any and all wars before they start. Guys, I’m only sort of joking here.
How Light Your Child Is And How Easy They Are To Carry
Of course, you’re tired for many, many other reasons, but at least your arms aren’t sore (unless, of course, you use your baby’s carrier constantly, in which case you would surely crush me in arm wrestling).
The Option To Babywear
I know that baby-wearing isn’t for everyone, but I miss having the option. Technically, my toddler still hasn’t reached the weight limit that would mean we'd no longer be able to use one of our favorite carriers, but I’m scared to try because I don’t want him to resist and cloud the beautiful memories (not counting the times he peed on me).
Reclining With Your Baby On Your Legs
They grow up so fast. First, they can’t sit on your stomach as you lay on the couch, and then they are driving to prom. Like sand through an hourglass, you guys.
So Many Milestones, So Little TIme
When you're a new mom, every day brings something new and exciting and frustrating and intense. I’ve lost count of the number of times parents of older kids have warned me how fast it goes. In fact, if I wasn’t confident that every other mom ever is constantly told the same thing, then I’d preach it here, too, because, well, it's true.