Newborns are, well, a handful. They come into our lives like chubby little wrecking balls, taking us all by surprise with their incredible ability of shaking things up. Meeting your baby after 40 weeks (give or take) of waiting is really incredible. Truly, it is. That said, people need to stop romanticizing the newborn months. Trust me when I say that once the initial amazement is over, real life with a newborn actually begins.
Now, how can I accurately describe the newborn month while resisting the urge to hide under the bed in the fetal position until this article writes itself? Well, imagine you and your partner alone, hanging out watching a movie on the couch. You're eating snacks, you're laughing together, you're cuddling, and maybe you're even getting a little frisky. Now erase all of that from your memory and imagine non-stop bloodcurdling screaming, tripping over baby gear, stubbing your toes on baby furniture that wasn't there a month ago, struggling to stay awake, trying not to die from physical pain and physical and mental exhaustion, crying, fighting, arguing, and all while trying to keep a newborn alive and well. I bet you're wondering what happened to that lovely movie scenario, huh? Yeah, it's gone. You'll be too tired to snuggle. That is immediate postpartum life for many new parents.
So yes, while the first few days may feel so dreamy and sweet — cradling that new baby in your arms, inhaling that newborn smell, adjusting to the bittersweet tastes of motherhood — the first few months can be slightly hellish. Now, I'm not saying everyone has the same experience, because of course that's not the case. In fact, I had two totally different experiences with each one of my kids. My second baby was a breeze compared to my first. I am saying, however, we should be cautious of how we discuss the first few months postpartum because romanticizing something that can often be so difficult places unnecessary pressure upon mothers.