When I recall those early months at home with my son, I see a blur of loving confusion (or perhaps confusing love). I wanted to be able to snuggle him blissfully for hours at a time, stay calm through every single diaper change (even the ones that made huge messes), and wipe his tears lovingly. Of course, it was not that simple. There are things that are simply unpleasant, and I could not ignore the fact that there are some terrible things about babies that are only funny later.
Once I started to realize that taking care of a baby isn't all roses and butterflies, it was like unlocking a new parenting level. It didn't necessarily make the tough newborn days any easier, but it offered some perspective that I desperately needed. It's not like I thought bringing a baby home would be easy. I mean, I fully expected challenges and struggles. It's just that, in the moment, things feel so much more intense. (The whole not sleeping thing probably has something to do with it.)
I've laughed over many of my early struggles with a number of my mom friends. I'm currently pregnant with baby number two, so I'm hoping to remember that necessary perspective and, as a result, things won't be too difficult. Probably not, though. Let's be honest: having a newborn in the house is hardly a time when logical things like perspective come in handy. Having a newborn in the house is a never-ending scramble to meet their needs while ignoring your own, since you'e too busy dealing with: