as with the Top 10 things I Wish I’d Known About Being Pregnant, there are a million things i can’t believe i didn’t know about newborns and the first three months of baby-life.
i have friends who, when they were expecting, read every book, magazine, blog and Bible verse they could get their swollen little hands on, to be prepared for the advent of their little one. did i? oh, no. heavens, no. “women centuries ago didn’t have Babywise or Babywhisperer books and they got along just fine. i mean, mary, the mother of Jesus didn’t get a subscription to Parenting magazine; susannah wesley didn’t need those What to Expect books. i’m a relatively savvy, competent human – this is totally something i can just wing.”
who was i kidding?
because i WAS a relatively savvy, competent human…until Postpartum-Hormone-Crashing.
10. Building a Healthy Baby. this is what our ‘childbirth’ or ‘Lamaze’ class was called. a class to get you through the delivery. then you get through the delivery. now what? i got a 6-wk class to get me through a 6-hr process. where’s my class for the 18-yr process?
9. There is no such thing as a schedule. those people who tell you there is? they’re lying. it’s just an eat-sleep-repeat cycle. but don’t kid yourself that you’ll be able to predict times with any of it.
8. A full-time job is not 40 hrs/wk. you go on maternity leave from your full-time job, take your baby home and have a 168 hr/wk job. going and going and going…and going…
7. It takes a village to raise a child. the africans said it, hillary clinton wrote a book about it, and i believe it. i had mom and my sister with me, stev home everyday, folks from church bringing food, and it took everyone of us to get (me) through the first 2 months.
6. “I will never do that when I have kids.” not so fast. those of you who don’t have children, bite your tongue before you say that ever again. i could write a whole top-10 list of things i’ve caved on. by the time claris was only 4 months old.
5. “Breastfeeding is best.” yeah, clearly a man keeps writing that all over the place. hands down the hardest thing i’ve ever done. ever.
4. Formula is not poison. i had convinced myself i would never give my baby 2nd-best, never give her formula, because formula = cyanide, formula = arsenic, formula = ricin. aaahhhhh… please refer back to #5.
3. You will embrace dependence. you who were that savvy, competent person? you will become dependent on others for sleep, food, sanity, clean laundry, a picked-up living room…all those things you spent the last 34 years learning to do for yourself. you feel a little wee bit like your baby – helpless.
1. She’s a perfect little treasure. you’ve been entrusted with something beautiful and unique. whatever you did before that you thought was important now pales in comparison to caring for, praying for and raising this little one God gave you. the weightiness and purpose of your life, and what you feel you’re accomplishing for eternity is bound up in this tiny thing. there’s no way you can know what lies ahead and there’s no way you can get where you’re going without some help…