Then & Now

I told Willy the other day that it’s too bad you can’t live your life in hindsight. When we came home with Hooper, we were hit with a ton of bricks. We were exhausted, anxious, and completely clueless. We had one of our biggest fights within the first few weeks and I don’t think either of us recalls what it was even about. We were just so tired. Sure, we both loved Hooper instantly (me a little more than Willy, truthfully), but that first month was about survival.
Bringing home a newborn this time around has been a completely different experience. I think we know now that a newborn has nothing in the way of difficulty when compared to the all-time-consuming 21 month old. Which brings me back to the fact that it’s too bad we can’t live our lives in hindsight. I think we would have enjoyed Hooper as a newborn much more if we new how easy we really had it. But, life can’t be lived in rewind mode. So my advice to first time moms is this: Relax. Enjoy these moments because next week you’ll be caring for a completely different baby; they change that fast. Just as soon as you begin reworking your life around the little bean you are holding today, that little bean starts to sprout and your plan must be adjusted again. You are not alone in thinking that the newborn stage is both wonderful and the worst thing ever at the same time. Parenthood is full of these dichotomies. You’ll have plenty of time to bond and love your child, so if you feel like you are simply “getting through” the first month, that’s okay. Hang in there.
That’s my two cents. Does anyone else have any other words of wisdom for the first timers out there? How was your experience with bringing home a second baby; was it easier than the first? How ’bout those of you with three; do they all get easier?

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5 Responses

  • Hey there, I started reading your blog a few months ago and I’m so happy that I did. I’m 19 weeks pregnant with my first kiddo and each post of yours lifts a little weight from my shoulders. I’m 24 & since this is my first child, I have no idea what I’m doing. I have no idea what to REALLY expect. I could read all of the baby books front to cover and drive myself insane, but I find myself finding relief in the friends I have and others that have already went through this. To me, people and experience are better than books. I look forward to every post you put up. Seeing how much Hooper has grown, even though that cute little man has driven you a bit crazy at times, it just makes me think “Okay, I can do this.” …especially since you’ve been able to put all of your new found wisdom into Van. I have no idea how my little one is going to come out and start acting. I know every pregnancy and child is different, but I want to thank you for bringing me the feeling of relief. You’re a wonderful mom and I look forward to reading each post.

    – Alexis

  • This is great advice. It took me about 2 weeks to really bond with my son. I mean, I had just met him and he was ruining all my old routines. But once the stress and the pain got better, I fell for him. That first month it’s about survival. For the both of you. My best advice to first time moms (I’m not a second time mom, yet) is “if the baby is crying, it’s breathing…finish your shower”

    I love your blog and your honesty about all things wife and mom-y.

  • You are such a wonderful mom and you are full of so much wisdom. What the heck? What happened to my clueless little sister? That second paragraph is full of gems for new moms and those of us wondering if we’ll have the guts to ever be moms.
    Love you.

  • The first six months of my son’s life were the worst six months of mine. Because of colic, reflux, & allergies, he cried literally all.the.time. (like really 10 hours straight was his worst run – i kid you not at all). We were in some doctor or specialist’s office at least once a week. Add to that breastfeeding “issues” and it was a total disaster. Looking back, i can honestly say every month has been better than the one before. My son is two now & i’ve enjoyed him and us as a family more in the last 6 months than i thought possible. I think newborns are REALLY awfully hard & toddlers are joyous, truly a gift. Its funny how different each mom’s experience can be. I’m totally looking forward to how my walking, talking, mischief-making-mini-man is going to grow up. It just gets better everyday (even when he draws all over the kitchen cabinets with crayons – yesterday’s debacle- its better than his infant days!).

  • I, too, had a super colicky baby…but that only lasted about 2 months. We were clueless as well. I cried everyday for about 2 weeks straight. I had moments where I truly thought I could just walk away from all of this, just get in the car, hit the petal to the metal and never look back…and be OKAY with that. Ladies, it’s the surging, raging hormones talking. I didn’t actually fall in love with my baby until 2 days after bringing her home…and even then I didn’t love her as much as I’m head-over-heels in love with her now (she’s 4 months old). My advice: as much as you can, be patient. It’s true, things will get better. This, too, shall pass. Also, get your priorities straight. I would majorly stress over the fact that I couldn’t get anything done around the house (chores) because all my time went to this fussy baby who had to be held all the time…even while napping. Get over all of that. The dishes will still be in the sink for you to do tomorrow. The house won’t fall apart with extra clutter for a few days/weeks. Your baby is your top priority, and so what if all you did for a few days is lay on the couch together. You’ll never get those precious first moments back, so cater to your baby’s needs as much as he/she needs you. You need him/her, too. Let your old routine go, and embrace this new reality. Slow down. Breathe. Savor it all.


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