Or if you’d rather a clickbait title, “Seven Ways Everything Has Changed Since We Had a Baby.”
Parents like to tell expecting moms that having a baby will change their life. I found it funny, like they thought I thought I was just adding some sort of accessory to my life—a new computer, or a new purse. Are there any expecting parents who DON’T think their life is going to be unrecognizable after the baby comes?
So what has that meant for us, “everything” changing? Or, more specifically, for me?
- My only priority is him, and my husband. As in, thanks but no thanks for the poker night invitation, since I know that’ll go till 2 am and baby really needs to be in bed by 10 (and so do I). Also, please stop calling my husband in the evening when he hasn’t seen his son all day and we’re trying to eat dinner together.
- My body has both suffered and proven itself in ways I couldn’t imagine. Post-partum stuff has been both way less scary and way more pervasive than I thought it would be. My middle back still hurts when I make a sudden movement, my neck doesn’t crack neatly the way it used to from craning over the baby, and let’s not even get started on my boobs. Yet everything my body did through creating, birthing, and taking care of this little human amazes me.
- Wonder is a daily thing. When I set Littlest on the changing table in the morning and he wiggles his little legs and breaks out in a million smiles, I wonder how we got so lucky to have this little creature in our lives. How is it he is HERE in our house, in our daily lives, as if it’s just something everyone does (I mean, it is something a lot of people do!).
- I am so appreciative of people who get it, even in the most minor of ways. Of friends who are aunts or uncles and understand the obsession with tiny people and want to obsess over him too. And of friends who are already parents and so invite us to do things that we can actually do!
- There’s a lot more almost-crying during TV shows and movies. Every man, young, old, little, big, who is suffering in any way looks like some mom’s little boy to me.
- There’s an intense, constant concern for him. People talk about overwhelming love for their babies sometimes, and I wouldn’t say it’s overwhelming—for me it’s more just a different way of loving. The highs and the lows are more intense and the concern I have for him is constant, which probably can get annoying in social situations. It makes me very distractable if he’s around and incapable of doing much if he’s crying. I’m interested in everything he does and will do because he’s ours and we made him. (I’m sure this applies for adopted kids too—the “we made him” thing being a flexible sort of “we brought him here” feeling.)
- I go to bed super early, like as soon as the baby is safely down. Does that count as a big life change? Maybe.
I also am generally more stressed, but I feel like that might be more linked to my personality than general life-changing babies. It’s hard to not want everything to go perfectly for him and us all the time, which is of course impossible.