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The Things They Don’t Tell You

10/30/2013

A friend recently posted a link from the Huffington Post that included a list of things that “they” don’t tell you when you are going to have a baby. The list is long, but fairly inclusive in my mind, so I’ve copied the points below and included my own commentary.

1. It will take you at least five hours to watch a movie at home. Movie? Sounds vaguely familiar.

2. You will rush through all of your meals as if you were in an eating contest. I still do this even though I don’t have to anymore thanks to a (slightly) more relaxed dinner with my toddler. I think this is a huge factor in women struggling to lose baby weight. I definitely went through a period where a shovel would have been a more appropriate implement than a fork.

3. Sometimes, your baby will be in plain sight when you have sex. And he/she might not be sleeping. Yes, that means watching you. We relocated our son to his own room at 4 weeks old. At the time it was due to his snoring like an 80-year-old man, but I do think it is beneficial to a marriage to have adult time and space.

4. You will compare and contrast your baby against all others and think yours is the Best. Baby. Ever. I do have the best baby ever, sorry, it’s just true.

5. Things that seem overpriced and worthless end up being what your baby loves most (Toy Bar – $34, Sophie le Giraffe – $20, Happy Baby – priceless). It’s cheap things that have become gold in our house. Our son loved a travel toothbrush holder for over a year and every box is a brand new toy.

6. Since your baby wants to mimic you, you will be forced to hand over expensive electronics and pray that they won’t be ruined. So far we have avoided this, I’m sure it won’t be forever.

7. You think your parents will help out, but they won’t be nearly as helpful as you hope. Our parents are very helpful, but not in the move-out-of-my-way-I-want-to-take-care-of-your-child way I had imagined.

8. You will become an adult and your non-adult friends will fade away. As I wrote in a previous post, spending time with non-babied friends has become harder, but not because they aren’t adults, they just run on a different schedule that doesn’t involve dinner at 5 pm.

9. You will think a lot about your relationship with your parents and notice how you are paradoxically becoming them and reacting against them. I read recently that the age you become your parents is 32; I can confirm this.

10. No matter how great your relationship is with your spouse, you will experience more conflict than you ever did before. This has not been the case for my marriage though I know plenty that have. Being a parent brings out the best and the worst in everyone, it’s how that gets transferred to your partner that matters.

11. You will be embarrassed and humbled by cleaning up poop, experiencing your child screaming in public and/or being that person who is slowing everyone down/getting in the way. I am neither embarrassed nor humbled by these experiences. I simply call it parenting and move on.

12. You will love your partner more than ever. Especially when daily sacrifices become acts of heroism. My husband is never more attractive than when he is doing dishes.

13. You will hate your partner more than ever. Especially when you are bleary-eyed and under-appreciated. So basically, most of the time. You’ll have to tap into reserves of love, patience and tolerance you never knew you had. It is easy for a new mom to feel unappreciated after months of pregnancy, childbirth, crazy hormonal shifts, and then like it or not, most of the newborn care thanks to nursing and maternity leave. It’s the tip I give new dads: make sure you tell her how much you appreciate her. I have had to tap into the reserves if love, patience and tolerance with my toddler though!

14. You will make noises you did not know were possible in an effort to elicit a smile from your baby. Some of those sounds will be obscene. I would pay to watch some footage of what my husband and I have done in the name of child amusement.

15. You will learn that the symptoms of sleep deprivation closely resemble severe mental illness. Luckily you won’t remember any of it anyway.

16. Being asleep by 10 and awake at 6 on a Saturday night has never seemed so glamorous. Yes and?

17. Your newfound interest in poop will frighten you. When, how much, color, consistency — you may talk about poop more than anything else. My son is two and it is still a daily topic of conversation.

18. You will realize that you never knew this kind of deep love until now. I just think it’s a different kind if love, not a depth issue.

19. Your breasts are no longer your partner’s (or yours). True while nursing.

20. You’ll find yourself making up ridiculous songs with running commentary on your every move. Until they start talking back there is a lot of airtime to fill!

21. You will have the highest highs and the lowest lows, possibly all within microseconds of each other. Example, your child finally goes poop on the potty, then immediately hops off and reaches in for the prize.

22. Although you may have appreciated oldies before, you will now catch yourself humming or singing nursery rhymes and ditties from the baby’s toys. Do not underestimate the power of The Ants Go Marching to get stuck in your head.

23. No matter how much baby-proofing you do, your baby will find the one thing you didn’t baby-proof. See previous post about my son’s dissociation with one of his teeth.

24. No matter how good your intentions are, keeping up with your baby book is nearly impossible. I made it exactly one month.

25. No one can truly prepare you for what will happen to your body. Hemorrhoids. Stretch Marks. Muffin Top. Yes (and my sample size for woman I have discussed this with is 4 for 4). No (stretch marks are genetic, don’t waste money on fancy creams). No (gym membership with childcare is a must for any mom).

26. You are so worried about what your child eats, how much, when, etc. you can forget to eat yourself. Or there is just no time to eat. You may find yourself standing in front of the fridge holding your baby and stuffing string cheese into your mouth. Like taking time for the gym, taking time to eat well is essential for a new mom’s energy levels. I avoided having junk foods in the house until I was getting good nights of sleep again and had lost all the baby weight. Try to munch on grapes instead!

27. Taking care of your baby will swallow up all your time. You may go days without showering. I file this in the same category as the gym and eating well, if you don’t take care of yourself, it’s harder to take care of others. I used the baby swing when my son was a baby then when he outgrew that we baby proofed the entire bathroom and I put a collection of books and toys on a blanket on the floor for him. Now I play a show for him on my laptop or iPad – just put it far enough back on the counter that they can’t pull it down!

28. It’s hard to talk about anything other than baby. If you somehow manage to go on a date with your partner and make a concerted effort to avoid the subject, you will probably be rewarded with some awkward silences. It is hard because they become your world, but my husband and I try to avoid discussing our son on dates.

29. You become insanely paranoid. Every toy, blanket, crib, etc. is a potential threat to your baby’s well-being. What is really terrifying is when you notice a potential threat then realize your child has been playing with it for six months!

30. You find that “parenting” joins religion, politics and sex as topics unfit for polite conversation (but poop is allowed!). I try to not mention I have a child until someone asks or mentions their own child.

31. You think airport security sucked before? Having a baby in a carrier through security wasn’t terrible, but we haven’t traveled with the dreaded car seat yet.

So there you have it, enter at your own risk. Turns out there is a pretty strict no-returns policy, but I wouldn’t change my decision for the world.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Christy permalink
    10/30/2013 20:28

    Re: #12…. It’s called choreplay.

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