Friday, January 23, 2009

Reflections of a New Parent

Welcome to the wonderful world of "newbie" parenting. Take a walk with me...

You have come home from the hospital with that cushy, little bundle in your arms and feeling zero percent capable of keeping the perfect little one alive for more than a day. Well, maybe, you were more confident than I was that first day. Surely, I thought, there was no way that my child could survive if I closed my eyes for longer than 30 seconds, so I didn’t - for more than those thirty allowable seconds.

Very soon I figured out that, at the very least, I had to eat. After all, I couldn’t breastfeed without having fully nourished myself, right? Yeah, I know, that should be easy because I could take the baby to the kitchen with me. Then again….no….because, God forbid, that in my drudged state I forget to turn the stove off, or I spill something that causes a fire and I am too groggy to react quickly enough; the baby would surely die from smoke inhalation. Nope! Absolutely, no eating was allowed.

Oh, and what about taking a shower? I had to do that! After being in the hospital for one too many days: cringing quite often at sharing a shower which one too many people had used, I was longing for the frills of my clean, warm and cozy bathroom. Hmmmhhmmm. That thought, however, was short lived. Since I wasn’t able to figure out how to eat, how exactly I was going to figure out taking a shower.

Well, after the first few months of barely surviving, having ignored all the great advice of friends and family, not to mention all the thousands of books and articles I read on preparing for my newborn, I was fully converted. Too cranky from having very little sleep, too hungry from having very little food, too dirty from having too few showers, I finally asked my mom to prepare a meal for me. I allowed someone else (Dad) to look at the child (without closing their eyes for thirty seconds, of course) so that I could sleep for a few hours, because there must be somebody else in the world that has done this before and knows how to look after a baby.

For goodness sake, don’t be like me! You cannot do it on your own. Ask your family and friends for help, especially, those first few weeks after the baby is born. They expect you to. Remember, it takes a village to raise a child.


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  2. I am so happy for you and your little bundle of incredible joy and your dependable source of laughter. Cherish the moments, Mom! Looking forward to your next post.

  3. I had read this before, but for some reason I didn't realize it was you that posted it, or I didn't think it was real. Girl you were crazy! I wasn't that bad, as I got used to being without her for the first six weeks of her life. We all go overboard as new parents, but how can you blame us for being too careful?


A person soon learns how little he knows when a child begins to ask questions.-- Richard L. Evans

Affirming words from moms and dads are like light switches. Speak a word of affirmation at the right moment in a child's life and it's like lighting up a whole roomful of possibilities.-- Gary Smalley