It’s been five years since we had a new baby in the house, and in the years since, we’ve dialed in a few things that make our lives as parents more satisfying and basically more sane.
Because of the speed in which Tim and I became a couple, I would say our first year together was more of a rolling boil than a simmer. Within a few months of our first date, we were getting married and expecting a baby.
Needless to say, we had many aspects of our life together to figure out, pretty much all at once. A bit different from the romantic notion of post-birth days, baby girl and I lay on our bed while I made up new passwords for Tim and my newly merged online accounts. Under the influence of high levels of Oxytocin (crazy fabulous) and a new all-time low of sleep deprivation (just crazy), I couldn’t for the life of me remember our new checking account password. Again and again I just couldn’t get it and melted into tears. Earlier that day while viewing the solar eclipse, I had asked our next-door neighbor if I’d met him before. What was happening to me?
Day morphed into day. Those early days, yes they were amazing and miraculous amidst newfound love, but in terms of time, they were a black hole. For a long time, nothing went in and nothing came back out.
Partially contributing to this was that we actually took the advice from our midwives and cleared our schedule for a long time out. Having nothing on the calendar was freeing – particularly with the unpredictability of life with a new baby.
But then it got hard. All new parents know the early days of fuzzy brain and cloudy vision brought on by no deep sleep and constant response to a cute and needy little baby.
Having nothing to break up a day or a night or a week made the road ahead look very long. Then one day, a creative bolt struck and I asked my husband for 30 minutes when I knew I wouldn’t be on the frontlines as baby’s first responder. He was fuzzy-brained too but he had my back.
It was a little thing to ask for but how it transformed me. If I stayed in the house, I’d put my ear plugs in – it’s all over if a hint of crying is heard – and I became okay not knowing what I was missing. On the days when my nerves were frayed, I’d focus on the free time ahead of me and I found I could keep chugging away toward the finish line.
Do you know something now that would’ve made your life easier as a new parent? I’d love to know.
A book I read as a new parent.
Elon Musk’s bizarre name for his baby boy.
These tweets, and the last one is every day at our house.