1. The Rules Change. Constantly.
— You may think you have your kid figured out. In your sleep deprived haze, you realize she responds really, really well to your white noise app, or music, or being swaddled. Being a creature of habit, you try to repeat what you’ve learned, only to discover that your child no longer likes white noise. Or music. Or swaddling.
2. Your day takes more planning than usual.
–I’m a ditz so I need a constant to-do list. Otherwise, nothing ever gets done. I now realize everything takes much longer to get things done than usual. I can guarantee that halfway through working on a Christmas gift for your parents, your child will need to eat. It’s just how this works.
3. There are simple rules your child will have to life, and no matter how many times she tells you about it, YOU WILL BREAK THEM.
–Mine doesn’t like having her feet hanging out. She likes to have them touching something at all times. Changing her diaper means it’s time to eat. We eat every 2 and a half hours. She will only go into her bassinet if swaddled. Why this is so hard for me to remember, I’ll never know.
4. Breastfeeding is harder than everyone lets on.
–No one tells you until after the fact that yes, breastfeeding can hurt and nothing is wrong. It takes a little over two weeks to feel like your nipples aren’t on fire every time your baby latches on. I used to dread feeding times, until the pediatrician and OB prescribed lotion to put on my nipples. They don’t tell you that some babies take days to learn how to breastfeed, and that doesn’t make you a bad mother, or a failure as a woman. Thankfully, once my kid figured it out, she went at it like a champ.
Also, I am always hungry. Always.
5. Your baby will make your heart melt.
— Lack of sleep, breastfeeding, and listening to her cry (without being able to figure out what’s wrong) can be frustrating and hard, and, okay, I’ve melted down a few times since her birth. But then she smiles while I hold her in my arms after a good feeding. Okay, I know it’s not a social smile and she doesn’t really know what she’s doing.
But it makes my heart melt.