New moms have a very hard road ahead of them. Especially first-time moms. Having gone through it twice myself I know how it feels, both with a “terrible” baby, and an “easy” one. I’m here to tell you it’s okay not to love the baby stage.
Emma, my eldest daughter, was a difficult baby. She cried all the time and she never slept. Looking back I don’t know how I survived that stage. I was up 4 or 5 times a night, and then we tried co-sleeping. I was still up 4 or 5 times a night, I just didn’t have to get out of bed. But co-sleeping only meant the baby got more sleep and I got less. For us, it was a necessary evil.
Then we had to get her into her own bed so I could get at least some sleep when it was time for me to go back to work. Keep in mind this is about 11 months after her birth. 11 months of a tiny human being crying for boob every night, 3 or 4 times, and then sleeping like a flailing demon and keeping me up. I’m surprised I didn’t have a mental breakdown. (My husband may say I did, but don’t listen to him!)
Enter the cry-it-out method. I know, you may not agree with my decision, but it was mine to make so I made it. And it worked, but it took a week of listening to her cry like crazy before she finally figured out she had to sleep in the crib. That was another almost-mental-breakdown time. But it was also a sanity saver. She slept better, I slept better, and then I started back to work slightly more rested than the entire previous year.
So let me be the first to say I did not love, and barely even liked, the baby stage. Babies are cute, and they smell nice (most of the time) but now I’m happy to handle a baby while it’s happy, and give it back when it’s not.
I guess I should throw in a few words about Rose, my second (and last) baby. She slept right from the beginning. She always ate well – Emma was, and still is, a picky eater – and she’s always been even-tempered. Rose likes everyone and she just has that super happy demeanour. But after saying all that, I still wouldn’t choose to go back to her baby stage either.
Here are my top 5 reasons for not liking the baby stage:
- New moms don’t sleep. I know this isn’t true across the board, but it’s a popular phenomenon for sure!
- Dirty diapers. Just gross.
- Lack of adult conversations and interactions. This is especially true for those who work full time and then suddenly find themselves alone, at home, with a tiny creature who only grunts and cries.
- Abundance of laundry. When it was you and your spouse (or just you), you could likely get away with one or two laundry loads a week. Now, it’s laundry every day. But guess what? This does not get any better once you’re out of the baby stage…
- Your meals are always cold. You poured that coffee while baby was sleeping, but as soon as you picked it up to take a sip, guess who’s awake? Sadly, this also continues well into parenthood. My kids are 5 and 8 and I still drink cold coffee almost every day. But, when I get to work, I can usually have a fresh cup and drink it all while it’s hot!
Babies are beautiful, wonderful creatures, but really it’s okay to not want to deal with them. They are a lot of work and I, for one, am very glad we’re well past the baby stage in our household!
Do you have any other great reasons to not love the baby stage of parenthood? Or funny anecdotes you’d like to share with me? Maybe something I can run with and create it’s own blog post? Leave it in the comments, or email me your awesome parent-life stories. I’d even consider them as guest posts, if you’re interested!
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