I never realized how hard parenting would be until I had a child. Yes, I babysat and got a small taste of what was to come, but until I had a baby 24/7/365 – I had no idea what I was getting into. You hear about how expensive kids are and having to change diapers and deal with a crying baby. You know you will have to deal with germs around your baby and drool on your clothes. Someday you will have to send them to college so you need to start saving now. In between baby and college, you will have sports, playdates, birthday parties, boo-boo’s, and if you blink they will grow a foot.
No one tells you all the other stuff you have to think about. No one tells you that the whole world does not stop moving just because you had a baby so the mailman will still knock on your door and your neighbors kids will still laugh and play right outside your house when the baby is sleeping. I heard tons of “breastfeeding your baby is so good for the baby”, but no one said your husband would get his feelings hurt because he feels helpless since you have to feed the baby so you might as well change the baby too so there is no point in him getting up at 3am with you. Not one person mentioned that your entire family would want to see the baby, but if certain people are divorced, they don’t want to be there at the same time so you have people at your house all day for weeks just so they don’t run into each other. Nobody tells you that your husband and you might disagree on whether the baby should use a pacifier and then when you two come to an agreement, other people decide they should have been part of this discussion because it is so obvious to them that you made the wrong decision.
I had no idea that people would judge you on your parenting skills. I am a new mom, the minute she was born a mother was also born, so as she grows, I am learning more and bettering my mom skills. I never said I would be the perfect mother, but I also never asked for people’s opinions on how to raise my kid. The only people who should be making decisions for her are my husband and I. We look at all of our options and make a joint decision, and they suddenly Moe, Larry, and Curly come along and tell us that we shouldn’t do this or that. People like to give “advice” that we never asked for and if we don’t go with their advice the give you the look of “ok but you’ll be sorry and then i will do my ‘I told you so’ dance”. Of course people mean well when they tell you the way you should be doing things, because hey that worked when they did it. You almost want to change everything you have been doing because they were a parent before you so they should know what they are talking about.
Even when my husband and I discuss things, we don’t always agree, but the conversations go a little different from a normal disagreement. My husband read one paragraph in book about parenting and was suddenly an expert on everything . We became parents at the same time and I read tons of books and articles about parenting and children, unlike him, so where did his abundance of knowledge come from? God only knows. My husband is the type of person who forces his opinion on you because he thinks he is absolutely right about everything. I don’t mind talking things over with him, but he works all day while I am home all day with baby so I feel like I know her a little better. I feel like my opinion in the matter is closer to what is best for her because the decision we make will affect me more than him. There is so much stuff you have to deal with when you become a parent.
Guess what, on top off all the arguing with people about what is best for your child and the judging looks from people, you still have to take care of the baby! I realized I started becoming defensive like a lioness. I was supervising anyone who held the baby because if they didn’t like the way I did something, they could be brain washing her while they have her. It is like I was holding the future queen of the land and these so-called family members of ours want to take her away because we are not raising her the way they think we should. I am already not sleeping through the night and now I have to deal with all you crazy people, I don’t think so! We will see you on holidays and I will show her pictures of you in the mean time.
I now realize why I was so emotional after baby was born, I was exhausted and I had to deal with a bunch of crazy people. Don’t these people realize she is not being raised by wolves? Don’t they see she is fed, changed, clean, healthy, she is loved and cared for every minute of the day? Probably the weirdest thing that I do with the baby is cover her whenever she is in public. You don’t realize how many people walk around coughing and sneezing all over the place until you have a baby. So gross! Instead of people, I started to see giant germs walking around. I wanted to hand out masks to those who walked by my baby and spray everyone with Lysol. My father-in-law got mad because I refused to uncover her while we were in a restaurant because we were already out and I didn’t want to expose her to more germs. Then he comes over a few days later and starts asking me if I have heard that whopping cough is going around and did I get her vaccinated? I told him I had, but really babies get sick because people touch them without washing their hands and I asked if he had washed his before he had held her. All he said was “Umm…”. That means “No”. I was pretty ticked about that, do not come into my house raving about baby vaccines to me and then touch my kid with your germ hands!
Our baby is only three months old, how are we going to make it through 18 years?