If becoming parents for the first time is like joining a sorority or fraternity, then taking care of your newborn the first three months is the initiation.
The magic number here is 3 months. During that time, remind yourself frequently that it will get easier (in some ways!).
If you had met me during the first few weeks after my daughter was born chances are I made a comment along the lines of, “it’s hard…I had no idea it was this hard!”
I remember wondering why none of the parents I knew warned me just how much life would dramatically change. But after some time I realized even if they had, I wouldn’t have understood. I don’t think one can understand until they become parents. In fact, I now recall some of my friends commenting, “We used to say, what did we do?” And “The first three months are the hardest.” They might have warned me but I was too focused on their beautiful baby and clueless about their sleep-deprived lives.
The good news is once you get past those first few months, you enjoy your baby so much that you consider doing it all over again!
But here’s what life might look like in the meantime:
- You might not get a proper night’s sleep for the first 3-4 months at all.
- You will be feeding the baby every two hours day and night. And that’s not 2 hours from the time you stopped. It’s 2 hours from the time you started your last feed.
- You might have your first testing moments with your spouse because you are both utterly exhausted.
- If your baby has colic and is having inconsolable crying spells lasting hours… know that colic can try even the most patient person but luckily it will pass, usually by the 4-month mark.
- As much as you crave to bond with your bundle of joy…You might be taken aback when he or she doesn’t smile or respond to your interactions right off the bat. The first 3 months are basically the baby’s fourth trimester. The interactions you are craving will come soon but, until then, you will most likely feel like a feeding machine.
- Breastfeeding might come with it’s own challenges.
- You might find it hard to get the most simple tasks done. Baby is literally a 24/7 job.
Those first 3 months it’s all about survival mode. I remember looking at other moms and wondering how could they handle more than one child.
But once your baby settles into his or her new world, those priceless moments you’ve been waiting for come to fruition.
Being a mom or dad is one of the most AMAZING and fulfilling experiences in the world. Your child’s laugh is music you’ll want to play over and over again. Their curiosity for life and relentless efforts to explore the world around them while on all fours will keep you entertained for hours on end every day.
I turned my head for less than a minute the other day and my daughter had crawled to the front door and had her daddy’s shoe in her mouth. (We baby-proofed our place immediately after)
Once you join the parenthood fraternity, you will suddenly be bonding with people you might not otherwise hang out with- simply because you share the thread of motherhood and fatherhood. And surprisingly, you will feel closest to these people with whom you can casually discuss baby’s poop color or sleep training methods.
And your social calendar will fill up fast. In the past week, my newly turned 6 month-old daughter Amaani has had play dates, story time, swimming lessons, baby gym class, and I went on a Mom’s Night Out. Amaani is also starting a Rhythm and Wiggle class this week. We are enjoying every moment!
I recently met a new mom who was carrying her 5-month old and she said, “I wish someone had told me everything magically gets better after 3 months.” Well…. now you know!
P.S. I typed this entire post on my cell phone while simultaneously feeding, burping and putting my baby to sleep …. the parenthood fraternity molds you into a multi-tasker 🙂