Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Reflections of being a new parent

I recall vividly when my son was born. I was so anxious about caring for him & knowing what to do & being a good mother.

I am the youngest in my family & was really never around children as I grew up. They were somewhat foreign to me. Later in adulthood a few friends had babies & young children & I always felt a little unsure around them. I certainly never did anything (like holding someone's baby) without them offering. And so I can so clearly remember the moment it dawned on me that my son was MINE. And the fact that I could hold him & kiss him without needing anyone's permission. That was quite a moment & I was all alone with my son when that monent happened. It will always be a very special memory for me.

Another special memory: when I asked my nurse if I could walk to the nursery & get my son. As the words "my son" came out of my mouth it was surprising & exciting at the same time.

Amd I recall in the early days when hubby would call him "son" I kept thinking he was referring to my stepson. I had received a lot of rejection from my stepkids & some of my inlaws in the past & somehow I had expected that rejection to be passed on to my own son & it was shocking to me that it wasnt, especially in those early days.

And I remember those early days were soooo tough. I couldnt get ANY sleep. Ive always been the type of person that can handle anything, but let me get a good night's sleep first. And I can skimp on sleep occasionally even, but in those early days it just goes on & on with no end in sight. Of course add to that the fact that my son had colic & it really made for a miserable time.

I remember I kept asking people "it gets better, right?" & no one ever gave me a "yes". Of course it did get better. Around the 4th month things started to settle down, the colic oassed & he even started to sometimes sleep thru the night.

I also found the fact that it was the first 3 months of parenting that I found toughest. 3 months has always been significant for me. I remember the first 3 months of my marriage were rough, it was a much bigger adjustment than I had expected. 3 months is always the length of time it takes for my body to fully respond to a particular workout. 3 months is the official full length of time your body needs to recover after childbirth. I know theres been other significant 3 month windows in my life, I just cant recall them at the moment. Ive also even seen a book about surviving the first 90 days of marriage. When I saw that I was excited to realize Im not the only one with the "3 month" windows in my life. :)

So to sum it all up: when a new parent asks you if its gonna get better, be sure to tell them YES. :)


C said...

You're right! It does get better! The crazy days are pretty crazy, but in the end, it's all good :)

Love reading your posts. I don't always comment, but I do read them! xoxo

Calfkeeper said...

Yeah, for me that first week at home with the baby was the LOOOONGEST week ever in my life. The realization that this little person depended totally on me was a wee tad overwhelming at first.

But you are right. It did get better. And as we have talked about before, every little phase seems to last forever while you are in it, but then it's gone suddenly and another one starts. And suddenly you realize that even if your child can drive you nuts in the phase he/she might be in, you'd better remember the highlights, because soon it will be gone too.

Danielle-Marie said...

I wrote a blog post once about the magic three month mark! It's sooooo true. Those first three months are very, very hard. Then it's like a switch gets flipped and suddenly your baby is happier and sleeping longer and WOO relief. Then in my case it was BAM! pregnant with Hannah. Aha. I think the first time I used the phrase "my son" it was pretty surreal for me too. But then, it was the same the first time I said "my daughter" as well. I don't have very many mommy friends to relate to in person either, which is why I turned to blogging. So happy to have found you along the way :)