There was a time when I had no desire whatsoever to have children. Period.
Of course, when you find the person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life, those resolute ideas are likely to change. That is true in my case, although, babies and kids still aren't 100 percent my thing.
But ready or not, on March 5, 2019, our little boy, Charlie, came into this world, ready to turn everything I knew -- or thought I knew -- upside down. There's no doubt about it, Charlie has made our lives better and a whale of a lot more interesting than before his arrival.
For a long, long time, I've avoided babies and children because I really do believe they can smell fear. I've learned the last several weeks that our child is no different. At this brief juncture of motherhood, I am far from an expert, but I have made note of some things I want to share with other new moms like me. I hope they prove useful.
First, keep a stockpile of batteries and a screwdriver readily available at all times.
The week of Charlie's first little growth spurt, there was a lot of inconsolable crying -- on my part. He even shed a few tears, too. And during that time, we found that he loved this little portable sound machine that whisks one away to the beach through the melodious sounds of crashing waves at the push of a button. After the first 36 hours, the machine stopped working at 2 a.m. Since neither Charlie nor I could find a screwdriver or AAA batteries, we succumbed to more crying. But, finally, a rested Dad emerged at 6:30 a.m. with a Phillips head screwdriver and required batteries ready to save the day and our sanity. We now have several large packages of AAA batteries and a screwdriver within close reach.
Next, a pacifier is the best thing you'll get to a snooze button, at least for a while. Unlike his parents, our son is a morning person. Luckily for us, he loves his "binky," and we keep it at the ready at all times. While he will sleep well through most of the night, when it's time to get up, the binky will buy us roughly nine extra minutes in the morning.
Having formed the habit of hitting the alarm's snooze button long before having a child, we have caught ourselves using this newfound pacifier snooze button on many occasions just to get a few extra minutes of sleep.
Finally, diapers are expensive and you go through them quickly; however, as much as you may not want to change that diaper with the minuscule amount of blue on it, sometimes you just have to humor the kid.
Over the first month or so, moms start to learn and understand their baby's different cries. Yes, they really do all sound different and, yes, they do all communicate different things. Collin and I know that, when his little feet can't be still and he whines the cutest, saddest little cry (at least for a little bit until he thinks he's been ignored), that means something's got to be changed. And we oblige.
When it comes to boys, it seems the minute you strap that new, clean diaper down, they've wet it again. It can be disheartening to feel like a new diaper was so quickly wasted, but our little guy is one who doesn't like to be uncomfortable for long, and sometimes you just have to change that barely wet diaper to make him feel a little bit better. It's a question of picking your battles.
When I am uncertain about something or feel that I would not be particularly good at it, I usually won't take on the challenge. But motherhood is a whole different ballgame. Though I never thought I'd be here, at 3 a.m. rocking a newborn in one arm and writing a column in the other hand, it continues to be the most rewarding experience I have ever had.
Charlie and I don't speak the same language and we already butt heads with each other. But the more we both learn each day, the more I realize this is exactly what I was meant to be doing.Editorial on 05/12/2019
Print Headline: Musings from a new mom on Mother's Day