Truths from the trenches: parenting tears you down and builds you right back up

standard February 21, 2008 5 responses

Parenthood will bring you to your knees and build you up again from the ground up.

Before you bring that little screaming adorable bundle of joy home from the hospital you might think that you know what you’re doing, that you’re going to ace the parenting gig. You’re going to have firm ideas about how your life is going to be; work, no work, co-sleep, crib sleep, breast feed, formula feed. You’re going to be sure that you yourself aren’t going to change, nope, not one bit, little itty bitty baby ain’t gonna change you.

And then they’re going to place that child in your arms and the slate is going to be wiped clean. In that instant you are going to realize that you don’t know jack and that all bets are off. The priorities that you thought you had all figured out are going to seem absurd, and you are going to feel as helpless and vulnerable as the little swaddled bundle in your arms.

You’re going to go home and you’re going to have to learn a whole new way of living. You’ll be sleeping and eating differently, showering and brushing your teeth in a whole new way. Routines that you thought were set in stone will no longer matter to you. And most of all, everything you thought you knew about babies will prove to be completely untrue, even if you already have another child.

Day after day a whole new you will emerge. A new you with new tricks up spit up covered sleeves. A new you who is stronger and more resourceful than you ever thought possible. And every so often you are going to glance in the mirror and wonder who you’re seeing and where the old you went, but then the baby will laugh or cry and you won’t care any more.

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