It’s been two glorious, stressful, wonderful and tear-inducing months of having little Pete in our lives. I know most new parents wax poetic about how their bundle of joy is just that – joyful. But, to be honest, newborns kinda suck. They cry and sleep and eat and poop and not always in that order. They are erratic and confusing and can’t communicate well since they don’t have a very robust or existant vocabulary. While we love the little guy, Neil and I are both looking forward to when he goes from an inarticulate blob to a more advanced blob. Needless to say, the past eight weeks haven’t been totally awful, it’s been a lot of fun to watch this human we created grow and discover stuff and be like his own person. And we’ve learned a lot about ourselves and babies. Here’s a round-up of what we’ve learned so far about parenthood:
- Insomnia pays off. I (Haley) have had insomnia since middle school. Initially, I was worried that having a baby would flare it up, but I really think that all those years of little sleep have helped prepare me for late-night feedings and lack of sleep. So, thanks, I guess?
- Babies are crybabies: A few weeks in, I became frustrated when Peter was crying for no reason and started to call him a crybaby when I realized, oh wait. He IS a baby. And the term now has a whole new meaning to me.
- Neil isn’t as grossed out as he thought he’d be. The one thing he was concerned about becoming a parent was that he thought the idea of baby poop utterly disgusting. Turns out, he’s almost completely unfazed. I guess when it’s your kid it’s a different story.
- Blowouts happen. Even in the car. While you’re holding the baby. And your pants get crapped on. So bring a second pair of pants.
- A smile is a great reward. When you pour all your blood, sweat and tears into raising a tiny blob of a human, you don’t get much “thanks.” But one smile from that little chubby face can make it all worth it.
- Tummy time sucks. No explanation here. It just does.
- Our kid pees a ton. I knew we’d be changing a lot of diapers, but geez. This kid’s bladder must be working in overdrive.
- The Baby Box is wonderful. Pete slept in a cardboard box for the first month of his life. Why? Just ask the Finnish people and their almost non-existent SIDS rate. If you interested, you can get one for free, here.
- Gatewood genes are strong. My sister, my cousin and I were all pregnant at the same time and had our kids within three months of each other. And let me tell you, you can tell all of those babies are Gatewoods. Pete kinda looks like a tiny version of my little brother, but with Neil’s ears.
- There are never enough photos. I used to have a rule that I couldn’t have more than 100 photos on my phone at a time (don’t ask, I’m just a little OCD). Now, Neil and I are happy iCloud subscribers just to hold all the random photos and videos we take constantly of the little guy. He is just too darn cute! And he makes the best faces!
- The inventor of the breast pump is an evil genius. I am both grateful for the breast pump and utterly hate it. On the one hand, it’s helped me build up a healthy supply of milk bags next to the popsicles in our freezer, on the other hand, it makes me feel like a cow. But going back to work in a month is a little easier knowing that little Pete will have lots of Haley-grade milk to keep him full.
- There aren’t enough hours in the day. To all our friends with kids who told us this a thousand times, you were right.
- A trip to Target is a new mother’s paradise. On any given weekday, Target is filled to the brim with moms of little babies. There are strollers EVERYWHERE. The first time I ventured to Target on my own with the little squirt, I felt like I was in an episode of the Twilight Zone where mom clones were swarming the city.
- Pacifiers (and thumbs) are hard. Right now Peter is sitting next to me sucking his fist. He refuses to take a pacifier and the few times he’s managed to accidentally shove his thumb into his mouth he’s either gagged or lost it within seconds and cried. We’ve tried and tried and tried to no avail. So screw you, pacifiers.
- You really can go anywhere with a baby (just bring extra clothes). So far, Pete has been to church, the grocery store, the mall, the doctor, Target (of course), bubble tea, countless restaurants, Katy and Dallas. We really just throw him (figurately speaking) in the car and go. As long as we have some diapers and a change of clothes for when those diapers fail, we’re golden!
- Newborn clothes don’t last long. Again, another “y’all told us so.” It seems whenever we put him in an outfit we have to enjoy it because it could be the last time he ever wears it. He’s growing so fast!
- I might murder someone. If you dare to wake my child up from a nap, I WILL hunt you down and kill you. I’m looking at you, random neighborhood dog, local construction worker, and angry horn-honker!
- “I am the captain now.” When Neil went back to work after his three weeks of paternity leave I was super anxious about being by myself. Then I had a silly, but eye-opening, epiphany. I realized that I was in charge – not the baby. Funnily enough, that made a huge difference.
- Parenthood is a really neat and challenging experience. Peter is adorable and we love him to pieces. He’s legit the best thing we’ve ever made. But I don’t always feel like taking care of him. I’d rather watch TV. Or take a nap. Or curl up in a ball in the corner and hide. But I can’t always do that. Sometimes Neil wants to come home and spend time with me and not Peter. Or play video games to unwind after work instead of giving me a break from the baby. But he can’t always do that. We are selfish people raising a selfish person and that takes a lot of sacrifices and selflessness. Praise God we can rest in His strength and not our own.
One thought on “2 Months & Counting”
Welcome to parenthood. FYI. This goes on for about 18 years – putting Peters needs before yours. He is so beautiful. You are lucky parents. Love you. GG (great grandmother)
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