How wonderful it is to be a parent. The joy of finding out your *ahem* hard work as husband and wife have paid off as you look down at the double pink lines with a twinkle in your poor naïve eyes. How long you have dreamt of the cool sleepovers and pink ribbons, or muddy cheeks and Tonka trucks as you browse your already full “baby” board on Pinterest. And, as if the little mustard seed already living in your body senses that you know about his or her existence, the morning sickness hits you like a sack of bricks. Whoa! Hey! Sorry. My bad. This is supposed to be about how to parent; not how to survive pregnancy.
I will also leave the labor part out for you too. Another day, another post.
So, picking up when the Doctor hands you what looks like a wrinkly potato.
Just kidding. Let’s pick up at 3:00 AM when your tiny human is crying mercilessly for your undivided attention…again.
It is totally normal to cry just as much as the baby. Especially women. Your hormone levels are going through a roller coaster ride already and a few tears does not make you a terrible mom. The 3AM crying does not last forever. Dads, you can cry too because it’s 3AM and gosh darn it you just can!
DISCLAIMER: Men, whatever you do, do not mention how tired you are to your wife. No matter what. You could be going on a world record for how long you can stay awake and you will still never be as tired as the new mom. Go ahead and ask my husband how he knows this. Right after he wakes up from his coma.
Realize, right now, that you know nothing
You might have spent nine months reading every online article, pinned every cute tips and tricks on Pinterest, read every book on parenting, even talked to every parent on the planet and you will still know nothing when the doctors hand you your little alien. It’s like that super interesting birdhouse workshop class you took in high school; you showed up, did the work, and retained nothing.
It’s the same with parenting except you actually have to take care of the little thing you just made. Your baby somehow magically wipes everything you thought you knew right out of your brain and you will spend 18+ years trying to figure out your mini you.
Accept the inevitable fact that you will probably get pooped on
No explanation needed. Just accept it now because it will happen.
Enjoy the time you have
Obviously this is easier said than done at 3AM when nothing sooths your baby. The best piece of advice I ever received was to “enjoy it while you can. The nights are long, but the years are short.” Sure enough, I blinked, my 3:00 AM’s have vanished, and almost a year has passed. I scratch my head wondering if this is how the rest of my daughter’s life will be like; growing up when I blink.
Take lots of pictures
Because they are just so darn cute with those squishy little cheeks and baby butt! Time speeds up once they are born so you want to capture all of their precious moments! Just don’t forget to put down your phone when it truly matters and spend time with your little babes!
So obviously there are so many more steps to being a parent and I probably rambled on more than I should have, but there isn’t enough GB on the internet to store the amount of steps there are on how to be a parent! Parenting is hard, but it’s the best (and sweetest) thing I have ever worked for. Remember, the nights are long, but the years are short.