These are some of the things I was told when I was pregnant:
Children ruin your marriage ...
You'll never sleep again ...
You'll never eat out again ...
Your life is over (my personal favorite) ...
Your husband won't do anything, you'll see. He'll say he's gonna help but then he won't lift a finger...
You won't have any time for yourself ever again ...
You won't be able to blow your hair out straight ever again ...
You're never gonna have a clean house again ...
You will forget about your dog ...
Now that Julianna is almost 7 months old. I can truly say all of the above statements are completely false... at least in my world they are. My husband and I think some people do have bad experiences once they have kids, and then in turn, wish bad things on you because it makes them feel better LOL.
I can assure you, I am able to shower daily, blow my hair out straight, and clean my house too. I have time for myself, I sleep rather well, and my relationship with my husband is the best it's ever been. We go out to eat, go shopping, visit people... etc and we do it all with THE BABY! Oh and we both work full time too and have plenty of stress-free family time at night and on the weekends! I can also say, never once have we forgotten to feed Pepper (our dog) or take her out. We still have plenty of snuggle time with Pepper too!
Yes, you need to make adjustments in your life. Having a baby changes your life. Duhhh. That is a given. The other half of it is ... I have the world's most amazing husband. He does everything. You have to be a team & stick to a system. We still alternate morning feedings & get up at 6:30 am (everyone's wake up time). One of us gets up and makes the coffee and her bottle... while the other gets her up & changes her.
I can offer this advice - PLAN PLAN PLAN. TALK TALK TALK.
You need to plan ahead and talk about things before they happen... or you will run into completely un-necessary roadblocks.
These are some of the things that make our lives easier:
- Always have a packed diaper bag ready to go.
- Always have clean baby bottles ready for feeding. (Buy a lot of bottles!)
- Buy formula, wipes & diapers in bulk - Going to BJ's (Sams Club, Costco, etc...) once a month is a hell of a lot easier (& cheaper) than running out 4x a week for supplies.
- Keep your stroller in your car (if possible), so it's always ready when you are out
- Go out to eat after you feed the baby so she sleeps the whole time or is not fussy
- Take turns with your husband taking showers or making meals while the other one spends time with the baby.
- Plan your week's meals when you are doing your shopping list. Make meals ahead of time and freeze additional meals for those nights you don't want to cook
- We stick to the baby's schedule and always work our life around it. It's not hard. A happy baby = happy parents = better life.
- Make sure anyone else that is with your child is respectful of your wishes on how you need your baby to be taken care of. This is your child, not grandma's baby and not grandpa's baby. You raise your baby how YOU want. We never gave in to other people's unsolicited advice.
- When Julianna goes to bed at 8pm, it becomes "Brian & Skye" time.
- Do new & exciting things as a family. Look in your local paper, town website etc... for fun (& free) things to do with your child! Sometimes, the most simple thing can be the most fun for everyone!
- Always have your camera handy for candid shots of fun times.
- Make time for you. Always. I still get my nails & pedicures done. Sorry but, that is not selfish and it's not taking away from the baby. Happily pampered mom = happy family.
- Make time for friends & family.
- Quickly clean up before going to bed at night. 5 minutes of straightening up goes a long way.
- If you need to keep up with emails & news (like me!), then get yourself a blackberry (or other smartphone). It's so convenient to reply to an email or check something online quickly.
- Lose the Drama. It's that simple. DO NOT allow drama to enter your life, and you will see how much simpler and stress-free things become. You know that friend or family member that constantly has ridiculous 'drama'. Try to turn the other way if possible.
- Encourage your dog hang out with you when you are snuggling the baby - everyone can get love at the same time! Julianna loves Pepper... and Pepper loves her Julianna!
If my husband did nothing (and I know those people are out there), then I could see how raising the baby would be much harder. But I am very lucky. This was something we talked about before the baby and I never for a minute thought Brian would sit there and watch me do it all. Never. I used to love when people would say to me, "You'll see, your husband will stop doing everything for the baby after a couple weeks"
- Guess what haters, you were wrong.
I will say, it helps tremendously that we do have a good baby. We are blessed. We did not go through colic or reflux with her... Julianna is a happy & calm baby (that doesn't mean she doesn't have bad days - because she certainly does!!). We feel that keeping her on a schedule helped to contribute to her 'easiness' and also let us live our lives too.I still get people saying to me, "Just wait, it gets harder... you'll see " blah blah blah. Whatever. You know what, we have done pretty good so far, and you adapt to each situation that comes your way. Nothing is impossible. I'm not saying this is a piece of cake, because I know it's far from it...
After reading this again, I want to add one other thing. I feel so differently than maybe a 25 year old 'first time mother' might feel. I do not feel like I left my life behind. I'm 39 (40 next week!) and I have been with my husband for 9 years... and I've done many fun things in my life. My husband and I had so much fun together over these past 9 years... we were 100% ready for a baby in our lives. I don't feel like I (we) missed out on anything. This could be why I have such a different attitude towards being a mother and wife now, as opposed to someone who is maybe 10-15 years younger than me. I did not want this in my twenties, and I think I wouldn't have had the same attitude then.
Baby Sad ... (that saying is from one of Julianna's favorite books)
She does have her 'baby sad' days ...