Having an infant is supposed to be one of the greatest things you can do in life, right? Becoming a parent, a family, is looked on as a blessing, something to be proud of, something to look forward to. New parents plan for months or even years before the big event, and so many a little girl has dreamed of holding her own sweet child in her arms instead of just a dolly? Few, however, in all their hoping and dreaming…planning and wishing, can ever really know what it is to have a newborn in the house, until one actually arrives. Even celebrities can get caught a bit off guard, as we’ll discover.
Here’s some things that new moms and new dads don’t often think about before that new baby arrives:
1) Babies don’t sleep, at least not through the night. And not for quite a while some times. And that can put a strain on the entire family. When dad has to work all day, and mom is already dragging from trying to care for herself, the baby, and everyone, plus everything else, that sleep deprivation can be devastating. The cure? Get some help if you can. Recent new parents Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green finally resorted to hiring a night nurse two nights a week, just so they wouldn’t end up in celebrity divorce court due to lack of sleep. Now, most of us can’t afford a night nurse, but perhaps we could get some help from a friend or sibling or parent, even for just an afternoon nap once in a while. Or better yet, simply nap when baby naps. Everyone will feel better for it.
2) Babies make a lot of laundry. Let’s face it – even if you don’t use cloth diapers, babies still make a lot of things dirty – blankets, sleepers, towels, wash cloths, sheets, bibs, you name it – and it all has to be cleaned by someone. The cure? Try a trip to the laundry mat, even if you have machines at home. Those big ol’ mat washers and driers can handle a LOT of dirty laundry all at once. If that’s too much to handle with a newborn, consider doing a load overnight. You’re going to be up with the baby anyway. Put it on before you go to bed and then transfer it to the dryer when you get up with Junior. Fold and put away the next day.
3) Babies take away a certain amount of parental intimacy. Between the loss of sleep, the extra work and the uncertainty of undisturbed blocks of time, having a new baby in the house can certainly put a damper on romance and well, the associated activities that lead to there being a baby in the house in the first place. New dads can feel neglected for the sake of the baby. New moms can feel unattractive and exhausted. The cure? Date night in. Order some take-out, snuggle up and watch a movie. Or a date night out. Hire a sitter, conscript grandma or hire your sister’s kid into sitting for you while you spend a few hours out. Can’t swing an evening? Try a weekend afternoon. Who says romance has to wait until after dark, anyway.
Being a new parent is never easy. Heck, if even celebs have troubles, we garden-variety non-celebrity type parents can’t expect a bed of roses. But it doesn’t last forever, nor does it have to be the end of life as we know it. Blessings come in many forms – a willing sitter, an afternoon nap, clean laundry or a walk in the park. We just have to look for them!