I’m not trying to brag or anything, but I’ve kept a baby alive for six (almost seven) months now.
There have been lots of ups and downs, but the good times have always outweighed the bad. It has been one hell of a learning curve, but it has been one that I have loved. I mean, all I have to do is look at Caelen’s face and my heart absolutely melts.
It’s no secret that I went from ‘I don’t want children’ to ‘is six children excessive?’ in a matter of days. I’m sure there will be a lot more lessons along the way, but here are a few that I just had to share.
You can’t be selfish.
Being a mum makes you the most unselfish person in the whole world. (In my opinion.) Nothing is about you anymore. It was never about you. From the day you peed on the stick and found out you were never going to sleep again.
When I was in college (and even when I was pregnant) I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. All I had to do was pack the car and figure out the rest when I got to my destination. My entire life revolved around myself…and it was changed in an instant when Caelen was born.
I have said ‘no’ more times than I can count. Recently, I was offered an amazing job and I spent a week going to and fro – trying to figure out a way to make it work with housing, transport, and daycare. I had it 90% sorted out, but had to turn down the job because I felt like Caelen was just too young. It was hard. I wanted it so bad, but I couldn’t justify a near twelve-hour day for a six month old (and that was just commuting and my work hours). I can deal with that, but how is that fair on him?
It wasn’t, so I swallowed my disappointment and said no. For him.
Winging it is okay (and everyone does it).
I said that most people wing thing ‘parenthood’ thing. You know, so they keep their sanity. I was the last person who thought about having kids, so I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Breastfeeding or formula feeding? I have no idea, let’s give both a bash and see which works for us. And on and on and on. Sometimes it’s just about getting through the day (and that’s okay too).
It takes a village.
I’m single, so that makes me a single parent. Right? Wrong. I have never, ever felt like I’m alone in this. I have so many family members and friends that are willing to help me with Caelen. It is wonderful. Caelen’s dad and girlfriend are wonderful. It’s nice knowing that I have so, so many people who care about my son as much as I do.
My advice? Take the help. Because parenting is hard…and it really does take a village to raise a child.
You don’t need coffee. You need a nap.
Believe me. Put down that cup of coffee. Now. Everything you ‘have to do’? Forget about it. You need a nap.
Trust your instincts.
The professionals have ‘been there and done that’ when it comes to most things, but they don’t know your child like you do. If you think there’s something wrong, then there is something wrong. I have experienced that first hand. People will give you advice and their (unwarranted) opinions, and you have to take it with a grain of salt. Some of it will apply to your child, but a lot of it will not.
Ultimately, you will just know what to do and what will work when it comes to your mini human.
Take time for yourself.
Parenting is hard. You don’t get time to yourself. Ever. Free time is a thing of the past. It is stressful. It is testing. It is overwhelming. You change overnight. Everything does. That’s why it’s important to take time for yourself. You aren’t being selfish. You are looking after yourself, which will help you be a better parent. Go get coffee by yourself. Go on dates. Hell, go buy some groceries. Just get out of the house by yourself.
You need it.