It’s been difficult to create blog posts about anything but being a new parent right now, as this is an all consuming role. When I got pregnant, I truly believed that I knew what I was getting into. I’ve been taking care of kids since I had a babysitting service as a teenager, and I have always loved working with children of all ages. I’ve taken care of babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers, school-aged kids, teenagers, special needs kids – you name it. And not to mention that I’ve been through the physically and mentally tough too – completing 3 Ironman triathlons – one of them in the Arizona desert! During my pregnancy I read dozens of parenting books and learned about taking care of a newborn, stages of growth, what to expect – the usual basics, right?
The truth is, there is nothing that you can read about or hear about or even experience that comes close to what being a new parent is really like. Sure, I thought I was sleep deprived during pregnancy – I was wrong. I thought I knew how hard it was going to be to have my life change so suddenly overnight – and I didn’t. I believed that I would be able to handle the challenges of these first few months with ease – it’s much more difficult than I ever imagined. For me, this has been the most challenging change of my life so far.
Of course, there are so many wonderful things about being a parent. I may not be one of those moms who enjoys the late night feedings (who are these women?) but I am enjoying being able to breastfeed. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to provide nourishment for my child with my own body. I’m also amazing at how strong and resilient my body is. I never expect to get by on so little sleep and still be able to function and once in a while, even get things done! It’s also pretty amazing to see how quickly she is growing and maturing. She already looks so different from when she was born. I’m already proud of my little girl, having faced a tough start and becoming so strong so quickly.
And of course my favorite advantage – answering the phone when she’s crying and it’s a telemarketer – they offer to hang up!!
Being a parent is like being a part of a secret club – everyone in the club knows how challenging things really are, and those who are trying to get in the club can only imagine. And our imaginations will never compare to the reality. Perhaps it’s an evolutionary thing – if we really knew the truth depth of the challenge, would we continue to procreate?
Looking forward to hearing from both parents and non-parents on this. Is being a new parent truly the toughest challenge you’ve ever faced? As a non-parent, do you believe it’s as hard as they say it is? And to all the parents, would you do it all again?