“Don’t your girlfriends have babies?”
“No, i’m the only one”
“Oh then you’re screwed”
“Actually they have been very helpful”
“If they don’t have kids, they don’t have a clue” – Sex and the City
Never a truer word(s) spoken.
Before I had Hallie, I had no idea what having a baby would really mean. Now I do. These are just a few of the things I have noticed the parentless don’t get.
Sleep. I use to think I was tired. I did not know tired until pregnancy and night feeds.
Friend to me a couple of weeks after Hallie was born; “Ergh I had to get up at 5am this morning for work”, bitch please that’s a lie in!
Money. You can never have enough money ready when having a child. I spent my pregnancy saving and buying everything we needed. We did have a last trip away together to NYC, our ‘baby moon’. This was a much needed break after months of morning sickness and well worth every penny.
We spent our money carefully and on things we really wanted/needed. I have to say I was completely shocked by some friends and even family members reaction to how we spent our money, I would never dream of telling anyone what to do with their money. However it seemed by saying no to activities we didn’t think we could afford, but still going to NYC, we opened ourselves up to unfair criticism from ‘close’ friends/family. I recall one friend telling me I was ‘disgraceful’ for suggesting slightly cheaper options for a friends birthday, and “your spending like crazy on baby stuff” at 8 months pregnant that is just what you need, right, and yeah I was buying baby stuff, BECAUSE I WAS HAVING A BABY. I suppose having a baby has really helped us ‘sort the wheat from the chaff’ friendship wise.
Time. Wow does time fly. Getting Hallie out of the house is like packing and prepping for a trip away, and just when you think you are ready to go, she poops. Note – if you make plans with a parent and their child, do not, I repeat do NOT make it before 10am, and even then 10 is pushing it.
Time just passes by so quickly, and it is true that every day your baby changes. Living away from family & friends means they will miss out on milestones and cute phases she goes through. We are lucky, Hallie has grandparents that would spend every second with her if they could, and a completely besotted auntie, who I am sure would live with us if she could. But then there are those that are nearer and haven’t even seen her yet, or just a couple of times, at 15 weeks they have missed out on so much, and I feel sad for them when they realise that.
Our feelings. We have had a baby, this can be acknowledged, and is by most, but still you get some who don’t. We feel so happy, but we also feel tired and probably hungry. Maybe arrange some friendship group activities that can involve the new person in our life? Or come over with some food? Or come bond with our baby so we trust you enough to leave her with you while we have a nap or maybe even one day, a date night.
The paranoia & the worry. For me this started in pregnancy and I know it did for Matt too. That moment when you are sat waiting for your first scan. Oh the worry is terrible! Everyone asked if I cried, I didn’t, not because I didn’t find it emotional, I really did. But I was so relieved that everything was OK I just laid watching and breathing, as I felt like I had been holding my breath from the moment I entered the hospital.
And so the anxiety lives on; the constant checking Hallie is breathing, is she poorly, has she eaten enough, is she putting on enough weight, is that breathing normal, is she breathing too slow, is she breathing too fast, should we be taking her on holiday with all the unrest in the world, will it be too hot for her etc etc etc x 1000000, 24/7.
Outsiders prospective; parents worry way too much and once you have a baby you become a crazy person. I agree with this, but humour us, we can’t help it.
New happiness. You get the impression from others that they somehow feel bad for you; you can’t go out like you did before, you have less money for fun shit and you stay home a lot. Sure all those things are true, do I care? Nope. Sure I have moments where I would just like to go to the corner shop without the half hour prep, or have a guilt free gin at noon. But they are just that, moments, you soon snap out of it when you hear Hallie laugh, or she her grin. This time is special, something we will never get back, so don’t pity us, be happy for us, we are feeling a love and happiness we have never felt before. My joy before was flying into NYC with ‘Empire State of Mind’ in my headphones, my new Joy is Hallie and that is a million times better than the joy I felt before, it is indescribable.
End note. The majority of our friends and family have been great. Even those that don’t get it have tried, and for that I am grateful.