After your baby was born…
Did you ever feel nostalgic looking at old pictures of yourself?
There’s a look deep in the eyes that’s somehow VERY different.
And it’s something that all nonparents have.
While, parents, especially NEW parents, have quite another look altogether.
Some might say exhausted.
Some may say… experienced.
Either way, it’s not a bad thing!
It’s just a reality.
And if you’ve been a parent for any length of time, you probably know what I’m talking about.
The euphoria of your new familial addition shifts over time to a more consistent but ever-present joy.
While your adrenaline rushes don’t last as long. You get more experience.
You realize that every little thing is not a crisis.
Then a new phase happens:
The more seasoned parental look sets in.
Does that sound familiar?
Well, if it isn’t or you’re not there yet, here’s six sure ways to know it:
Let’s get to it:
-While getting ready in the morning after being up all night feeding the baby, you realize you hardly recognize yourself anymore.
-You laugh when a friend suggests that the amount of coffee you drink is “unhealthy” because you know, in fact, that there is no such thing as an unhealthy amount of coffee.
-While listening to your husband calmly explain why it makes more sense just to use the breast pump you got for free from the insurance company (that’s really secretly a torture device), you plot to cancel the cable so you can rent the premium pump from the hospital, just the night feeds go a bit faster and you can get some more sleep.
-While you’re at a dinner party with some friends without kids (and your first time with a babysitter at home), you get that glazed over look on your face when they compare taking care of their dog to having a new baby, and talk about how TIRED they are. How late they stayed up. And oh man that they’re “so tired.” You can’t even.
– Looking back on it now, you recognize last summer (at the 2 months with baby mark) as the turning point in your worldview, after which the word colic will forever remain in your memory as an instrument of sleep deprivation torture. For both you and your loved ones. The memory alone brings to mind a haze of existence and just thinking about it makes you crave a Venti cappuccino.
– Acid reflux. The phrase alone makes the hair on your neck stand up. Everything was going smoothly until the spit-ups started. That soon switched to full-on reflux. And then everyone stopped sleeping. The medicine helped, but just to take the edge off. What ensued was an epic quest to figure out how to sleep again. For you. And for the baby. It took weeks. Every night you or your spouse would stay up, holding the baby, rocking her upright to keep the gurgles down.