Ok, so I realize I’m only 3 1/2 months in… but here’s what I’ve noted about parenting so far. (I’m sure this list will get much, much longer… and wiser… as time goes on.)
Parenting is not something you just “figure out.” Oh, a-ha!, today, I’ve got it. Nope, don’t work like that. Especially with babies. Things change by the minute and so much (everything?) is out of your control. You have to learn to just roll with it. Because everyday you’ll think you’ve “figured something out” and then that little nugget of joy will change it on you. So stop trying to figure it out.
It’s so not about you anymore. My mother-in-law noted that her father used to say, “they look like themselves” whenever people said babies looked like one parent or the other. It’s not about me. My job is to let W feel comfortable and at home. To nurture and love.
Planning goes out the door. OK, still plan, but expect your plan will be much different (or maybe even way better) in reality.
Even though it’s not about you, you still have to find time for you. And, if you’re waiting for a rest or a break, it won’t come. So instead of waiting for a break, find a “juicy morsel” moment and embrace it. A baby who is sleeping on your shoulder for 5 minutes. Be there. A walk outside in the sun. A phone call with a friend. Make sure you’re still in touch with you… or else you can’t do your job as parent.
Last, I think — like many things — it’s all about attitude. Oh, and a sense of humor. A sense of humor is required.
It’s hard and fun and sweet and deep and lively and relaxing and invigorating all rolled into one. And I’m only a few months in.