I heard babies are a great source of inspiration when it comes to writing. I was lacking ideas for my blog posts lately, so I got myself one.
It has been three months already, but I have to report that my expectations in this regard were unfortunately not met. My baby is boring. Where do I leave a customer review?
The hope for it to change is still there though, as he laughs a lot, either about me or about something that is going on in his small hairless head. I’d like to think it’s the latter, and he is making up jokes I will be able to borrow for my posts when he starts talking.
So, babies. What do you want to know? Let me answer my own questions from the pre-baby time for you I wish somebody answered for me then so I would have slept better.
How hard is it?
On the scale from zero to neurosurgeon? Not hard. The same applies to the scales involving pilots and coal miners. But yes, it will be probably harder than anything you’ve ever done so far. Unless you are a pilot or a neurosurgeon.
The hardest thing I’ve recently done was to bake and eat some monster muffins in two days all by myself.
I wish I did some exercise for other muscles than the chewing ones instead to have a better stamina. Fourteen pounds of happiness still remain fourteen pounds, which would like to be carried around, often for a very long period of time.
As for the sleep deprivation and other commonly known horrors of parenthood, this period will last a month or two, and will be over before you know it. These days I enjoy an uninterrupted sleep of 6 hours that can be extended to 7-8 if I’m in bed before midnight, with an option to go for couple of 1-2 hour naps during the day.
If your working schedule is better that this, than you are definitely not a neurosurgeon.
Everybody is saying my life’s going to change. Shall I be worried?
Live is constantly changing. It’s what live does. Of course a baby will change your life. But so will a new job, moving to a new city, or meeting somebody cute in a bar.
Your next meal could change your life, if your wife is not very fond of you and has finally decided to take measures. Or going for groceries and crossing the street in front of the drunk bus driver.
Good things about the change a baby will cause is that you have time to prepare, which is clear lacking in the hit by the bus (or the wife) situation.
How much of freedom will I have left?
If by freedom you mean being able to satisfy your addictions as soon and as often as you feel like, then I’m afraid I have bad news for you.
Or were you under the impression you are free?
What about this coffee you must have in the morning? A cigarette, a shopping tour, a poker game/girls night out, Facebook?
If your mood drops below zero when you can’t get something and you can’t control it, you’ve clearly got your definition of freedom from a wrong thesaurus.
I like to think about it as shifting the priorities. So the only real freedom that you’ll lose is the freedom to eat, sleep and go to the bathroom as you please. But hey, I’d say this is peEnuts.
Will I have to start cutting out discount coupons from newspapers?
Come on, one kid won’t make you broke. Five might, but let’s take one (baby) step at a time. If you are as lucky as me, living in a first world country (except US), you might even get temporary richer. When my child was born I received ca 4000 Euros (ca. 5500 $) netto from the state and my health insurance.
When I saw the checks I was like, “We need another baby. Our couch is too old.” Just kidding. Our couch is fine.
There is also child support and maternity leave money. Plus the fact that one of you are not going to work and will skip all the lunches and dinners outside, as well as extensive (cloths) shopping tours.
And even if you live in a country with little to none state support for the new parents (like Papua New Guinea or US), you’d be surprised that there are things you can live very well without.
There are also a lot of tips on saving money when you have a baby, which will make you develop healthy money spending habits and drop all the behavioral patterns that might cause you to buy things you don’t actually need.
Besides, from the logical perspective alone: the less free time you have, the less time you’ll have to spend money.
Will I suddenly feel old?
First time I had this feeling I was about to graduate and start my studies in the university. I was 17. It felt like an end of an era. I’ll be a university student, and those are old by definition. The fun part of life is over.
Then I felt this way when I was about to start my first job.
The time after that – when I got married. I think it took me some time till I stopped referring to my husband by name when mentioning him in conversations. Because only old people have husbands!
Although at the end none of these situations made me feel old or even different, I was certain becoming a mother will. This is an ultimate graduation into the life of a full-grown adult (read: old person). Funny story: I feel as usual up to this day.
In the times when I was working for money (I still work, but these days for smiles and hugs only) I had to give presentations and conduct whole-day workshops for up to 20 people, sometimes completely unknown to me important guys from banks and insurance companies.
I used to do very little preparation. Of course, I knew the subject, but I never prepared speeches or learned anything by heart. Shortly before a presentation would start, I would feel nervous. But over all the years I learned to trust myself so much that I knew I’m going to be ok. Even more, I’m going to rock it. I always did, and one can’t argue with empirical evidence.
Where am I going with this?
My experience in speaking in and with public totals to ca. 10 years, if you count all the universities. The experience of humanity in having babies totals to thousands of years. Thus, empirical evidence suggests that it’s absolutely doable, often multiple times per life time, and is also a lot of fun.
You might not feel this way, but your prehistorical brain knows the drill. Just relax and trust it. I personally completely trust mine by now. I think I would even know how to kill a mammoth, if required.
You know how you see other people going through things and can’t help but imagine how it will be to experience it yourself?
Sometimes you think it’s scary. Sometimes you think it’s hard. Sometimes you think you are not ready for this. But then it happens to you, and it feels like the most natural thing in the world.
Having a baby is just like that.
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