Sunday, December 20, 2015

Overwhelmingly Overwhelming

Jesus, where to begin?  I guess you begin at the beginning, huh?  Our daughter, The Baby, was born on September 24th of this year, which makes her just more than 12 weeks but just shy of 3 months old.  Turns out distinctions like that matter now.

In that amount of time, I've experienced every emotion that every other parent has written about: joy, sorrow, frustration, elation, etc.  Since I hate being trite, I'll not summarize how it's felt from birth until now; if you can feel it, chances are good my wife and I have felt it.  Enough said.

What's this about?  I'm not a parenting expert.  The Baby is our first.  We read a few books before she was born (The Wife read more than I), but that was about it.  If you need expertise, I have to send you elsewhere.  If I find something that works (or doesn't) for us, you can bet I'll talk about it, but when n = 1, you can't really call it research.  Did I mention I'm going to be the stay-at-home parent?  I see I didn't.  Not sure how I overlooked that.  Anyway, I will have the luxury of staying home with The Baby, and I'm only partially being sarcastic.  It is a dream come true, and those who've told me it'll be the hardest job I've ever done have already been proven right.  But I'm a guy.  This is all gonna have the slant of being written by a white, hetero, over-educated, underachieving, upper-middle class male...  Just something for you to be aware of at this point.  If you call me Mr. Mom, I'll get as offended as I'm allowed to be, given I've won the cosmic jackpot as far as life on Earth is concerned.

So here's what it's about.  It's about figuring this out as I go along, which I think is really the only way to do it with your first kid.  Step one is to accept that you have no control.  Step two is to accept that the little shit will rarely respond to the same stimulus in the same way two times in a row.  Step three is to do what you need to do to stay sane given one and two above.  Part of step three (for me) is talking it out.  The Wife and I didn't get The Baby without a few bumps along the way (maybe more on that later, if she's cool with me talking about it).  One of the things that helped the most during that process was talking with friends and hearing that others had gone through similar situations.  It made us feel less alone.  It normalized our feelings.  It was therapeutic.

This blog is part of my therapy.  It's cathartic.  I genuinely hope you you're interested and entertained.  I hope I occasionally figure something out and can share some wisdom, but don't hold your breath.  Mostly, I hope you can relate.

Something I've Figured Out: It's all about the sleep.  I thought the biggest stressors would be eating and soothing.  I also thought when a baby was tired, you put it down, and it slept.  Was I a stupid little shit or what?  It's all about the sleep, and getting a baby to sleep is the hardest thing I've ever done.

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