By Kelsey on May 9, 2012 11

You Know What They Say

There are lots of cliches that I heard when I was pregnant. At least once a week I would hear one of the following phrases, even from complete strangers. It sounded like these were universal truths that everyone believed, but what did they really mean?

 

What they say: Enjoy every moment, because it goes by fast.

What was true for me: If you can, find beauty in every day. Smile if you can, but if not, it’s perfectly OK to cry. A lot.

If you have the energy, be present in the moment. Look down at your little baby and be amazed that you made that. Study her ears, her eyelashes, her cheeks, her birthmark, her fingernails, her belly button and her little feet. (Oh, those perfect little baby feet. Those got me through a lot of hard days.)

And if you don’t have the energy, don’t sweat it. Babies are forgiving. Sometimes The Price Is Right seems more interesting than your newborn. One day you will wake up and your baby is now 2 months old and you wish you could get some of those hours back. But you did what you had to in those moments to get through the day. Because sometimes you have to get away from it all to really appreciate it.

 

What they say: These will be the best years of your life.

What was true for me: These may be the best years of your life, but it probably won’t feel like it at first. You may wonder why you ever wanted kids in the first place. That, if you would have known what it was really like, you maybe wouldn’t have done it. (I remember trying to fall asleep the night she was born and thinking, Eric and I had such a good thing going, why did we ruin it?! But now, two months later, I get it. We love our little family so much.)

 

What they say: Sleep when the baby sleeps.

What was true for me: Sleep when the baby sleeps, but you’ll really wish you could sleep whenever she doesn’t want to. Those are the moments that wear you down.

 

What they say: Never wake a sleeping baby.

What was true for me: Never wake a sleeping baby, unless she is not back up to her birth weight. Then, unfortunately, you have to wake her up every few hours at night even when she wants to sleep longer. It feels wrong, because it kind of is. :(

 

What they say: You won’t remember what it was like before baby.

What was true for me: Oh, I remember. And we still get glimpses of our old life when we put Roo to bed or when we are at work. But I definitely feel different now. I feel like a mom and even when I am out and about without her, I feel a greater sense of purpose. That is not to say that my old life was meaningless or that if you don’t have kids or don’t want kids that your life is not as awesome as mine. I don’t want anyone to feel that way at all. There are ups and downs. I haven’t forgotten what it was like before, but it would be very hard for us to go back to that now that our hearts know what it’s like to be parents.

 

Do you agree/disagree? What would you add to this list?

 

Facebook Discussion

Facebook Discussion

Kelsey

I love my husband, my daughter and the Internet.

  1. Those were all things that I’ve heard, too. The cliches make me laugh, no matter how true they are! It’s so funny that everyone is different and yet go through the same emotions when they have kids.

    Everyone told me to sleep when the baby sleeps and I always had a hard time doing that. Until the third came along. Now, I have no problem laying down for a snooze whenever I have the chance (rarely, of course).

  2. I agree with ALL of this. My husband and I are planning on trying for another baby (weird, I don’t think I’ve put that out there online yet) relatively soon and I just keep thinking how easy things are now. Our daughter is 4 1/2 so she is pretty self sufficient as far as kids go, it is always super easy to find a baby sitter if we have something going on because she requires a lot less work than a baby. I really worry that when we have baby number two, we won’t be able to find a soul that will want to want both of them and marriage will suffer. But, I suppose that is one of the things that you know going into it (if you’re a second time mom) and you have to make sure you don’t let it happen.

  3. I love that you’re so honest, Kelsey! It’s super refreshing for me, because even though I’m not a parent yet, I have a really hard time believing all the mommy bloggers out there that act like it’s sunshine and roses and perfect breast-feeding and lots of sleep all the time. Telling it like it is has actually made me feel at peace, and makes me feel a little more prepared for the time when hubs and I decide to start our family. :)

  4. I ADORE this post! Thanks for always keeping it real.

  5. My favorite cliche (and I’ve found it to be totally true!): The days are long, but the years are short.

    So true! Some days seem longer than others, but they are consistently exhausting. Yet, I CANNOT believe our oldest will be 8 in a few weeks! Whoa, slow down please!!!

    Advice: enjoy each phase, they change so quickly. Some phases you’ll want them to stay in forever. Some you’ll want them to hurry up and get through (spoon feeding and potty training, for me!). But, when your last kid takes his last sip from a sippy cup, or crawl through the living room, or diaper or NAP, you’ll wonder where the time went.

  6. Love this post and all the updates that you guys have shared about transitioning into life with Rooney. We’re expecting our first (also a girl!) next month, and these have been very encouraging (and a good reality check) for me. Can’t wait to see how she continues growing. It sounds like you guys are doing a great job.

  7. Love this post. The only one I don’t agree with is about waking up the baby. Both of my kids were low birth weights and slow gainers. My doctor and my aunt who works with preemies in the NICU said it was ok to let them sleep at night as much as they want, but to wake then during the day to eat every couple of hours.

  8. So true! I agree with you, totally. Even now, I have people at work with teenage children tell me, “oh, I loved it when my kids were little, it was so great” and I gently remind them how little sleep I am getting and how exhausting it can be. But then I go home and try to be present with my 18 month old daughter and really soak in all the delightful parts of this age.

    One thing nobody told me was that, when your baby does sleep through the night (whenever that may be), you might not be able to sleep anyway. The first time my newborn slept 8 hours I was awake with engorged breasts debating if I should break the “never wake a sleeping baby” rule. Just last night she slept 9 hours straight (a rare occurance these days) but I was awake from 4-5 worried about her, wondering “is she ok? why is she still sleeping?” I had to laugh at myself, why can’t I just enjoy the sleep? : )

    A piece of advice I would pass on to new moms is that you know your baby best and to trust your instincts and gut. There are so many books and experts and people wanting to give you their opinions about what you “should” do and ultimately you know what is best for you and your family. So, take what works for you and leave the rest behind. I wasted too much energy worrying about what I or my daugher or my husband “should” be doing. Energy that is better spent loving and getting to know my family.

  9. My fave pre-babies was the “You better sleep while you can” line… as if I could somehow bank or store up all the sleep I was able to get before having kids!

  10. Hi Kelsey and Eric! I found your blog through my great friend Emily Butterworth and I love stopping by to read about your adventures. I just had my second son on March 21st, so I can totally relate to all of your posts about being a new mama, even though I’m doing this for the second time (my older son is 2). It’s funny how much we have in common (my husband and I just bought a blue dodge grand caravan too!) and my newborn is going through all of the same transitions as your sweet Rooney. I wanted to say that I had terrible postpartum depression with my first son, but didn’t experience it one bit the second time around so it’s weird how different pregnancies can be different. I also had terrible problems breastfeeding my first, but it’s been a breeze the second time around. Anyway, thanks for your honesty in your posts and sharing about the challenges and blessings of motherhood! I hope your first week back at work is going well. It’s tough being away from these precious babes!

    Melanie

  11. I love baby feet too! My almost two year old still has the most edible feet (seriously, i nibble on them) and I’m sad about the “day” they’ll turn from baby feet into boy feet.
    Wonderful post.

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