Parenthood is the most amazing, life changing, crazy, drink inducing experience there is. With absolutely no instruction manual, no right answer, and no chance you’ll get it right all the time! We’ve been at it for just about six months and have a smiling, laughing, pooping, hilarious little person who captures our heart and stresses us out simultaneously. And we aren’t even close to the terrible two’s or the 3-year-olds Are A**holes stage, so there’s plenty of insanity to come.
And while a relative newbie to this whole child rearing thing, there are definite lessons I’ve learned. Enjoy the moment, have plenty of beer or wine stocked in the fridge, and most of all, it’s okay. Whatever it is, it’s okay.
- Admit It’s Hard – You don’t have to be a superhero and you don’t have anything to prove. Parenthood is about making your family yours and knowing it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. More like dark circles under your eyes, poopy diapers and spit up, which last I checked weren’t on the rainbow spectrum. When people ask, it’s okay to say times have been tough.
- Accept Help – Trying to do it all will only allow you to accomplish very little. Exhaustion, lack of sleep, and trying to keep up will only make things worse. Whether it’s family, friends, or anyone else, accept help when you need it and even if you don’t. Enjoy the moments when your plate is only slightly less full.
- Celebrate Little Victories – Whether it’s the first trip to a restaurant for a quick dinner or navigating the grocery store with a stroller, celebrate your little victories! It’s easy to get bogged down by routine, schedules, and tiredness. Take a moment to give yourself a pat on the back for getting out the door and have a drink. Better yet get out the door to have a drink.
- Take It Over – Leaving the house with a kid requires approximately the same amount of stuff you used to take on vacation as a couple. Bottle, diapers, burp clothes, change of clothes, car seat, stroller, you’re a one man wrecking crew walking through the door. Getting the perfect table at a restaurant for all of it, is itself a little victory worth celebrating. Waiter!? Take over the space, and don’t feel guilty.
- Find Your Happy Place – You may need a mental happy place for those moments of extreme chaos. But I’m talking about that place you feel most comfortable out and about. We have a local pub not far from the house that’s wonderful for families. It’s cozy, with good food & drinks, and there is a child at nearly every table. It’s our go to spot when we need to get out of the house for a little bit and have no worries if we’re hit with an epic meltdown or quick change.
We’re six months in and have learned so much in our short time. With an infinite amount kiddie knowledge left to come. As someone who was never very studious, it’s one education I’m actually enjoying. I make mistakes (defrosting too much frozen breast milk at once & having to pitch it, yikes!) and we learn from each other. Parenthood is a living breathing entity of it’s own. You grow, adapt, overcome fears, and find new ones. You become spontaneous, and plan long term, you basically become a walking oxymoron. All the while, knowing as soon as you think you’ve got it down, they change it up on you, which is okay. Waiter!?