I will become a first-time aunt this spring. As we get closer to my sister’s due date the hot topic around here is everything newborn. I wrote this post last year and felt this would be a good time to repeat it. I hope this doesn’t scare my sister or any other mom-to-be. Being the oldest child, I am the “lucky one” who goes through life first then get to let my siblings know what lies ahead. Everyone is different, of course. But this is my own experience:
Almost 5 years ago, I was pregnant with Emma and attending one of those birthing classes with Scott.
The only thing that I have remembered quite well has nothing to do with with process of childbirth. The nurse that taught the class told us her motto at home with her 2 boys was “whatever it takes.”
I didn’t get it.
What does that mean, “whatever it takes”? Does she let the boys get whatever they want? Does she not enforce rules? Does she just not care how they’re raised? She has two kids, it can’t be that tough…my mom had four and she seemed level headed raising us. I never once heard my mom say “whatever it takes”- to our faces, at least.
I was not on the same page with this nurse at all. She also told us she is not a “newborn person”. She wanted the newborn stage to pass quickly with her children.
Newborn person? How can she not be? She works with newborns! Babies just sleep all day! Eat, sleep and poop. It has to be the easiest stage! And they’re so tiny! With teeny tiny clothes! Awww. I already convinced myself that I was a newborn person and I would make baby Emma wear her newborn clothes for as long as possible.
5 years later. I have discovered this nurse could not be more right.
The newborn stage is one of the worst. One of my most feared stages after having one child. It’s awful. It’s the lack of sleep. It’s the unconditional love that also comes with nonstop worrying. You can’t really recover what your body has physically been through by the means of sleep. It’s really a shocking adjustment to your previous lifestyle that no one can really prepare you for.
Then today, the phrase occurred to me while shopping at Target with the girls ….”whatever it takes.” I think I say this daily in some form. Especially when I have the girls by myself at any public place.
I get it. Ohhh, do I get it now. I have adopted this motto as well.
Sometimes you have to open the package of goldfish in the aisle of Target rather than have a toddler meltdown. The cashiers will understand.
Sometimes you have to just leave Hobby Lobby with no purchase in hand but a screaming toddler carried like a clutch purse.
Sometimes you have to just check out at Walmart while speaking VERY LOUDLY to the cashier over the screams of a 4-year-old tantrum.
Sometimes you have to just box your meal up at a restaurant without taking one bite because your 1 year old demands to either sit on your lap or have a meltdown.
Sometimes you have to physically hold your child on her back and force medicine down the back of her throat. Your child will think you are trying to force needles in her mouth.
Sometimes you just have to hug and kiss your child while they have the flu, strep throat or bronchitis. You let them wipe their snot on your shirt. You let them throw up all over your shirt and hair. You let them spit phlegm in your hand. All knowing they are highly contagious and will 99% of the time get you sick too.
Sometimes you just have to laugh at a newborn spraying yellow breastmilk poop all over your face. Then you go back to bed after just wiping it off with a wipe.
Most days I drink luke warm coffee. I eat cold meals. The neat freak in me has died long, long ago. I strive to learn the art of compromise with a child. I don’t even know what a control-freak is anymore. Traveling via plane, train or automobile with a child will make me question how much do I really want to travel.
I know I’m not the only one. The nurse at the childbirth class tried to prepare us for childbirth but what I walked away remembering is a really great motto:
Whatever it takes.