When I talk to newly-pregnant friends about what it’s like to have kids, I don’t try to sugarcoat shit because you don’t send someone into a war-zone by telling them “Just walk through this door to your spa appointment and cookie buffet, ma’am.” I want my friends to be prepared. I also want them to feel bad for me and pick up the lunch tab. I stay home and Panera does not cost for free.
Newborns are the fucking pits a sizable percent of the time. Yes, you’re going to be stoked on your new and healthy baby and the miracle of life and yada yada. But there is nothing that really prepares you for the kind of sleep deprivation that comes with that. Or the ’round the clock feeding and changing and burping and What noise did he just make do I need to call the pediatrician WHAT IS THE NUMBER FOR 911?? It’s just a whole thing. So thingy.
But after I give them the Your life will never be the same and it’s going to be a very long time until you are not constantly wishing that you could take a nap bit, I try to give them a little hope or relief or my version of It Gets Better. Because it does. It continually gets better. Your baby gets a little easier. You get more of an idea of what in the actual shit you are doing. After a month, you are feeling adjusted. At three months, it feels like a switch flips and you suddenly feel like you may have a handle on this. And it gradually goes up and up and eventually gets so much better that you may even have some thoughts like We should have another!
I’m nowhere near wanting another anytime soon. But we have arrived at the six-month mark with Halligan, and I’m seeing light again and it feels damn good. She’s going to sleep between 8 and 830 most nights, and that may be even more responsible for this shift. Having both kids in bed and still having time to workout or clean or spend time with Adam has been something I’ve been looking forward to for a while. So it feels amazing to finally be crossing that line.
Halligan is also sitting up pretty much all the time, so I can do things like put her in the pack n play with some toys, or sit her next to August on the floor and know that she will play and be cool for at least a little while. It gives me the freedom to get a couple things done throughout the day, and I can finally feel productive again. And as hard as it is keeping up with two kids now, August has been such an awesome big brother. He loves hanging out with his sister, and she adores the hell out of him. Seeing them start to play with each other has been one of the best things about the last few weeks. Even if a lot of that playing is August guarding his toys from Halligan and then also taking her toys so he can play with those, too. She is still content to watch him for now, and I’m sure she will clock him if he truly deserves it one day.
So if you’re reading this from a glider in the nursery with your two-month old and can’t remember the last time you changed your yoga pants, just know that your baby will not be a 24-hour time-suck forever, and that a little Febreze goes a long way. Enjoy the moments with your baby when you can, because it really does go by quickly. But don’t feel bad if you’re okay with that sometimes.