I knew when I had kids my body would change. I didn’t know every moment I slept my boobs were secretly creeping into my rear-end, though.
When I first laid eyes on my gorgeous future husband, my initial thought was not, “WOW! He is going to parent the hell out of our kids!” But as luck would have it, we have the exact same amount of parenting days under our belts. I am thankful that we have learned and grown together as we go.
What I wasn’t prepared for were all the people around us who were changed by us having a baby. It was staggering how everyone changed overnight as soon as we brought our son home.
My husband’s then-single lifelong friend Mike stopped by when our son was just days old and showed us that, with boys, everything needs to be pointing down or their onesies would be wet all the time.
How did he know that and we didn’t!!?? We were pretty sure he stole our parenting handbook. Meanwhile my husband’s off thinking, “This coming from the guy who’d light pop bottle rockets from the barn with me?”
We had all the clues ahead of time that everything was going to change, but I sure wasn’t paying attention until it was too late. At my baby shower everyone brought wonderful homemade gifts and the cutest outfits everyone loves to shop for. One of my lifelong friends Sandy showed up with the biggest bag she could find. It was filled with everything needed for a baby medicine cabinet: every kind of diaper rash cream, lotion, oil, powder, infant Tylenol, thermometer, you name it. Of course I was grateful, but a little piece of me thought, “Do I really need ALL of this?”
The first time my son was sick it came on suddenly, in the middle of the night, as per usual. I went to the magic bag and everything we needed was there! I have gone to that magic bag more times than I care to count. It has saved me dozens of midnight runs to the store. We have used the items in there for years, long after all those cute outfits were too small. I had no idea my high school friend who I used to do silly fun things with would grow up right when I needed her.
In-laws and Outlaws:
We loved having all of our grandma’s and great-grandma’s over when the kids were born. They were beyond helpful. I did find it funny that maternal instinct isn’t just for the moms. It carries through generations. We still love watching them with our kids. They changed from the strict parents we grew up with to the spoiling grandparents overnight!
Now don’t get me wrong, I love my husband, but when my kids were newborns there were days I would have traded him for my sister-in-law Chaundra in a heartbeat. Her kids are 2 and 4 years older than ours. She has always been my light at the end of the tunnel. Her kids are just one or two phases ahead of my mine, so I keep a close eye to see how they handle each hurdle and constantly remind myself that if they can survive it, so can we. I am so grateful that when I married the man of my dreams I gained a true friend too ... a sister-in-law!
The moral of the story: No one knows everything, but everyone knows something. The advice you get may come in from the unlikely places, and it may not be for you. It may be for you to hold on to share with someone else who needs it later.