I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, all the things you don’t expect and aren’t prepared for.
1. The biggest one: PPD. The only reason I was at all educated about it is through friends, and my mother. No doctor said a thing beforehand. At my 6 week checkup, I had to fill out a survey, and I was deemed ‘not depressed’. I wasn’t really at that point, the horrible stuff came later. I wish there was more information given by doctors before delivery.
2: You will be exhausted. Extremely exhausted. I always assumed I’d be tired, but having several nights of R waking up every hour and needing to be rocked to sleep gave exhaustion a new meaning to me. I remember partying well into the night, not going to bed til 5am, and not being that tired.
3. How terrifying it is. There are all these things you never think of before. Such as, loose blankets. What if the baby accidentally pulls it over his mouth? Or, cutting their nails for the first time, and being scared of clipping too close. Or, introducing solids, allergies, etc. The list is so long. I don’t know if my over anxiety is due to PPD. It may be.
4. It’s not as easy as it looks. I thought, while I was pregnant, that having a baby would be fairly easy. But, my R is already teething, gets bored so easily, sometimes it takes hours for him to sleep at night. It’s hard.
5. Time management is important. I’m still struggling with this. There are days that I get nothing done, because R needs me more than he does other days. My house isn’t as clean as it used to be, and if I do get extra time, I spend it laying on the couch or napping. It just sounds better than cleaning most of the time. Errands become a lot more complicated as well. Your time is no longer your own.
6. Having a pet is nothing like having a baby. It prepares you a little, but it’s not even close to the same thing. I had a very needy chihuahua for 2 years, he passed away when I was pregnant with R, and he was easier to handle. R needs to be rocked, picked up, fed, changed, bathed, etc., my chihuahua only needed blankets on the couch to sleep in, food and water in his bowl, and for you to acknowledge his existence by petting him or allowing him to sit in your lap several times during the day, and a bath once a week. They aren’t comparable. At all.
7. Breastfeeding is not easy. You think that you just put the baby on your breast, they latch, and that’s it. No. It’s hard. I tried for 3 weeks before I gave up. R was born tongue tied, which makes latching harder. My milk also never fully came in, so he wasn’t getting much, if anything. I tried pumping, and pumped about 2 oz per day. Formula gave me a little sanity back.
I’m sure there’s more I’ve thought of, but that’s all I can remember right now.