Before Little Brother N was born, it’d been three years since I had a baby. It had actually been four years since I had a newborn. And boy, did those years go fast! There were so many things that happened in those four years; birthdays, doctor appointments, trips, and the thousands of small moments we experienced each day. Through those moments, I forgot many of the things that come with babyhood. As I relive this time with Little Brother N, I’m reminded for every adorable, sweet, wonderful thing about babyhood, there’s equally something that throws me off and challenges me. Here are a few of the great and not-so-great things I forgot about babyhood.
Of course you knew the first thing I would mention is sleep! We even have good babies that were/are decent sleepers! But there’s nothing like a night of uninterrupted, deep, feel-good-way-down-in-your-bones when you wake up kind of sleep. And let’s be real, you’re not getting that on a regular basis when you’re a new mommy (or daddy). We were long sleeping through the night after Big Brother N’s babyhood and I forgot what it like to operate and use your mind on a half zombified brain.
You know the laugh. The belly laugh that comes from way down in the gut, sprays spit everywhere, and can often tip a newly sitting baby over. I LOVE this laugh! I will do anything to make Little Brother N laugh. This includes trying to stand on my head, making the silliest faces you can imagine, or looking like a ridiculous fool as I fake “hurt” myself (which somehow always induces the biggest giggle of all). This category has only improved since Big Brother N’s babyhood because now I have him to help make his little brother laugh. And these boys adore each other. So, the double giggle really gets me.
You guys, before Little Brother N, I would often carry a wristlet! Credit card, phone and keys, yep, got em! Oh no, not anymore. I typically sport my luggage-sized diaper bag. The diapers, wipes, food, meds, extra clothes, entertainment and many other things a small baby requires takes up far more room than my largest purse has space to allow. I didn’t even mention what it looks like when I leave the house for more than a day. On our first road trip to Iowa in December, Big Brother N barely had room for his feet. And this was after we bought a rocket box for the top of my car. You could argue: we don’t need all this stuff. But, these things did make our stay more safe and comfortable. But seriously, it’s a lot.
I forgot how easy baby cuddles make it to neglect everything else you must attend to as a mother. Work, housework, ABCs, and date nights are easily put off when I’m in the middle of a baby cuddle session. Although these change throughout the first year, they’re still as good 10 months in as they were the day Little Brother N was born. Recently, he has started to hug back. There’s nothing like feeling your child’s arms around you for the first time. He will often play with my hair when his arms are behind my head. I think it’s a comfort to both him and I. Really, there is nothing better.
A year ago, I had a son that fed himself, walked himself and wiped himself. All of the independence that came with those things was instantly thrown out when Little Brother N arrived earthside. I forgot how easy it is to lose yourself during this year, to feel constantly rundown, and to feel like everyone else’s needs matter far more than your own.
As I try to settle into the dependence, I remind myself: time stinking flies the older you get and the more babies you have. I learned through my experience with Little Brother N that babyhood is temporary and quick. I made a conscious effort to slow down and enjoy the sweet moments with Little Brother N. And I still look back and wonder where the heck it went. I have learned to live in a constant contradiction of wondering where time has gone, trying to enjoy every moment, and being excited for our boys’ futures. There is no getting away for how fast times goes.
These little boys will only be mine to watch over for a short a time. Although having a baby isn’t all unicorn and rainbows, like I remember it to be, it is a precious, sweet time that I’m doing my very best to soak up. I’m confident when I look back at little Bother N’s babyhood, I’ll only remember the happy things. My zombified brain will surely vanish from memory.
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