Soon-to-be first time parents say the funniest things. Hey, we had good intentions, but reality and the baby smacked us hard. It’s hilarious thinking about how far off we deviated from our original plans that we swore we would or wouldn’t do, such as:
“We’re going to use cloth diapers.”
Can you say Pampers? We had considered using cloth diapers to save money and be more eco-friendly, but realized that we didn’t have a washing machine and dryer in the unit and would end up spending more on quarters. So then we looked into cloth diaper services and even the pseudo-cloth diaper brand G-diapers that seemed more eco-friendly. But in the end, disposables won us over with their convenience.
“We won’t let him cry it out.”
We tried to hold out on this as much as we could, hoping he would learn to sleep on his own, but clearly we’ve trained him to fall asleep in the circumstances that I grew to loathe (bouncing and shushing). It’s painful to hear him cry, but he cried anyway when I would bounce him so might as well let him learn to fall asleep on his own while he’s at it.
“During maternity leave, I’m going to take him to the zoo, and the park, and the museums and still try to get some freelance stuff done.”
Ha ha and triple ha. Who has time for the zoo when I didn’t even have time to cook a meal? Twelve weeks away from work sounds like the greatest thing ever, but it’s definitely not like the pre-baby days off where I could bum around at home. I don’t know where all those weeks went. It’s only nowadays that I’m comfortable taking him out and about.
“We’re going to buy him everything organic: organic clothes, organic bedding and organic food.”
Generally yes on the organic food (I try to buy farmers market stuff except for the stuff they don’t sell, like bananas, kiwis and mangoes). But other than two organic sheets and gloves, nothing else is organic. Actually we hardly buy him clothes because our generous friends and family have amply provided us with many gifts. I remember even making a list on my Amazon account of all the organic clothes and toys I wanted him to have. Sorry, just too expensive!
“Post-partum blues, shmost-partum blues.”
Every time I heard about post-partum blues, I always imaged the Brooke Shields type of person who needed medication, or the moms who wanted to kill their babies and then felt horrible about it. So when my coworker was telling me about her recent experience with the blues, I brushed it off thinking, “She must not have a happy life.” Fast forward to the first few weeks after he was born, and there I was crying—no, howling—because he wouldn’t stop crying in his car seat. Or thinking, “What the hell did I just sign up for?” In time, the hormones eventually subside, the baby grows up (and therefore has a better temperament) and mom is more experienced. But yes, even the happiest people can feel down after giving birth.
“We’re not going to give him shots.”
This turned to “We’re going to delay some shots.” And now it’s just “So he’s getting his shots this month?” After reading up on shots, we’ve been following the CDC recommended immunizations. We may make an exception with the MMR shot when he turns a year old, but we’ll have to read more on that.
“We won’t be like those parents who clutter their house with baby stuff. No way is his stuff going to outnumber and clutter our stuff.”
Hello: swing, infant seat, pack and play, blanket on the floor with stuffed animals and books, and washcloths and towels splayed across the bathroom. Not to mention the essential crib, changing table, stroller and car seat. Oh, and that we’ve moved an inflatable mattress in the living room so that we could set an alarm for the days when I go to work. Remember when we would throw our dinner parties and the whole apartment was spotless, and we’d have place mats with neatly arranged table settings, and the carpet always looked brand new? Oh, the memories.
At least we’re adaptable, right?
Soon-to-be first time parents not only have to deal with their baby’s personality and temperament, but they’ve also never experienced having a baby around. Silly of me to think that I would visit my husband at work every week during maternity leave, or that we would never clutter the house with toys (I even went as far as saying “No plastic toys.” Psshh.). I think that’s why parents of older kids ask, “Is this your first baby?” because when you say “yes,” they’re secretly smirking inside knowing the reality check you’re going through.
We still do a lot of the things we said we would: I still breastfeed (although I could—and probably will—write a whole post on that), we read to him every day, and most importantly, we truly do love him the way we imagined we would.