Closing the bathroom door I thought... okay two minutes to myself, maybe three if I let the water run extra long. You’re supposed to wash your hands thoroughly when handling a baby right? My husband was soon at the door with our inconsolable infant informing me that I was taking an awfully long time and that, “Mommy should hurry up.”
It was three days after bringing my first son home, and the reality was setting in... there was going to be a baby around my house twenty-four hours a day for quite some time. The TV shows and books like to talk all about the difficulty of bringing home a baby; the sleepless nights, diaper changes, feeding schedule.
Nobody warned me that my sense of self would be forever changed. And although I love my little boy more than words can say, those first two weeks were a couple of the hardest of my life.
Two weeks after giving birth I was still quite in a culture shock. Did I really want to take a year off and watch this little person all day? What in the heck were we going to do besides look at each other? Now four months later I can honestly say that I am happier than I have been my entire life.
A few tidbits that I wish someone had told me before baby:
Give yourself a month. The first month will be bad. Yes, you will love this new little bundle but you will also be sleep deprived and walking on pins and needles to keep the baby happy. It won’t be this crazy forever.
Find other babies. There are other people out there just like you, but you won’t find them locked in your house. Join a mother’s group (I joined three just to be sure I had plenty to do.) Visit the local library and check out baby programs.
Elizabeth Rodgers has a degree in elementary and special education and has a reading specialist certification. She taught second grade until deciding to be home with her son. Her little boy is now five months old, and she's enjoying spending her days watching him learn and play.
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