When I became a parent, I lost something.
Besides the usual things that parents of young children lose (about four hours of sleep a night, the ability to shower undisturbed and the freedom to leave the house on a whim) I lost the ability to think rationally about the future. And I don’t think I’m the only one.
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?
Scenario one: Baby sleeps all night for the first time ever at 12 weeks old. New non-rational me thinks baby will sleep ALL NIGHT from now until forever. And thank goodness for that!!
Scenario two: Baby (who, surprise, surprise DIDN’T sleep through until forever) wakes up at 10pm one night and wants to play until 12.30am. I assume – after just one night of midnight games – that THIS is the new normal. That baby will NEVER sleep through the night again and instead will wake until at 10pm every night until she leaves home at 18 years old (who am I kidding, 28 years old).
Scenario three: Baby eats everything offered to him. I declare him a great eater and congratulate myself on a job well done. Baby turns 18 months and decides he only wants to eat sultanas.
So why do we suddenly think that each new development will be ‘forever’. Is it just sleep-deprivation robbing us of rational thought?
Or maybe it the many unhelpful comments new parents receive? Things like “you’re making a rod for your own back” when you let a two-week-old sleep on your shoulder instead of in their bassinette. As if a two-hour nap in the first weeks of life will sentence you to a lifetime of rocking to sleep. I’ve never heard of a teenager who still likes to sleep on their mum.
Or maybe time DOES slow when you’re a new parent. Some things do feel like forever. When you sleep in six shorts bursts for months on end time does get a little warped.
Whatever the reason we can all do ourselves a favour by remembering “this too shall pass” or “he’ll do it … in his own time”.
It isn’t easy sometimes – particularly in the early hours of the morning – but it does help. Your baby WILL sleep. You WILL one day be able to use the toilet when you need to. They WILL eventually be completely toilet trained.
It also helps if you remember that even the good stuff doesn’t last forever. That your gorgeous little boy who showers you with kisses will grow to be a teenager who grunts when you ask him how his day was. Or that the little girl who tells you that she wants to ‘marry Daddy’ will one day be embarrassed be seen with him in public.
It mightn’t feel like it now – but they won’t be babies forever!
Hug them while they let you!
Image credit: fierylily/ 123RF Stock Photo