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TSS: PLEASE SECURE YOUR OWN MASK FIRST (and other impossible rules of parentood)

October 2, 2011

The Sunday Salon.com

My husband and I were watching a documentary, recently, that mentioned a statistic where people with children were less happy, overall, than people without. As much stress and emotion as parenting brings, I just can’t see my life being BETTER without my little boys. That said, there are some rules that I often find hard to follow when participation in the this lovely game we call parenthood.

1. “Lift nothing heavier than your baby. Yes, Pam, your newest baby.”

You know those staples should be a big old, gothic reminder that I should be taking it easy and I am; I promise! The thing that makes this restriction hard is that my first born son is still my baby. He may be closer to four years old than four days old but when he gets tired and cranky and spins around and knocks his cheekbone on a stool, there is a force stronger than a riptide current that pulls me to pick him up and make him feel ok. I will follow this one as I know I’ll be restricted longer if I don’t follow it. It’s just very hard with a bigger guy who also needs his mommy.

2. “Sleep when baby sleeps.”
Ha! You expect me to stop, for one second, watching my new little man eat, sleep, poop and breathe? He’s been on the inside of me for close to nine months and without the advent of clear pregnant bellies, I’ve had to imagine him until this point. I have managed to sleep a bit in between camp outs next to Gavin’s SCN bed but it’s really way more fun to watch him sleep.

3. “Remain calm.”
This one goes out to MY mom and my coparent, The Daddy. While I have been focused, primarily on the health and wellbeing of my sons, I, myself, have been known to cause a little concern among family members. Now, I will say that the two people highlighted here are two of the most amazing crisis control folks I know and have handled this entire situation much better than I would have. I’m still not sure that I could get my wife through ten hours of labor then watch her go through an emergency CSection nor could I appropriately handle a phone call from my co-parents (my daughter’s inlaws) that informs me that my first baby is going into an emergency CSection but without all of the details. Oh, please let me be the parent that my mom and husband are, to balance my fear with appropriate response.

When all is said and done, I know that staying calm, relaxing and taking care of me first will always be the appropriate action. This will be especially hard to remember as we’re headed home, today, leaving Gavin here for a few more days. I’ll do my best to be good. Still, though, it’s hard so wish me luck!

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. October 2, 2011 1:15 pm

    That “sleep when the baby sleeps” didn’t work, even when I just had my first one! Too Type A I think. I did like getting a shower now and again, and the animals didn’t feed themselves. Love your sense of humor about it all. I can’t imagine my life without my kids. Would life be easier, and would we have more money in the bank? Yes probably but who cares? This is what living is all about.

    • October 3, 2011 10:06 am

      I agree! I think “easier” and “happier” are confused and are definitely not the same thing!

  2. October 2, 2011 5:28 pm

    I have a hard time believing that my life would be better without my kids, and I am sure that any mom out there would agree. I think that despite the difficulties that come along with raising kids, there is just something about having those little heads leaning against my shoulder and the hugs and kisses that I couldn’t do without. I bet you feel the same way. I am glad to hear that you are doing well and that you are headed home. I will be even more glad when Gavin gets to come home too.

    • October 3, 2011 10:09 am

      Oh, yeah, for sure! There is something so completely amazing and rewarding in having little snuggle buddies. And even when my older one tests every limit possible and after days of stress, watching our little one go through so much, I still wouldn’t trade any of it for all of the “happiness” other people claim. It’s funny because I was always the kind of person who thought I’d never have kids. If I hadn’t had them, I probably would have been the kind of person who would tell you that kids would add too much stress but I was telling my husband, last night, I really literally can not wrap my head around the idea of my kids not being in my life, now!

  3. October 2, 2011 7:23 pm

    I agree with you! Not one of these rules have helped me. Zibilee’s right: if you want a shower, the only good time to take one is when the baby is asleep. There are times when I had to take a shower while holding a new baby. 😉

    • October 3, 2011 10:12 am

      Oh yeah, I definitely took showers with my first son when he was a few weeks old. He also was super hard to get to sleep and one of the only things that worked was bringing his carseat into the bathroom and turning on the shower. It was fabulous!

  4. marriedtomedicine permalink
    October 2, 2011 8:13 pm

    Not picking up my older ‘baby’ was THE HARDEST thing after my emergency c-section. It’s really, really tough. You’ll find ways to get in lots of cuddles with pillows etc. Good luck and if you can REALLY rest the first 3 weeks or so (6 officially of course, but I mean practically bed rest the first 2-3) you’ll do so much better. I had zero complications from my c-sections because I did not much more than nurse the baby and cuddle the big brother those first few weeks. : ) Good luck.

    • October 3, 2011 10:11 am

      Thats such good advice! I think it’s a little bit hard, right now as I’m a bit distracted by having my baby 15 minutes away and I can’t completely relax but my older guy is being VERY understanding. We’re having lots of snuggle time on the couch and it’s doing a world of good. ;O)

  5. October 2, 2011 10:04 pm

    i laughed SO HARD when the nurse told me the no lifting restriction after i had stephen.

  6. October 2, 2011 10:48 pm

    All good pieces of advice, but unfortunately not necessarily practical!

    • October 3, 2011 10:10 am

      Yup! I mean, I can try very hard to pay attention and listen to the rules but I find them to be guidelines really, more than anything else. ;O)

  7. October 3, 2011 9:26 pm

    Do the best you can … and be gentle with yourself as you are with your new baby!

  8. October 4, 2011 10:38 pm

    I don’t know how it will work with a second child but with my first, I did sleep when baby slept: I just cuddled him because I didn’t want to put him down ever. I think he slept in my arms for about two weeks straight….then I started worrying about spoiling him, but it seems no damage was done for that beginning bit 🙂

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