11 weeks after what seemed to be the longest and the fastest 9 months of my life I gave birth to a wonderful baby boy named Jackson. And life as I knew it was over. I’ve been told that it takes 9 months to have a baby because it takes you 9 months to mentally prepare for it. But I don’t think anything can prepare you for it. I read all the baby books, all the parenting books and I still wake up some mornings feeling completely inept. The vast majority of the books deal with general child care and speak to new moms like they are mindless idiots and make parenting sound so simple. They focus on all the amazing “joys” yet they tend to gloss over the challenging times. Even friends will tell you “it’s all worth it” (and it is) yet that’s not what you want to hear when your baby has been screaming for hours. There seems to be a giant void in the parenting books in that they don’t give parents any advice on how to cope with what is the biggest changes and challenges of your life. Your life changes over night in a dramatic way and while most of these changes are so wonderful that you won’t miss your old life in the least. Many of these changes leave you sad, confused and frustrated.
I started writing when Jackson was 6 weeks old for a few reasons. One reason is because I love to write. But the other reason was that I wanted to record what was happening with Jackson on a regular basis so that when I have another child I would have a rough reference of what Jackson did when and how I dealt with many of the different challenges. In the past few weeks I have found myself asking my friends with kids when there kid did this or that and no one seems to remember precisely when these things happened. While I know every baby is different I wanted some loose time line so that I could figure out when Jackson would stop having colic or when it was about time to get an exersaucer or start rice cereal.
In talking to some of my other new mom friends I found that I was not alone in feeling inept and that there were many challenges along the way that I did not anticipate. I wanted advice or just someone to vent to. Someone to say I’ve been there and here’s how I got through it. So this is me saying to anyone out there “I’ve been there and here’s how I survived and so will you”.
There is no sure and fast guide for anything but this is just my account of the first year so far. I’m going to try to update this regularly and hopefully someone finds this information helpful and if not at least enjoyable. There’s no wine in mom but there definitely should be!