As some of you may have noted on the weekend, I confirmed our new Illiterate Infants arrival in about 4 weeks. Thanks to all those friendly readers who quickly advised me of their 36 week pregnancies. What I may have neglected to tell you was that at the moment, I don’t have time for a new baby to arrive. I’ll barley be ready in 4 weeks, there’s nesting to do, floor boards to silence, 10 years of stuff in the new babies
store bedroom to make magically disappear… So really, an early arrival just doesn’t suit anyone.
[For those of you who've read enough to rattle of a really supportive comment about most babies always coming on time, please proceed straight to the comment section below]
In coming to terms with the change in
lifestyle, sleep, social life everything that’s coming up in four weeks (it’s all about positive affirmation) I have come up with a theory that I would appreciate your thoughts on. My theory is that by having a new born you develop a certain fitness. You start off and it’s hard, really hard but as your body and mind adapt it gets easier, until you manage (relatively) easily, settling quicker, able to pat for longer, changing bigger and nastier nappies more gracefully. The problem is that like fitness, you only keep your level of conditioning while your actively ‘doing it’. So as your child starts to sleep through longer, spew less, scream less, crawl, walk and talk more your new born fitness fades. It’s only when you put your running shoes back on, so to speak, that you realise just how out of condition you are.
The problem is, being a fitness, your mind can play tricks on you. You think you can still perform at the level you used to. For example, I’ve run the SMH half marathon twice (cheers for the thought starter Grace). Although my previous running has no bearing on whether I could do it now (not a chance) it doesn’t stop me talking myself up and saying things like “yeah, I could do the half this year, I’ll just do a few k’s this weekend” which results in “babe, I know your really pregnant and can’t bend over but can you undo my shoes because I can’t feel my legs”.
So like my running prowess, I’m aware that I am also talking myself up in the new born stakes. For example, convinced that a new-born is not that big a deal, I decided to start a new job last week. I also (momentarily) considered attending an overnight conference in March (3 weeks after the baby was born). Rather than let this get any further out of control I’ve made a list of things to remember to keep me a bit ‘grounded';
Things for you (Kev, and others if applicable) to remember:
- The first week is hard, the second week is hard, the first week when you go to back work is really hard. Assume it remains hard for about 4 months.
- Remember that time when you were sitting in the restaurant 2 weeks before giving birth and the couple where sitting next to you with a new-born in a baby capsule? And remember you saying “that is soooo going to be us”? Yes? then you’ll also remember it sooooo wasn’t you. Be realistic, be happy if you get to a shop. Be happy if you get out to the garden together.
- Your wife spent about 9 months after the birth alternating between shell shock, extreme fatigue, despair and glowing happiness. It will happen again. Maybe not for 9 months this time but it’s going to take some adjustment. Again, be realistic.
- You have no, I repeat NO experience raising the next new-born. It could be easy, it could be a nightmare, it could sit somewhere in-between. Try not to talk too much about how it will or should be and concentrate on how it is.
- You have no , I repeat NO experience raising the next new born AND a two and a half year old. Assume nothing. As much as Miss 2.5 acts your intellectual equal, she’s little, with a little perspective on the world and that world is going to change.
- It might not all be about you for a little while. Get over it.
So, is my theory correct? Do you forget, do you remember quickly, does a well adjusted 2.5yo lull you into a false sense of security? And… what’s your list? What do I need to add? What should you have had on your list? If nothing else, what’s your one word you’d give me, a Dad about to go around for a second go?
Hi to everyone that jumped aboard the Illiterate Infant over the weekend. Great to have you here. As always, I’m sharing my Tuesday with Jess over at essentiallyjess.com, if you haven’t been there check it out – she’s awesome.