Shock and awe: What having a baby has taught us

June 29th, 2007

By Stephen Doucette

steve-and-ella.jpgWe had ample warning. For nine months, every parent we talked to gave us the “your life will never be the same” or “this baby will change everything” line. And the scary part was we knew it was true but didn’t know exactly what that change was going to be. We had some ideas — less sleep, less free time, more hassle trying to do anything out of the house — but there is so much more to the change than just what she does to you daily routine.
It quickly sank in that we are completely responsible for another life — and not just while she is a helpless baby needing us to feed, clothe and protect her. But forever — as an infant, as a toddler, as a kid, as a teen, and even as an adult. We will need to shelter, comfort, feed, finance, advise, protect, educate and mold her intellectually and morally. Wow, that’s a big commitment.
Here are a few other things we have learned in the first two months of parenthood:
• No one told us we would spend countless hours just staring at our child repeating “she is so cute.” It’s almost ridiculous how cute our baby is — then again we’re biased.
• Babies go through a lot of diapers, sometimes two or three in just a few minutes as we found out. Also diapers don’t always work, so we learned to keep a couple changes of clothes handy.
• While we knew getting out of the house would take a little longer, we didn’t realize what had been a quick errand in the past could turn so lengthy and complicated. If you have several errands to run it could take the whole weekend!
• Childbirth really is miraculous. I wasn’t real excited about my front row seat to the birth until the moment arrived and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
• After the baby shower, we thought it was crazy to have all this stuff — but now we know you really use all of it.
• It’s fascinating how much my wife and I spend talking about bodily functions, burp, farts, pees and poops are the height of conversation these days.
• Getting our membership into the parents’ club has opened up a whole new world of conversations on parenting — all parents have stories, tips and theories to share. Even many strangers we meet now have a meaningful thing in common with us — parenthood.
• We knew we would enjoy having a daughter, but the depth of love and joy she provides us with just a smile or a coo or a cute sleeping pose is amazing. Already we are stockpiling precious moments and we have only just begun this lifelong journey.

    About Us

    Me. Blogger. Formerly lived carefree life of eating out, staying out late, traveling and whatever else I wanted. Now mostly chase around two kids, cook, clean and work as graphic artist.

    Wonderful web guru husband who prepared this site for me. He's even trying to help to do dishes more around the house. Good man. I met him at a party in college in 1998 and he still hasn’t gone home.

    Unbelievably cute daughter who's been running the show at our house since March of 2007.

    Our newest, precious girl who just joined us in December of 2009.