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Having a baby changes everything


If I to sum up 2010 in one word, there’s no doubt that word would be Caleb. I always wondered why it was that parents seemed to talk about little else besides their children, but now I understand.

Having a new baby…

…is like being in middle school with a new crush. Do you remember that first crush? Everything that came up in conversation seemed to relate somehow to that boy you liked. And even if you were trying to keep it a secret that you liked him, it was hard to keep from mentioning his name. Caleb won over my heart so completely that I can hardly stop thinking about him, so it’s hard to go a long time without talking about him.

…is like quoting Napoleon Dynamite or Nacho Libre. Jason and I love funny movies. Most of our favorite inside jokes are line from funny movies or TV shows we’ve watched together. But Caleb’s antics are infinitely more memorable, and sometimes, every bit as funny. I can laugh at the same silly thing over and over, and when I’m not watching him do something funny, I want to relive the moment with others.

…is like reviewing for a big test with a friend who took the class last semester. When you’re facing something difficult, it’s always helpful to having someone walking with you who has been there before. Taking care of a baby is a daunting task. As a new parent, I find myself continually seeking the advice of other moms, ones who have been doing this longer than I have. How long was your baby fussy before his teeth came through? Where did you get that toy that suctions on to the high chair tray? What do you do when your baby’s constipated? These are the questions that occupy the thoughts of a new mommy, or at least this new mommy.

So now I understand why parents, moms in particular, don’t have much else to say. It’s not the only thing going on in my life right now. I still read for fun. I still like being alone with nothing to do but drink my coffee. And I’m still on the hunt for a killer pair of brown boots. But all of those things are just the backdrop to this new identity of being MOM. Having a baby really does change everything.

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