Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What I Thought I Knew

I've been around babies a lot, I have younger cousins and second cousins that my mom used to help care for during the day and I did my fair share of babysitting throughout middle school, high school, college and even in graduate school. I spent a summer as a nanny and I even have four nephews. I'm also an information junkie so long before we were planning to start a family I was subscribed to baby and pregnancy blogs. All of this is to say that I really thought that I knew what I was getting into. I knew that it was going to be hard and that there would be little sleep. 

As it turns out, the things that I thought would be the most challenging really aren't and the things I thought would be easy have actually been incredibly difficult! Here are some of the things that have been different from what I expected:

Sleep - I thought it would nearly kill me not to get a solid 9 hours of sleep every night. In college the curfew never bothered me because I was always in bed by then anyway. Turns out, I'm doing pretty well with the sleep thing! Sure, I'd love to sleep in but my husband helps out in the morning and it's gotten much easier to fall back to sleep.

Breastfeeding - I was prepared for the worst here and hoping for the best! Fortunately after a slow start my milk came in with a vengeance and Caroline latched on like a champ. We are at 6 months and she continues to thrive on my milk. It's pretty cool and quite amazing!

Bottle/pacifier - I thought getting a baby to take these would be easy, and at first it was. Then Caroline started to scream anytime someone tried to give her a bottle or put a pacifier in her mouth. We keep trying but so far she just chews on the bottle. Daycare should be an adventure.

Travel - I thought the flying part of travel would be the challenge but it turns out babies don't recognize time zones! Babies also love routine which makes travel a challenge. When planning travel I think about how long we will be gone and the time of day we travel much more but other than that we are still keeping a pretty active travel schedule!

Naps -  I didn't realize how strong my desire to hold my sleeping baby would be! Even still as we are working hard to get her sleeping in her crib I still want to rock her and hold her. I just love snuggling her! I thought I would crave that hour to myself and set her down and walk away but the truth is that I miss her when she's not right there with me, crazy but true!

Work - I love me career and I spent a long time and a lot of money to get where I am. As much as I'm a fan of knowledge for knowledge sake I love using my education and sharing it with my students. That's why I figured that I would be eager to go back to work and never really considered staying home and not working. I still love my job and enjoy going to class but I equally love being at home. The day I got to bring Caroline to class with me was the best, I got to be with her and my students at the same time which was awesome!

Daycare - I wasn't thrilled about daycare but knew that it would have to be a part of our plan. What I didn't know was how difficult it would be to get in and how much I would be willing to pay to have someone come to my house instead!

I'm sure there are more things that I was a know-it-all about before having a baby and I'm sure my thoughts will continue to evolve as my baby grows and changes.

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