This week’s post is a little different, it’s focused on kids, but not in our usual way.
This time I’m the student who doesn’t know anything…yet.
With the due date of my first kid approaching tomorrow I have suddenly realised something – there’s actually going to be a real life baby turning up.
Whilst I watch my wife move from couch to fit ball to floor to fit ball and back to
couch pile of pillows, it feels like I haven’t been able to do a single thing that is really helpful to her.
Housework, cooking and generally looking after her is already happening, but it’s the mental and physical aspects of labour and birth that I feel helpless with. In the end, when push comes to shove, I can’t actually step up and do the actual work.
I can support, motivate, listen, slow down breathing, act as the gate keeper or Slivers-Of-Ice-Into-The-Mouth-Guy…but I can’t actually do the birth or take the pain.
What can I do?
Ask questions and try to work out some different insights! That’s what!…which seems incredibly anti-climatic after typing that.
Over the last months there have been a HUGE number of questions rolling around my head (and to be honest, when not terrifying me, they’ve caused more questions). These range from:
- How do you actually bathe a kid?
- What’s the best way to deal with sleep deprivation? (Can you actually deal with it?!)
- Why would someone create a disgustingly terrifying hashtag called #poosplosion?
- How do you unsee those images?
So, with all of that said, this week my wife and I going to try something different. We’ve created 5 questions and answered them separately and honestly. You’ll probably read our responses and think to yourself:
b.) Naive idiots.
c.) Silly, silly people.
or d.) All of the above.
Which is great, because as people who believe in upgrading and discovering more, we would love to hear YOUR thoughts, opinions and experiences!
Any emails, carrier pigeons, smoke signals or comments below will help us (and countless others out there) keep growing as parents to be…we’re all about growth mindsets, so help us grow our parent mindsets!
Now, with that said, onto the questions.
What do you think will be the greatest thing about being a parent?
Seeing this thing before us become more like us, take on different traits from us and having a little mini-me that we get to take home and keep…forever! I’m just pumped to do every single little thing with the little one and get to know the little one. And play basketball with the kid. There’s always time for basketball!
AmazingWife: Having a little buddy to hang out with and seeing all the little familiar quirks that either come from me or from Dan. Also seeing the baby with our extended family, so many Grandparents and Aunties and Uncles are excited to meet this little person and I can’t wait to see them all interacting together.
What are you worried about?
My wife feeling disconnected to her work life and persona, or feeling that she isn’t connected to the world beyond the baby and house. And teaching 29 kids all day after a few nights with no sleep…that won’t be fun.
AmazingWife: Is it healthy? Will I be able to keep it safe?(I know this will probably be a lifelong feeling from now on). Sometimes I feel like I don’t know enough about babies yet…even though I’m a teacher! I’m also wondering when, and how, I’m supposed to learn it all.
Who have you turned the most for help during pregnancy/parenthood?
Since finding out we were expecting I have been amazed at how open all of my male family members, friends and colleagues have been. The men around me have been amazing – the amount of helpful mentoring, life advice and honesty I’ve been privy to has been really incredible.
AmazingWife: Dan is the first person I turn to to reassure me or to get support. Mine and Dan’s family as well as friends who have had kids recently have been invaluable…sometimes I feel like I’m always bugging them with questions and queries.
What do you wish your partner knew about your experience of pregnancy?
A pressure to compensate for our reduced income kicked in out of nowhere. From around Week 12 I had to start saying yes to everything…which led to some strange casual jobs coming up that I never thought I would ever get or experience. And this blog. This thing that I love adding to every single week is because of you.
Plus, we get a bloody kid. It’s like Christmas right now…but the present opening scene will be a little different.
AmazingWife: How difficult it can be sometimes to be 100% wholly responsible for this little creature. Having to constantly think about what products I use, what I eat, how much water I’m drinking and what kind of exercise I can and can’t do gets incredibly tiring after 9 months. The second guessing yourself is hard.
I’m looking forward to sharing the responsibility 50/50 when it finally makes its arrival!
I also want him to know how important and helpful it is to hear such simple thing like: ‘You’re doing a great job’ and ‘You’re amazing’. It’s seems little but has meant so much over the last 9 months.
Parenthood will be just like…
Being a kid all over again as I get reminded of the brilliant simplicities of life – bubbles, jumping on a trampoline, riding miniature trains, eating ice cream or riding a bike. I think it might be like high school too because so many other parents out there will be putting on a mask of knowing what they are doing…when really they will be terrified and questioning themselves.
I’ll probably just work around those people the exact same way I did at school: smile, laugh and nod to whatever they are saying, while simply continuing with what makes sense, feels right or what a genuine mentor recommends.
AmazingWife: Rediscovering my own childhood and all the things I loved about it all over again. Also starting our own traditions as a new little family unit – I’m super excited about our first christmas together…two big kids with one little kid!
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3 Replies to “I’m About to be a Parent…and I Don’t Know Anything.”
Dan, as much as you WANT to play basketball with the bub. The bub may not be I interested. One of the best things is to see how they develop and where their interests are, it’s crazy that they wouldn’t be little clones of either myself or Ben…..but they’re not. They actually have their own interests and so far playing basketball (which is Bens favourite) is not on the top of Archies interest list!
Also, I’m not saying this in a bad way at all, but once the baby arrives unfortunately it won’t be 50/50, like El hopes. When it comes to the baby, you’ll be able to help but ultimately, the responsibility falls on El and sometimes it’s ridiculously overwhelming. Eventually you’ll get to go to work (although you’ll want to be home) and El will be alone with the bub and often questioning if what she’s doing is right. Crying because she feels like she’s alone and sometimes annoyed that you get to have 45mins to yourself twice as day as you drive to work, while she has this little creature who is totally adroable and has stolen her heart but it also all consuming, demanding and sometimes relentlessly wanting wanting wanting. (Well that was my experience). I also found that although I was a super progressive chick. Once I had kids Ben and I fell into very traditional roles. Worker and me homemaker. It wasn’t a plan, it was just easier. I knew what the kids needed, what food we needed, what housework needed to be done, so I took the lead in those areas, and Ben helped where it was needed.
As for sleep deprivation, someone once told me, once you stop complaining about how little sleep you’re getting and start to just accept it (because the reality is you’ll never be able to catch up) you’ll feel much better. It’s a bit of a mind set. You’ll be in a fog for a while, until your body adjusts, but just know that’s how you’ll have to operate for a while.
This little bub will teach you so much. You’ll never know everything, but you’ll know the most about this little bub. You’ll be the expert on this bub, even after one or two weeks. Ultimately as long as you feed and love this bub, he’ll be fine. Hold him, hold him, hold him.
Good luck, it’s hard work but it’s amazing.
Husband’s role during the birth is as an advocate to annoying medical staff! Good luck!
Thanks slimmingbsimcha!! We were incredibly lucky and had great staff…plus it was only two hours from the time we arrived to meeting the little bub! (Which I definitely was not prepared for!!)