When I had my fourth baby, my husband and I marveled at how calm she was during our 24-hour stint at the hospital, or what I like to call, our “every other year vacation.”
“She doesn’t even cry unless she’s hungry and even then, it’s barely a squeak!” we bragged to our family when they came to visit. I thanked my lucky stars that after being so worried about how on earth I would handle four kids ages 7 and under, I had finally gotten an “easy” baby. My mind flashed forward to the fun we would have as a family of six with our go-with-the-flow baby happily napping anywhere and cooing at us from her carseat.
You would think we would have known better than to make such a rookie mistake as bragging about how “good” our newborn was so early on, but what can I say? Sleep deprivation and that pesky post-birth high messed with our mind, folks. But regardless of how ridiculous we were, you had better believe that we were not alone when each and every one of these thoughts went through our mind that first fateful night home with our baby:
1. What on earth happened to the baby from the hospital?
I kid you not when I say, the second we crossed the threshold of our home, the baby that had been so calm and cool and content in the hospital started wailing like a toddler who has lost his sucker. And my husband and I just looked at each other with matching expressions of total fear, horror, and intense regret for the way our daughter had played us like the fools we were.
2. Maybe we’ll get one of those babies that sleep through the night!
Spoiler alert: those babies do exist, but your baby will not be one of them.
3. There really should be some kind of test for this.
I mean, really. We are tested our whole lives — driving, graduating high school, foolish things like getting a job or operating machinery, but for this, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE WORLD, we are sent off with a wave and that little booger sucker thing that I’m still not entirely sure how to use??
4. Serious question: is newborn poop classified as a nuclear weapon?
Because if’s not, someone missed the boat there because this stuff is nasty, and it literally is indestructible and uncleanable.
5. When you realize that your baby is now officially the boss of you.
Oh good, I was afraid this might to be too easy.
6. Thank God we pulled so many all-nighters in our youth. We’ve pretty much been training for this our entire lives.
Sleep? Who needs sleep?!
7. I take that back. Nothing could have prepared us for this. WHAT HAVE WE DONE?!
There will be some good days and there will be many very long, very not-good days.
8. I am a swaddling master.
9. OMG, it is not morning. It can’t possibly be morning yet, can it?
Good news, guys. Only 6,569 nights to go. God speed.
10. Welp, I suppose if we’re never going to sleep again then it’s a good thing we have the cutest baby in the whole wide world, don’t we?
Never been a cuter baby, ever. Seriously.
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