Parenthood. A bliss? A pain in the neck? A surprise maybe? I suppose it all depends on your point of view. And the stability of your nervous system. For me parenthood came with its surprises. There were plenty of things I was told and plenty of things I found out when the parenthood journey started. Here are my observations. So far, anyway.
- Secret society of parents. I always suspected there is one where you get to join as soon as you become a parent (and even a bit before). I wasn’t wrong. It is a support network of people who once themselves were first time parents. Here you get to exchange clothes, get some much needed advice in the first weeks and get invited to baby parties. Also: you feel like you belong to the group. Suddenly your vocabulary has a lot of new words that can be used only in the circles of this society…
- End of your life in a couple as you knew it. You cease to exist in your previous shape as a couple. You become a (sometimes very well) oiled engine/team that serves the needs of your little bundle of joy. There is no cuddling while watching movies any more. Now the very little time you get free you spend either taking a quick shower or fixing something that is broken or eating. This changes, I was told.. You get to come back to your couple life. Not ever in the same way though. And you have to remember to get back to it (a slippery road for a lot of couples where they have stayed parents but never came back to being partners).
- People are curious about your baby. OK, you know that your friends and relatives will be full of love and will want to be with the little one (and sometimes you as well), but what about all those strangers that are trying to put their face in your pram? Should you tell them off or just let them enjoy the innocent smiles of your offspring?? It does put a smile on that stranger’s face, so, maybe this one is not a bad one.
- Forget about enjoying delicious food. Or good food. Or sometimes any food at all. I was happy that in the first week after coming home from the hospital I have managed to prepare ahead some dishes that waited for me frozen in the fridge. The little one asks a lot of attention. All of it. Food in the process of your daily routine is necessary but in no way is an enjoyable process.. At those times when you manage to get to it, you either grab a sandwich or swallow it fast and go back to the attention seeker. Thanks God for friends who are coming over during lunch breaks and spending not only quality time with us, but also bringing some lunch!!! Also I remembered a story from a friend with a sophisticated taste buds who suggested to use frozen food company Picard (he said it saved his life when his first-born arrived) and I have not been disappointed in them so far.
- Sleep deprivation. In the same way you start to work as a well oiled engine for the little one from the moment he is born, you don’t get your regular amount of hours to sleep any more. Is it frustrating?? On some occasions. Can you do something about it? No. So, just suck it up and wait for this period to end (if ever that will happen). That’s my current attitude towards it.
- Everyone has an advice. That much we know. But what about the part where you are being given advice without you asking for one??? My impatient nature struggles with this one… I wonder if this is going to be fight that I will win or loose..
- City is not child friendly. OK, this one is probably not true for every city in the world, but as it goes for Brussels… Hey, people who are ruling the city, have you ever heard of paving the sidewalks?? Hey, businesses, have you ever heard of facilitating entry for those who are walking with prams? Hey, cafes and restaurants, maybe a changing table here and there would be nice??? I truly find it sad that, when looking for child friendly places in Brussels, only things that are suggested are IKEA and shopping center City2 2nd floor. Really??? I mean: REALLY???
I am thinking that this list could eventually turn into a never-ending story.. Two things that I think should be done (and if I would have any knack for business I would go for it and make it happen) are healthy food delivery for new Mums (let’s say, she subscribes for a month and in return for a reasonable price she doesn’t need to worry about her lunches any more) and pajamas for babies that are easy to close (’cause show me 1 person who doesn’t hate that @3 in the morning they have to navigate those hundreds of small buttons).