As a relatively new mom... (okay so, LR is now turning two soon but it still felt like only yesterday that I was waddling around with a huge belly)...this is what I found out in the last year and more after the joyous arrival of LR:
1) A good night's sleep is but a distant memory. Though LR stopped waking up for night feedings since he was about seven or eight months old, he is a very light sleeper and jolts awake at the slightest sound. So thanks to noisy neighbors and howling dogs, I never did get a really good night's undisturbed sleep.
2) Despite their tiny size, trust me, babies have strong lungs. They scream and cry over the tiniest thing from wet diapers to hunger to the plain fun of making bumbling confused adults even more confused and frazzled.
3) Zero social life. Having a screaming infant in your arms most of your time at home (after work) is definitely not conducive to gossiping on the phone with your girlfriends and let's not even talk about going out for drinks and dinner with friends. Maybe it's just me but having to leave LR with the babysitter most of the day when I am at work, I would feel guilty if I leave him with the babysitter's just so I could go out to meet with my friends.
4) You have morphed into one of those irritating 'proud parents' who would gush non-stop about their precious little baby to anyone who has the misfortune to ask 'so, how is the baby?'.
5) Smooth skin and a sexy bikini figure is but an airbrush away (or alternatively, a lot of hard work involving exercise, diet and possibly plastic surgery) as pregnancy means stretch marks and unwanted weight gain which is not easy to get rid of.
6) No more 'travelling light' when going anywhere as I have learned the hard way when LR decides to mess up his shirt by spitting out his food, then proceeded to smear it everywhere, then poop and then, make a huge fuss. A trip to the mall with him means having to lug a backpack along (complete with spare diapers, tons of wet tissues, a few change of clothing, insect repellent, toiletries, toys, etc) and a stroller for when he refused to walk. LR needs a big luggage to himself whenever we go for a short two to three days' holiday elsewhere.
7) Baby spit and poop is no longer gross. Perhaps it's all those months of going around with baby spit on my clothes or the early months of having to change LR every hour because he was breastfed and has very loose stools. I am now immune to whatever gross stuff that comes out of a baby.
8) Worships the person who created wet wipes. Seriously, these are most probably the best thing ever created since sliced bread. Anyone with a drooling, spitting, pooping baby would understand the usefulness of wet wipes.
9) Everything revolves around the baby. As in, all plans from dinner parties to meetings to work obligations revolves around the baby's schedule (e.g. nap time, meal time, play time, etc).
10) Third party in our marriage. We are no longer two but three so our holidays are no longer like our honeymoon but are more like family vacations complete with screaming kid and frantic moments finding fun stuffs to distract the kid.
11) Realization that you are responsible for caring, nurturing and shaping the future of the tiny little person you brought into this world. Suddenly, you are no longer carefree with no responsibilities, everything you do have direct implications and impact on your child.
12) Having to cut down on swear words and bad habits so that baby do not pick it up. I have now started using 'shiish' or 'shooosh' or 'fishes' or 'dalmations' for a variety of safer, milder swear words ever since LR started repeating every word we say.
13) Inundated with unwanted nosy advises. Every nosy relative (especially grandparents) would give you a gadzillion of unwanted advises on how to raise the kid. My response: thanks but he's my son so I will raise him the way I think fit and not your way.
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