A good friend recently asked me if being a mom was harder or easier than I expected. I have to honestly say it’s been easier…not easy, but easier…than I thought. I was expecting the worst – absolutely no sleep, a baby who cried nonstop all day long, feelings of incompetency. However, we have been fortunate to have a laidback, calm baby and though I do not consider myself a ‘baby person’, I have been amazed at how naturally being a mom has come to me.
However, not everything is sunshine and roses around our house. The most difficult transition has been finding out how to mesh our roles as husband/wife and dad/mom. While on maternity leave, Lily and I have our own little routines during the day, and while we absolutely love having Dad home on the weekends, by Sunday night, a small part of me is relieved that Ryan will be heading back to work and that we can get back to our routine. And though we drag Lily just about anywhere, including movies, dinners, shopping, etc, it’s such a different lifestyle to plan around her feedings, diaper changes, bath and bedtimes. We’ve made the mistake of getting cocky and keeping her out too late a few nights and paid the consequences when she was up bright and early the next morning but sassy because she didn’t get her full nights sleep.
We’ve also had a few missteps when trying to understanding the other person’s daily routine. One Saturday Ryan was busy working in the yard, helping a friend move, and running errands. We got in a silly disagreement that evening, and he made the comment “every time I walk into the house, you are watching TV.” Not gonna argue with that, he was right. I was sitting on the couch watching Food Network whenever he came inside. However, he just happened to come inside every 2.5 to 3 hours, which coincided with Miss Lily’s lunch and snacks times. Umm, what else did you want me to do – strap her on and scrub the kitchen floors while feeding her? On the other side of the fence, there have been many nights when Ryan has gotten home, and I’ve immediately handed Lily off to him and gotten frustrated when he wanted to just sit and relax for 15 minutes (or change out of his work clothes) before he took over dad duties for the evening. I tend to forget that he has been working all day long, and then comes home for another couple hours of what must feel like a second job (though of course, he loves spending time with Lily and enjoys every minute with her).
We’re not perfect. And this parenting thing can be hard. But thus far, the most difficult part has been trying to understand the other spouse’s perspective, and coinciding frustrations.
And in less than two short weeks, we’ll add a whole new spin on life with Lily….I will be heading back to work . Quoting my all-time favorite book “I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow.”