I believe being a parent is the toughest job in the world – but also the most rewarding. The reward doesn’t come in form of financial payment, but in the buckets of love showered upon you by your children as they grow. It’s in the stillness of the morning when you stare at your perfect, sleeping baby. It’s in that moment when your baby first says “Mama” – and a tear runs down your cheek. And it’s even in those moments when your baby is crying out and you scoop him up in your arms, sing him a sweet song, and he begins to calm down.
So many people will tell you how hard those first few months of a baby’s life can be on his or her parents, but I wanted to remind you of how beautiful it is too. Having a newborn baby will bring a new schedule to your home, but also moments you will never forget and cherish forever.
One of my most favorite memories from Bentley and KJ’s first nights at home was seeing each of them swaddled up and laying in the bassinet. I would just stand there, staring, for minutes on end. With each of them, that’s when it really sank in for me that I was specifically chosen be our creator to be HIS mom. I was overwhelmed by the fact that all of that hard work for nine months all came down to this exact moment: our first night at home with our brand new baby. There is just something so magical about knowing your baby is a little piece of you and your spouse.
Yes, there will be lots of diaper changing going on — but when I see how teenie-tiny those newborn and size 1 diapers are, my heart just melts. Just how itty-bitty my babies were back when they were born. I even kept a couple of the little unused diapers and put them in their memory boxes so I would never forget how small they really were.
They also say newborns have a very distinct, sweet smell to them. I don’t know how to describe this smell other than it being perfect. It doesn’t last long, so soak it all up while you can. I always loved the smell of my babies and I miss that a lot now that they are getting older. Now they sometimes smell sweet and sometimes smell like the great outdoors mixed with Cheetos and mandarin oranges, haha. Such is the life of a mom with toddlers, right?
And man, oh man, does a newborn sleep a lot! Granted, it is in shorter intervals, but enjoy it now —because the days of taking a baby into a restaurant and having him or her sleep through it won’t last long. Any time Chris and I wanted to go out for a nice dinner, we didn’t ever worry about our newborn coming with us, because we planned it for a time when he would be napping. Worked like a charm!
Speaking of family members, not only will you have a ton of special “firsts” with your newborn, but so will the rest of your family! Seeing the look on their faces when they meet your baby for the first time is unforgettably beautiful. You will get to see a side of your parents you haven’t seen before as they hold their baby’s baby for the first time. And be sure to keep your momma around for a week or two so she can help with chores and baby. It was so comforting to have my mom and mother-in-law visiting in California so they could help us. It made our bond even stronger and I’ll forever be grateful for their presence in those first few weeks.
Especially if you have help, you’ll be able to enjoy your time at home while not having to be at work. Yes, you will be busy raising a baby, but it’s not often you’ll get to stay home from work for this many weeks — so try to focus on the positives. Enjoy the comforts of being home. Don’t worry about getting all dressed up and going anywhere. Lounge in your pajamas and order in pizza. You’ll be plenty busy with your new baby, with no need for the added pressure of getting right back into regular life patterns.
The gift of being a parent to a newborn is one of the greatest blessing ever. Don’t let people’s negative stories about those first weeks at home scare you. Remember, it’s not the easiest job, but it certainly is one of the greatest jobs ever — and you made it through an entire pregnancy, so you’re pretty much a superhero already. Take it easy and savor each moment with your new little angel; they go so quickly.