Monday, June 10, 2013

Parenthood: Week 2 - The “Transition”

In a couple of parenting books and websites I’ve read articles about the transition into becoming a parent. The more I think about this idea, the more humorous I find the concept of this “transition.”

It’s not like you ease in to parenthood. I mean you can prepare as much as you can and that helps the initial stages of parenthood but the bottom line is that at one moment you are not a parent and the next moment you are in the thick of it.

There’s no easing into taking care of your baby. Yes, we had nurses in the hospital who helped us out and there was also the nursery which was a huge help, but that only took us you so far. This doesn’t really feel like a transition time because you are so out of it from the experience of labor that those couple days feels become a blur.

It’s when you finally come home that everything gets into high gear and you realize that you have to get to work. Tasks aren’t able to be scheduled, things just have to get done. Diapers have to get changed, laundry needs to get done and the baby needs to be fed.

Now that we have worked through the second week of Ollie’s life, things are a lot more chill. Well, actually they aren’t, but they feel more relaxed. If anything he seems to need more diaper changes and more attention. During the early days of Ollie’s life I could ignore other things in my life, now I have to jump back into other parts of my life.

So why do things feel more relaxed? Maybe it’s the sleep deprivation talking but I’m getting used to the lifestyle of having a newborn, and I kind of like it. Yes, there are more chores and less sleep but everything is exciting and new for our family. The responsibility can feel overwhelming at times but when you lean into it and get things done, even if they are small things, it feels good.

How do you handle the transition into parenthood? Well, give up on the idea that there is even a transition and get ready like you are at the beginning of a race. Have an idea of the course and the obstacles and when the race starts run as fast as you can. This pace may feel like a stretch but once you get a couple miles in, it doesn’t seem so bad.

Just don't stop running.

Nothing meaningful comes easy and no experiences that are truly memorable happen as they are planned.  Sometimes when we just get thrown in the mix without any transition.  We struggle to keep our head up, but through the struggle we learn how to swim. 

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