Friday, July 12, 2013

Parenthood: Week 7 – The Joys of Parenting a Newborn

I love being the parent of a newborn.

I initially didn't think that I would enjoy this stage of my Ollie's life as much as I do.

The most difficult part about a newborn is the fact that he can't tell you what's going on. Ollie could have a headache, his foot might hurt or he might have a stomachache. This forces you as parent to rely on other cues, the sound of his cries, the tempo of his breathes and his movement.

Frustration stems from a lack of understanding and there's a lot that is difficult to understand when it come to a newborn. There's so much you don't know so you have to figure out a way to move past the lack of understanding and through the frustration.

This is really difficult, because you don't have a choice. Ollie is doing the best he can. He doesn't know how tired we are or what other stuff we have going on in our lives. So when I have no idea why Ollie is crying its not fair to get frustrated with him so we have to dig deep.

What this forces you to do is look beyond the moment and your own feelings and make a connection to what your baby is experiencing. It's hard but it's rewarding at the same time. Ollie's doesn't know how to tell me what he is going through and I don't feel like I know what I'm doing, but we are together working it out together.

There will be a time when Ollie may have to "cry things out" or need  a time outs but for right now I feel I can't over parent and I can helicopter as much as I want. Of course I don't. Diana and I are conscientious to give him his own time to sleep and let him calm himself down, which he often does when he wakes up in the middle of the night. Even with that, I don't fee restricted.

Ollie sometimes gets ambushed by kisses or has to pay "group hug" tolls to get through certain parts of our house. I'm enjoying the whole idea that I can hug or kiss my boy whenever I want to and I don't have to restrain my affection. 

Ollie is my special little guy. I can hold him in one arm, if the right combination of digestive circumstances and facial muscles align, he smiles at me and Ollie makes the cutest squeaks and squeals. All of this will change soon so I'm doing the best I can to enjoy these moments while they last.

More that anything, there's this feeling that Ollie needs Diana and I. Sometimes this need is exhausting because this almost constant supervision makes everyday tasks a challenge, but it feels really special.

As he gets older, Ollie will need us less and Diana and I are going to have to learn to let go, which is a journey we have already started in small steps. But for right now, we are newborn parents, there is no need to push through this transition. So we are going to enjoy the little hand grabbing on our shirts, the cuddles and the feeling that when I hold Ollie, I'm holding everything.

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