Everyone is nervous having their first child. There is every reason to be. Even if you have had some experience caring for a newborn, you probably haven’t had the sole responsibility of providing every for a child every single day of his life.
So, I think the first change I experienced was the added responsibility. I was now responsible for providing this child with absolutely everything it needed. Whether it was food, comforting, entertaining, bathing it didn’t matter it was all up to me. This is the first time I ever had to think about a baby before I did anything! You can’t, eat, shower, go to the store, or even to go sleep without making sure the baby is taken care of first. It takes a lot of getting used to and a lot of trial and error, but eventually I got it. I just got into a routine that worked for me and then things got quite a bit easier.
Another big change was my sleeping habits. My baby did not sleep well, especially at night or in his crib. Sleep deprivation is a hard thing to get used to. It’s not like you can stay up all night and sleep all day, the baby still needs you. You have to learn how to function on a lot less sleep. You have to take cat naps when you can and learn to sleep sitting up in a rocking chair with an infant in your arms if that’s what it takes. This is probably one of the hardest adjustments to make especially if you have to go back to work and don’t have any time to catch a few winks here and there.
The other big change is the amount of chores. Constantly running to the store for diapers, baby wipes and formula. The added laundry from the baby spitting up on himself, the sheets and on me. Washing, sterilizing and filling bottles. I got to be an expert at doing all of these things in addition to my housework with a baby in one arm. I got into a routine and got used to it.
The next change I noticed was that I became a bit more of a home body. I just wanted to do things with my baby. Going out to eat, to bars or clubs, hanging out with friends and going places wasn’t important right now. I just wanted to take the baby for long walks in his stroller, hold him in my arms staring at him and cuddling him for hours on end. I knew there would be time for going out later, right now it was time it bond with my baby.
Dependability and accountability are the other huge changes that I was aware of. I had all of this added financial responsibility. I had to be able to provide food, clothes, shelter, medical insurance and all other material costs for my child. I had to make sure that I took care of myself. I had to be sure I was awake and alert when the baby needed me. I had to be on call twenty four hours a day. When I couldn’t be there I had to make sure that someone else was there for him. This is a big change form only being responsible for yourself!
Each and every change I made, every bit of sleep lost and diaper changed was all worth it. I was rewarded with the unconditional love from my child. Holding and caring for your newborn child is the most amazing feeling you will ever have in your life. I could try to describe it with words, but I wouldn’t be able to come close to telling you how it felt. It is something you have to experience for yourself. All I can say it that it’s all worth it. The changes you make might seem hard at first, but in just a short time you won’t be able to picture yourself doing anything else.