Wednesday 18 May 2016

5 Reasons Babies are Awesome

This post was originally featured on the most fabulous blog, Grumbling Grace.  Do check it out!

Hey, man, babies are hard.  Being a parent is a 24-hour job, and it’s not always awesome.  There are a lot of meltdowns, tears, and you’ll find yourself saying things like “is this my life now? Is this it for me?” in the middle of the night when you’re running on empty and your child won’t latch properly for the 20th time that day (or night? Wait, what time is it even?? What day is it again?) and you’re not sure when you last showered.  Netflix might not even be able to keep you sane at that point.

But people keep having them, so there are obviously some awesome things about babies too! I’ve only been a mother for 5.5 months, and there have definitely been some moments where my expectations have been brutally crushed by reality, and I still have a lot to learn, but there are also wonderful perks that come along with a newborn that help make the already awesome job of being a parent even better.

1. Tiny. Adorable. Portable.

Sure, maybe on the way out, babies feel like you’re pushing out a bowling ball for giants, but most babies are generally pretty tiny.  Ani was 7 lbs 11 oz and I couldn’t stop marvelling at how impossibly small she was.  While a baby is, like, the BIGGEST and HEAVIEST responsibility in the world, they sure begin their lives tiny and light - perfect for getting around and travelling.  I’d plop Ani in her stroller and tour the mall for a couple hours while she slept. She was also a fabulous international traveller when we decided to take a trip to Washington, D.C., New York, and Hamilton because she stayed wherever we put her and knew she wasn’t going to crawl away on us! 

You might not feel like it right away, but newborns are perfectly portable - take advantage of it and try to get out as much as you can when you’re feeling up to it! I hear when they reach toddler-age, travelling with kids can be akin to herding cats in the dark.  During a tornado.

Somewhere in this snowsuit is a baby.

2. Best. Excuse. Ever.

Don’t feel like going to that dinner event? Trying to get out of another Tupperware/Jamberry/Arbonne/Yonique (what is that even?)/etc. party?  Want to get out of a social event a bit earlier? Newborns are the best excuse ever! You’ve got a brand new human being here - that YOU created and pushed out of you (or if you're in my case, had pulled out of you!). Maybe you’re exhausted because your baby is colicky and doesn’t sleep at night, maybe your baby really needs your attention right now, or maybe you’re all down with the sniffles and you don’t want to expose everyone else to your rhinovirus.  

None of these things need to be true, of course (though let’s be honest, likely they will be) - but no one needs to know that ;) The best part is - no one is going to argue with you. Babies trump everything. 

**Critical note: I’m not saying that I use Anika as an excuse to get out of things - I’m actually so desperate for social interaction/getting out of the house that I’m more than happy to haul my child everywhere with me. Knowing I can play the baby card whenever I need to is kind of nice, though. 

But I don’t.  Just so we’re clear. 

I guess we're staying home today. 

3. Teeny. Tiny. Clothes. 

Cute outfits become cuter the tinier they are; I’m pretty sure that's a scientific fact.  Most days, Anika wears sleepers and bodysuits with the snaps on the bum, because of course she does - it’s the most efficient when we're changing a billion diapers a day.  But sometimes when we go out and get to see people, it’s fun to put on an actual outfit with, like, pants and cute boots and stuff.  I also like to dress Anika in something cute too.

Babies are basically completely helpless. They literally can’t do anything for themselves except cry in order to get you to do pretty much everything for them.  They can’t even dress themselves, so it’s up to you to pick out their outfits.  Babies can wear the silliest and frilliest outfits, and who’s not going to love them? No one, that’s who! So go on, put your kid in that cute little nike aerobics outfit with the leg warmers and sweatband before they’re old enough to tear them off in protest and defiance.

First Officer Spock Jr. - Live Long and Prosper.

4. Thinking. Growing. Learning.

Babies are little scientists.  Ani is always watching how something works, feels, tastes…a lot of tasting going on in our house.  As a parent it is incredibly rewarding to watch your child figure something out, and you’ll be amazed at how much you celebrate the things they do for the first time that are now completely mundane to you, like lifting their heads up during tummy time, or rolling onto their side for the first time.  They even have to learn how to fart, you guys.  TO FART.  It’s a major achievement and relief for EVERYONE in the house when they do figure it out - less grunting in the night!

The first smile, the first laugh, the first grasp, the first roll-over - enjoy these and other moments and celebrate them - they’re amazing for you, but just think about how MIND-BLOWINGLY AWESOME it is for your baby who just realized, “holy eff! I can roll over now! My world has completely opened up to new opportunities! Just think of all the things I can shove into my mouth! Good thing I’ve been practising my grasping!”  (This is what I imagine Anika’s internal dialogue to be on a day-to-day basis.)

Ha ha! I can lift my head! Next step - try to take over the world!!

5. Snuggles. Cuddles. Love.

I’ve heard tell that one does not truly know love until one has a child.  Sure, I always would suppose, that makes sense I guess.  Now that I have one, I can guarantee that you will never know just how deeply and genuinely you can love someone until you have a child.  Even after all the tears, inconsolable screams, poopsplosions,  and cracked nipples from hourly feedings, nothing beats the joy you get from a tuckered out newborn baby sound asleep while snuggled up in your arms.  That’s a baby at peace - everything is right  and perfect in their world, and lucky you - you get to be a part of that. And in the end, even when it might seem exhausting that your baby wants/needs to be with you all of the time for food, a new diaper, or cuddles, it’s kind of nice to be wanted/needed that much, isn’t it?

I think so. 

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