Most expecting parents get stressed out about all the preparation they have to do to get their home ready for their new bundle of joy. But the truth is, your newborn won’t introduce major changes into your home until they can roll over and crawl, so you have a few months to throw out all the toxic chemicals under the sink and sell your crystal coffee table.
However, a new baby will most definitely interrupt your personal life from day one. You may not have to move all your porcelain Mickey Mouse figurines off the bottom shelf of the bookcase on your baby’s first day home from the hospital, but there are a few things you’ll definitely have to get rid of when the baby is born.
We all say, “This baby won’t change anything. We’ll still hang out. We’ll get a baby sitter and it’ll be just like old times.” Nope. It won’t be like old times. No matter how hard you try, your baby will become the single most important focus of your life, even pushing some of your closest friends to the periphery. Babies take a lot of time and energy. And you can’t just pick up and leave whenever someone calls and wants to hit up the latest movie or go out to lunch. In the wake of your baby, you’ll find that friends who have to go out of their way to hang out with you will inevitably fall by the wayside. But your true friends will always be there for you and work around your schedule.
2. Going Out
You wouldn’t think that such a small thing could completely wear you out, but it will. Just wait until you have more than one. Staying out late on the weekends will become less and less common as you struggle to stay awake. And if you are breastfeeding, alcohol and caffeine should stop altogether.
Did I mention that sleep will become a luxury? Over the first few weeks (or months), your baby will want to eat 3-4 times a night. That means no more than a couple hours of sleep between feedings. You’ll probably nap more often—when the baby is sleeping—and you’ll have less energy. But snuggling with your baby in the wee hours of the morning can have its own special perks.
4. Free Time
And you thought you were busy before you had a baby. Babies need constant attention. If you’re not feeding or changing them, you’re holding them so they don’t cry (or just because they’re cute), doing laundry, or trying to catch up on sleep, leaving less time for activities you used to enjoy doing. I want to let you know now: Your scrapbooking may suffer.
At least for the first little while. Don’t worry, sex will come back into your life. But for the first 6 weeks, mommy will be sore and healing, so any adventurous romping should be avoided. That’s not to say you can’t be creative; just hold off on the full-contact sports until you’re feeling back to normal.
Having a baby is the most challenging thing you may ever do in your life. But it is also the most wonderful thing you will ever experience. No doubt, your life is going to change. But giving up partying, a huge circle of friends, sleep, and more, will all seem like a small price to pay for the unbelievable joy of bringing a new life into the world.