The saying “having a baby changes everything“, actually means, “what you thought and planned out for you and your child(ren) will not happen that way. At all.” It also means, “You + your child + the world around you = chaos. It’s inevitable.” You’d initially think and rationalize that the rules you set or the boundaries you’ve put — they’re not too much to ask, right? Rrrrright.
You rationalize – they’re reasonable. And you know that nothing will change your mind about it since you’ve thought it through. Oh-ho-ho-ho! Think again.
Sometimes, you’d even come up with a contingency scenario as your “compromise”. But that doesn’t work out the way you’d expect either (at least in my experience!).
Here are some examples of my I said I’d never moments — and the reality that transpired. Yes, laugh all you want.
1. I’d never travel long distances with a newborn. I didn’t want to because I was worried about all the things I’d have to pack for the trip. That, and here you cannot remove your infant from the carseat while the car is moving. So tough luck to you all if they’re screaming their lungs out. Of course the other fact was that I just wanted to hibernate for two months (Sam was born in the winter too so it was perfect to act like a bear and hide until it got warmer).
But somewhere somehow, I agreed to a 2.5 hour drive down to Virginia to visit some relatives for the New Year. Sam was 4 weeks old then. I did pack the whole house with us. And the trip took 4 hours in total each way, with all the stopping we did because of the crying and the diaper changes.
2. I’d never fly long distances twice in one year. Okay this rule came about after we flew home to Manila in June 2009. I was up for the whole 33 hours it took from our home in Chapel Hill, to our home in the Philippines. The trip with a very light sleeper of a baby was exhausting to say the least. To top it off: Sam was jetlagged for over a week. Coming back, it was the same thing. So I laid the ground rules: 1 major trip back home per year at the very least.
And then 5 months later we flew home for Christmas.
3. I’d never move house right before or after giving birth. Wahahahaha. Click the link to the post and find out why.
4. I’d never bring a newborn into the public restrooms. Oh boy. First of all, I would have preferred to hibernate (again) after I gave birth to Jamie, but Sam made that impossible. Keeping her routine meant that we would be out a lot as well. As most moms of two’s tell me, that is the case with them too. With the first, you can dictate your schedule. With the second, your eldest dictates your schedule.
Then there’s the part where up until her two month check-up Jamie had not yet received her vaccines. So family restrooms with lots of germs plus new baby with no vaccines equals terrified, incredibly paranoid mother.
But I had no choice in the matter, especially when it was just me and the girls. Naturally both would be in the restrooms with me. And one of them was always in need of a potty or a diaper change. So I took a deep breath, decided that what wouldn’t kill them could only make them stronger, and in we went.
5. I’d never expose my newborn to a lot of kids if she hadn’t yet gotten her vaccines. With Sam, that was easy to do. Obviously, we weren’t attending school or playgroups. Not the case with Jamie. She was two weeks old when she came with me to pick up her sister from school. Of course, she sparked the curiousity of all the kids and the moms there too. All moms know that school children are the prime carriers of germs and bacteria, and so when one mom saw me with the carseat in hand, she said, “boy, you’re brave to bring her here this early!” Of course each time I did I’d hold my breath and mutter a prayer that Jamie wouldn’t catch anything and thankfully she never did.
In any case, as her pediatrician pointed out, Jamie lives in a home with a toddler, who is herself a carrier of all these germs, and yet so lovingly touches her and kisses her and sleeps beside her, clean or not. There’s no way to avoid it.
6. No newborns out of the house when it’s raining. The points above coupled with the most recent unpredictable weather are the reasons why I couldn’t stick to this “rule”.
7. No infants, toddlers or newborns with me while I get myself “pampered”. Let me tell you though, a lot of the facilities here will allow you to bring your child(ren) with you and will make sure your treatment schedule incorporates a certain amount of interruptions. I once scheduled a postpartum massage for myself and the therapist asked me if I’d be bringing Sam along, so she could prepare a spot. I said no, who’d want an infant around while trying to relax?
Jamie on the other hand, goes with me everywhere. We drop off Sam at school, and then head over to my appointments. She peers up at me through the hole in my massage chair when I lie face down for my treatments. She falls asleep to the whizzing sound of the instruments at my dental appointment. And she is coming with me again next week to the salon. I think to myself — at least I only have one child with me at the time, not two.
So there you have it. Never say never?
Or better yet: OC about certain things? When the kids arrive, throw it out with the kitchen sink.
Over all it’s not so bad, it’s just… different from what I expected. It just takes a little adjustment in one’s perspective and all seems “normal” in the world again. Now I’m quite used to it and again just charge everything to experience. I’m sure there will be many more instances to come where my “I’d never” will turn into an “Oh well.” Looking at it from a big picture point-of-view, the kids seem alright, and I haven’t lost (much) of my marbles. Yet.
Oh well. 🙂