Remember that day you brought that beautiful baby home. You were a brand you parent and had so many emotions running through your body. First love and excitement then fear of inadequacy, and back to joy and excitement, then back to “oh no, what do I do with this thing.” For 9 months now you have imagined watching them sleep, feeding them and making them laugh. You imagine their first step and even their first ride on a bike. You imagine all those fun times at the playground and days at the beach. In a only a moment you have flashed ahead and now anticipate those wonderful experiences to come, and they will. But what you forgot to imagine was 3 months of sleepless nights. Yeah sure the first few nights you will wake up all excited, talking your little baby talk, “Hi wittle angel, are you hungry again? Oh, let’s change your wittle buns, and get you sompin to eat. Oh you are so sweet.” By about the end of your second week of getting up every 2 to 3 hours you are dragging yourself out of the bed one appendage at a time hoping your legs will hold you up once you finally put all your weight on them again. You sleep walk yourself to the baby and finish the routine with one eye open and only half your brain cells functioning. You think to yourself, “Oh, when will this baby sleep through the night, heck I take just 4 hours in a row.
The other stages that were not in your “mini-flash forward” come after you are getting a full nights rest, well technically anyway. Did you imagine the crazy weeks of potty training wondering if you will ever be done cleaning poopy underwear? Did you imagine all the panic you would experience when your kid is out of sight for a second in the grocery store? Did you imagine the sleepless nights worrying about your sick baby? Did you imagine the 2 year old that is whining cause he hasn’t had a nap, or the 5 year old crying cause someone took her Barbie, or the 9 your old stomping to their room screaming “you are ruining my life.” Did you imagine the 12 year old who could get a degree in law for his amazing arguing skills, or the 15 year old who thinks they know everything. We really don’t know what we are getting into as parents and just can’t fathom it all. However, before parenthood we also can't begin to imagine how much love we can have for someone. It is much greater and and more powerful than we could ever fathom. Parenthood is full of many joys and many hardships, but as parents we wouldn’t trade it for the world!