I guess that’s the million dollar question: what should you expect when you are expecting? Well from personal experience, you can expect, plan for, and assume things will go a certain way, and they won’t.
The even stranger part is that as a mother, you won’t care. You innately will know what is right for YOU and what you feel comfortable with.
Sadly, the memories from the very first few months are fading. Something I would have really liked to know about my mom being this age (actually, younger) and raising me is how she felt. Did she feel the same stress, happiness, overwhelmed, grateful, crazy feelings that I had?
My baby would be “put together” (hair, cleanliness, matching clothing)
98% 100% of the time. Why would you give them any less?
Sometimes my daughter’s nose runs for weeks without stopping. Day, night, 5 seconds after I’ve cleaned her. She’s wiping her snot up her face, it’s now on her hands and crusted on her eyelid. Fabulous. After her nose is raw and she is deathly afraid of boogie wipes, you do what you can. Usually it’s more important to me that she’s not uncomfortable or suffering and if she’s happy, I’m not going to be the boogie monster. You do what you can. So there.
And sometimes, daddy dresses her. It’s sweet, actually. No matter how many times you explain to him what goes together and what (clearly) does not, hang the outfits ON THE SAME HANGER SO THERE’S NO GUESSING, he still comes out with the outfit he’s “picked out” (don’t you love it, babe?). She smiles at you and has no clue that daddy put every shade of pink he could find in the closet on her today. It’s endearing. And most of the time, not worth the fight. Besides, your kid looks cute in anything.
I expected to make confident choices for my baby based on the knowledgeable and experienced people around me and what I know is right.
One of my biggest struggles of parenting so far has been second guessing myself. I have never been a second-guesser. I would describe myself as a confident, in control person who has never had a problem making decisions and sticking with them, or taking the lead with the way I feel. I felt so absolutely out of place when this happened to me time and time again.
Am I nursing her right? Is she getting enough milk? Did she have enough soiled diapers today? Maybe she is sick? Her nose is stuffy, does she have a cold? An ear infection? No. Yes? Will she sleep ok? Is she sleeping too long? A rash. It’s hives. No, it’s diaper rash? No, it must be measles. Can you get Chicken Pox this young? Did we get a vaccination for that? Should we really be getting vaccinations or are they too dangerous? Is putting my baby in daycare selfish? Should I be teaching her more? She seems behind- is something seriously wrong? She’s ahead, she must be a genius! Should I take her to the doctor for a. b. c. d. etc. etc., etc.?
You will lay on the floor next to her crib like a stone, listening, praying she doesn’t wake, and asking yourself a thousand questions about the day. You will. You will look at her while she’s sleeping and hope and wish and pray you are doing everything right for her and she’s happy. You will.
I am still in this position on a regular basis. Although I have become more comfortable with this unsure feeling, I still second guess, revisit, and ask, ask, ask on things as I play them out in my head. We had previously discussed and decided on many of these things prior to Paisley arriving, or prior to them happening. You only know how you feel when it’s staring you right in the face. And you will surprise yourself with the path you take. My husband is very good about over-discussing things that we are unsure about and making decisions together. As long as you and your husband are in agreement, and you honestly feel you have done what you think is best, its right.
I expected my house would remain intact. Decoratively, it only makes sense, right? Well, it looks like a toddler playground. Why? Because it makes Pea happy to play with her toys all the time. In the end, it’s what is more important than the feng-shui of my house at the moment.
I expected I would be teaching early sign language, and we would be identifying animal sounds together already. Paisley can do one sign (more) and we are working on a second (please) and it’s just fine for us. It’s working out perfectly how we need it to, and I am not stressed out about it. Thank goodness.
What you don't expect is that this little thing called love will consume you in a way that you have never imagined, and the way you expected it to be won't be and that's okay.