Welcome to Parenthood! Right this way to your padded cell.

I thought I knew more or less what we were getting into with this whole baby thing. Younger siblings, plenty of babysitting, and ample reading were surely adequate preparation. Naturally, bringing a new individual into the world would be more complicated and wonderful than could be imagined, but I figured I had the gist of it.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I’m talking strictly about new parenthood here, not its early symptoms of pain, lack of sleep, depression, and the extensive physical and emotional recovery from labor and delivery. That’s a whole other kettle of fish. Just the being-a-parent bit, if it’s possible to separate the two. It’s a struggle to explain what that shift, from married without children to married with children, was. It wasn’t as if our lives changed, exactly. It wasn’t just an added feature – “Now with more baby!” Nothing so simple.

It was as if we had taken that winding lane, passed through the dark forest, and plunged into the doorway to a new world, a world we had never conceived of – and hence stranger than finding ourselves in Narnia or some alternate dimension. And the queerest thing was that the inhabitants of this world weren’t talking animals or bug-eyed aliens, they were the guy we saw in the grocery store with his two little girls, the friends we’ve known since high school and college, the president of the United States. And while we spluttered and stammered and said, “Why didn’t you tell us, why couldn’t you tell us?”, they just smiled and said, “Oh, hey, good to see you; yeah, pretty weird, isn’t it?”

Pretty weird.

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~ by themeansister on March 14, 2011.

6 Responses to “Welcome to Parenthood! Right this way to your padded cell.”

  1. So well stated.

  2. I’m so pleased you’re writing again! And yes, from my many years of parenthood, I can commiserate.

  3. Thanks, guys! I’m amazed that someone read this! I’m trying (fairly unsuccessfully) to blog again, but until the baby starts sleeping better or letting me put her down during the day, it’ll probably be pretty sporadic.

  4. Ah. Weird. Indeed. Congrats. When did you have her? Also,do you have a good carrier? Or wrap? I recommend the moby wrap. I think target sells them… or online. Saved my life more than once! 🙂

  5. Thanks! She was born Nov 30. We’re getting an Ergo carrier (should arrive today, actually)…before we just had the baby bjorn, which was definitely insufficient! Haven’t tried the moby wrap, but I have had a lot of people recommend them.

  6. Very well put. I feel pretty much the same way.

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