Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable

Boden just turned 4-months, so to say I’m a novice at this parenting thing is a BIG understatement. That being said my neurotic and competitive nature has actually (in my humble opinion) come in kind of handy in these early months. If I had to give a nugget of wisdom to new parents, it would be this; get comfortable with the uncomfortable. 

I don’t mean literally but that comes in handy too. I once used every shred of willpower I had to not itch my nose after Boden fell asleep in my arms and I couldn’t move. Then my arms went numb… I still didn’t want to risk moving and waking him. So I sat like that. Numb and itchy for about an hour. But I digress. What do I mean?! 

When we left the hospital Roger handled the car-seat situation. I was like “F THAT!” Straps and buckles oh my!! Then about two weeks later I realized, I would have to eventually leave the house without Roger. I should probably learn how to use that stupid contraption by myself. It was stressful. Worst case scenario… I do this wrong. We crash. He dies. So yeah… I was “uncomfortable” But practice makes progress. I made myself get Boden in-and-out of the car-seat alone (every time) for weeks. Now I’m fine. Same thing went for running errands alone. What if he has a meltdown? Worst case scenario… We leave the store, abandon our shopping cart and drive home. 

Flexing and building confidence in things you’re uncomfortable with is invaluable. The longer you go without learning or doing the things you’re uncomfortable with, the harder it will be to do them. You’re baby won’t realize you’re clueless. Any judgment is self prescribed. Sometimes babies scream. Is it embarrassing and stressful while strangers glare at you?! HELL YEAH!!! But guess what?! It’s going to happen eventually so embrace it. Don’t be a hermit and stay inside with your kid until they’re eight. Nothing is ever going to be perfect. Take a deep breath, give yourself some grace and get comfortable with the uncomfortable.   

Why babies are like dynamite.

In order to do this post justice we need to back-up. Back-up alllll the way to the start. Two high school kids. One played football and drank multiple cartons of milk at the lunch table with his friends. The other casually stalked said football playing milk drinker from another table in the cafeteria… While consuming only Diet Coke. This was the late 90’s and artificial sweeteners were at their prime (God bless Aspartame)!!!! 

Milk drinker and Diet Coke drinker went on like this for most of their high school years. Not talking. Only really knowing each other existed because #smallmaineschool. Then something magical happened!! A rumor spread that milk drinker thought Diet Coke drinker was cute. They went on a date. It was terrible. The end. 

Fast forward to college. They were at different schools. AOL Instant Messenger was invented and the former milk drinker was now screen-name “holybears.” He sent “Christina805” a message and over summer break holybears promised Christina805 a date (“If I don’t call you – I’ll owe you $5 bucks!”) BUT alas… He never called. One night Christina805 saw holybears out with his friends and yelled across the street!!! “HEY ST.OURS!!!! YOU OWN ME FIVE BUCKS!!!!!” And from there we skip ahead 21-years. They have a baby together and share the same last name. 

Now this backstory is highly relevant and here’s why. Well first! If you didn’t guess, this is the tale of how Roger and I came to be. Lots of things happened in the decades leading up to the birth of our son. A sum of all those things, rather naively made us believe we could handle anything that was to come. When we found out we were pregnant I knew parenting was going to be difficult but I was TOTALLY wrong about what parts would be hard. 

Here is why babies are like dynamite. Simply put. If you think you have a rock-solid relationship. Like really really reallllyyyy solid?! You don’t. HOLD on freeking tight dude, because that baby is going to come in hot and highly explosive! They are going to BLOW shit apart!!! 

It is EASY to practice open communication with your partner when you are both well rested, well nourished, well exercised and MOST of your basic needs are met. NOW here is this baby. You don’t know how but somehow you love this thing more than anything on the planet. Toss every preconceived sense of what this was going to be like aside momma – You fiercely love this little human more than anything. More than good design, wine, coffee and peanut butter combined. Before I had Boden I thought this was impossible. Well. It’s possible.  

So (for me) the baby isn’t the hard part. The baby is easy!!! The hard part? Riding the avalanche of relationship-stress after the high of the birth has fadded (for us this was around week two)!!! Now do not despair. You CAN and WILL do this!!! You grew a human with your partner. You will find sure footing again. You will get bulldozed by hormones and cry before, during and after screaming matches… But you will persevere. You will learn how to handle dynamite. You can come out of the rubble stronger than you went in but that baby will expose every crack and flaw you have. You might see parts of yourself that horrify you. 

But maybe babies HAVE to be dynamite. Maybe it’s part of natures plan. Like – In order to truly let them in you need to blast apart what’s existing to make room. Our Little Family is learning together. We are imperfect but who doesn’t like to play with unpredictable explosives from time to time?!