Being a first time parent changes more than the obvious

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I'm just talking about for me, but when Jerud and I talked about having a baby, we talked about all the logical stuff: child care, insurance, diapers, car seat, etc.  Then, when we got pregnant, we talked about the first time parent stuff...nursing, bottle feeding, bath time.  You get the drill.  What we didn't talk about was how it was going to change our relationship and our dynamic.  For me, as soon as I held Lucy, my life changed.  I was no longer the top of my priority list, she was.  My relationship with Jerud wasn't even the top of my list, she was.  It was like in that split second, everything I used to care about became obsolete.  

It's been a real struggle for Jerud and my relationship.  I don't consider myself naive.  I knew I wouldn't get sleep and I knew that my life was going to change, but I didn't realize how much it would change. Do I want to go on a date?  Not really.  I'm away form her all day while I'm at work and the last thing on my mind is getting a babysitter to go out to dinner.  When I go home, I just want to hang out with her, and play tea party.  Before you gasp and say that I'm being selfish.  Keep in mind that yes, we DO things that don't involve her.  I do some travel for work and we have events that we go to that aren't "kid friendly."

My recommendation?  Talk, talk, talk.  Lame? Maybe, but at least you'll know you're on the same page and be better prepared for all the fantastic, exciting, moments that are about to come your way. 

Just know, it's all worth it.

Reality Check

Being a wife and parent is crazy.  When I got married, I changed my name.  My whole life I had identified myself as one name and POOF!  Now I have a different one.  Does it mean that I have to change?  No.  Did I?  Maybe a little.  Now I'm a wife and with that comes certain responsibilities.  It's now Jerud and I as one, instead of two.  Trust me, we are definitely individuals and we do our own things, but we check in with each other before making plans and we take each other into consideration more, in our day to day life.  

Being a parent is all that, but on a whole different level.  When I got pregnant and I started thinking about life insurance because...what if something happened to me? How could I set Jerud and Lucy up to be able to afford the house payment, college, and life in general without me? This conversation was not a fun one and it can be pretty upsetting for your spouse.  It's not exactly fun to think about "what if I die," but I felt like it was the responsible thing to do.

Then Jerud and I were thinking about what would happen to Lucy if something happened to both of us?  We had to go through the list of people in our lives that would be around a long time, give her the support that she will need, raise her the way we would (or close to it), and be able to handle the responsibility of another kid.  We had a good problem of having all of our family close to us, but still, when thinking about the criteria listed above, it gets tricky.  We decided on Jerud's twin brother and sister-in-law.  They got married a few weeks before us, but have been together since they were 12 (yes, 12!!!).  We know that they are loving and intelligent and would raise Lucy like their own, while keeping both of our families in her life.  

Bottom line, getting married is a lot of responsibility and no one says it'll be easy.  My dad said in his speech at our wedding, that marriage isn't not 50% from each party, it's 100% because if you're not giving it your all, it will fail.  Being a parent is more like 110%, if there were such a thing, because without you, they wouldn't survive.  You can't have an off day.  You can't take a nap if they're awake.  Don't get me wrong, it's the best thing that I've ever experienced to date, but not for the faint at heart.  

If you don't have kids or don't want them, just remember all their hard work when your parents get under your skin.  They can't help it and you wouldn't be the person you are today without them and their effort.