I must say, this whole experience has been rather surreal.
I wasn’t worried at all about having a child. I’ve seen enough bad parenting in my life to know that Kristen, who is my girlfriend, and I, will be at least decent parents. That’s not to say that those bad parents have been people closely associated to me in my life; you can really see bad parents everywhere… I’m sure I don’t need to provide examples. lol Boo Boo whatever? Honey boo boo? If you know who I am talking about…. that woman is taking “if you can’t lead by good example, be a horrible warning” to an all new level.
Anyway…So, in hindsight I see that much of how I felt was actually some form of denial. Yes, my brain knew I was having a child but for some reason a lot of things just weren’t clicking yet. I didn’t dig through the baby shower gifts, I didn’t try to set stuff up as I thought it should be (Kristen usually does the decorating), didn’t do nearly as much reading as I should have (I’m fairly well read on parenting already, or so I thought), and it really just didn’t sink in what a life change this would be.
It’s not the lack of sleep; I tend to only get 5-6 hours of sleep a night anyway by choice (if the military can do it, so can I). It’s the stress I find troubling. Sleep is something I can do without, major crisis I am great at handling… it’s the little things adding up that cause me concern, and there have been many, many, many little stressors as well as some major ones. This doesn’t significantly affect my behaviour or ability to look after my family, though I may come across as snappy or irritable at times to others. It more causes a physical reaction where the muscles in my torso, shoulders, neck, and head tense up until I feel as though I am being crushed. It’s painful. Don’t be concerned; I’m an old hand at managing my own anxiety and this will pass as my mind processes all the new information. It’s OK to be stressed. It’s OK to worry… as long as you keep your head above water. A lack of stress or worry at this point would concern me more than my current feelings.
It didn’t really sink in until after we’d left the hospital and were on our own. This adorable, little creature is so absolutely defenseless and vulnerable. It’s terrifying in a way. I am suddenly hype-aware of scent and a whole lot of other things. I clean for a living and knowing what I know about bacterial growth, how to remove it, and how fast it can regrow is quite unsettling (I could not help but notice I keep the school I clean cleaner than our local hospital, we use similar products… this is just an unsettling observation I noticed mostly in the washrooms. There should be zero dust in those washrooms if they are cleaned properly and regularly. Zero.). I have half a mind to get Oxivir or a similar disinfectant for use around the house, but I really don’t want my child exposed to any chemicals due to toxicity. Vinegar and water will do just fine. Acetic acid is great and far less harmful.
If you come over to see Amelia, please, no perfumes/colognes, don’t wear a coat you smoke in, and for the love of all that is holy wash your hands with the unscented soap in the kitchen and chew some bloody gum or ask for toothpaste if you smoke! lol I laugh, but seriously, please respect that. If these scents are this strong to me, I hate to think what it is doing to her delicate little sinuses. In fact, I’m going to go ahead and suggest that as a common courtesy whenever anyone that reads this visits an infant. lol
I sit here, trying to think of a way to adequately explain how this has changed my views on so many things in life. Right across the board. The easiest way I guess, would be to say “wait until you have one”, as so many parents have said to me before. They were right, but I’d rather come up with a way to actually express these new feelings. At the moment it’s not going to happen, this post is just me sifting through some thoughts, trying to take a few minutes to put myself in a good, relaxed, state of mind for the day. If I can help it, anxiety will be something my child will be aware of, but will never experience. I didn’t until I was 16/17, and the problems it caused were massive. I’ll write a more detailed account of that experience at a later date as it is a key event in my life that sent me down the path which led me to my current spot in life.
Anyway, onward with the day. My little one needs me. I’m finding parenting to be therapeutic.