No matter how many kids you have or how long you've been a parent, a newborn makes you feel like a rookie all over again.
There are only two years between my youngest and this baby yet as I stood in the baby aisle at Target my eyes glazed over and anyone walking by would have assumed I was a first timer. What did I need again? I sent out the plea in Facebook. It had been only two years, why was everything different? Where were the familiar bottles and binkes? The science of babies could not have advanced this much!
At least the hospital experience is much more relaxed. It's practically a vacation for me with nurses offering to change diapers, bring me drinks and take care of baby so I can shower and sleep. Once home that all disappears and I'm lucky to get to eat while the meal is hot.
The one thing that will forever fill me with anxiety and make me feel like a fumbling new parent is the first attempt to leave the house. It feels like you arw either packing up the whole nursery of fretting over what you probably forgot. None of your clothes fit and you haven't quite gotten your system down for how you will carry said pile of necessary and things. In a word you're awkward and uncomfortable.
For me it also fuels the anxiety that peaks during the early postpartum period. I move slowly, I'm sure looking scared, as I try to take it all in. Try to contemplate every scenario and what I should be doing worried everyone is judging my parenting.
Thankfully I've learned that parenting is trial by fire and best learned from doing. I've also learned that you're starting over with every child, learning their temperament and place in the family. You take what you've learned from your other kids and hope it works again. So really we're all rookies, learning the game as we go.
Melissa is mom to 4 kids and 2 angels. She chronicles the sticky bits of motherhood at Peanut Butter in my Hair.
See more of Melissa's stories here.