Nothing makes a parent appreciate the finer things in life than seeing a family member have a baby.
In the past four months, my husband and I have been reminded of how good we have it since our kids have “grown up.” My sister-in-law had a baby on Christmas Day and my sister had a baby a week before Easter. My husband and I have had flashbacks – and not the good kind. All we remember is the lack of sleep, the constant changing of diapers, the crying. I wish we remembered the good stuff, but it seems like the good stuff is happening now that we have “grown up” kids.
Here are some things that my husband and I don’t take for granted:
Sleep: I love my sleep. This is not a secret. I’ve written about it here before. Those years when we were getting shut-eye in two-hour increments were painful. We are so glad that they are long behind us. Prior to becoming a mom, I needed nine hours of sleep. Now I can function on six. But hearing my sister say, “I’m just so tired,” after being a mom for just 35 hours was just as painful for me. All I could do was walk over and give her a big hug.
My husband: My brother-in-law is the man. He’s a natural at this dad thing and is stepping up so big as my sister recovers. I could sit and watch him hold my niece for hours. The way a new dad looks at his daughter is priceless. My husband has a great routine with our girls in the morning and I am forever grateful and appreciative of what he puts in to make that go smoothly every day. When he is out of town and I have to do the morning routine, I am frightened. I never toast the bagels the right way, I make them eat plain Kix instead of Honey Kix and I give them fruit. The whole routine is off and suddenly I need a script of how to feed my kids in the morning.
Talking Children: It’s frustrating to try to figure out what a crying baby needs. We go through this for years until the baby starts talking and is able to tell us what they want. After seeing these new moms and dads try to help their new little one, I’ve decided to take my kids’ complaining with a new approach. It might sound like whining, but they are just telling me what’s wrong. It’s an easy fix most of the time.
Nurses: These health care professionals are amazing. I don’t know why they go into the profession they go into, but it’s obviously their calling. It takes a special person. Whenever I see a nurse (and that’s a lot because I work in health care) I tell them how amazing they are. I don’t even need to know if they are a good nurse. Just the fact that they do what they do is enough to earn my respect.
It’s sad that it takes life events like these to make me realize how good I have it. But life is like that. Hopefully I can be a better mom and wife as I venture into the world of being an aunt.
Angela Borchert is a freelance writer who lives in Vacaville. Reach her at [email protected].