New moms, I have some bad news for you: it doesn't get easier from here. I am so sorry to inform you what moms of big kids told me for years, is actually true. Brace yourselves. Newborn babies are easier than big kids.
But how is that possible, you wonder? You're sleep deprived, dirty from lack of showering, blubbery, plus, you have a small person hanging off your boob seemingly all the time.
I know, I know. I've been there. I used to look at moms of older kids with envy, thinking, "At least you get to sleep. At least your kids wipe their own butts." While those things may be true, being a parent to a big kid is so much more challenging in many ways. Consider these examples:
- (In general) the smaller the person, the smaller the problems. I'm talking spit up versus bullying.
- Newborn care is pretty basic. They eat, sleep, and poop. That's it!
- They don't talk back. My soon-to-be first grader's argumentative tone of voice is far, far more grating on my nerves than any baby's wail.
- You know where they are at all times. Put a newborn down in her crib, and she'll be there when you get back. The same cannot be said for a big kid.
- They always want you around. A newborn is palpably relieved when you pick her up. A big kid will roll her eyes when you pop your head into her room to make sure everything is okay.
- You get to pick out their clothes. A newborn cannot fight you on what to wear, save for pooping on it. But when a preschooler insists on sporting a leotard out to dinner, try changing her mind.
- They can sleep through anything. At first, my infant was fully transportable, almost like a purse that needed to be fed. I miss those days.
- Sleep deprivation is only temporary. Big kid attitude lasts forever.
- Newborns don't ask you to buy them things. We can be anywhere; a grocery store, the gas station, a golf pro shop. Somehow, my daughters will find an item they MUST HAVE! Really, it's a talent.
- Newborns require one type of food. Breast milk or baby formula, that's it. Big kids require 594 different snacks, juices, cereals, etc.
- Babies actually sleep a lot. Did you know a newborn baby sleeps 16 hours per day or more, including eight hours of daytime sleep? Meanwhile, a big kid is up ALL THE TIME. They don't nap! They don't rest! Then they fight you on going to bed at 8 at night!
- Newborns let you speak to your spouse, sometimes. They don't interrupt, remind you not to use a bad word, correct your grammar, or talk over you.
- They keep their opinions to themselves. A newborn can't say, "Mom, you are mean," or "You look tired Mom," or "Your tummy still looks big even though you aren't pregnant any longer."
- They don't fight you at the doctor. True, you may find yourself visiting the pediatrician's office far more frequently than you'd like, but at least your baby doesn't try to run away from the nurse come immunization time.
- A newborn won't do anything that forces you to apologize to another parent. When was the last time an infant cut in line for the slide at the park?
- Newborns don't have homework.
- It's okay to watch House of Cards or Orange Is the New Black with a baby in the room.
Still, big kids aren't all bad, and there's a lot to look forward to. But I'll save that list for another time.