I’ve been watching this reality show about a famous couple who was expecting a new baby earlier this year. The couple lives in LA, but wanted to be near their family in Chicago after the baby was born. In order to make this happen, they booked a suite at the Four Seasons for three months. Because neither of them had much experience with newborns, they hired a baby nurse to live with them. The week the baby was born, the baby nurse showed them how to feed and bathe the baby. Then, she took the baby so that parents could head downstairs and enjoy a couples’ massage at the spa. Wait – this is a REALITY show, right??
I’ve heard a million times that it takes a village to raise a child. I don’t think I ever gave this a second thought until Grey was born. I think a lot of new parents have a large number of family members close by to rely on for support when needed. When a baby is born, new parents are often bombarded with family and friends constantly stopping by, dropping off meals, wanting to help. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews… they all want to meet the new member of the crew. When Greyson was born, we were pleasantly surprised to have quite a few of our family members present at the hospital. Right now, all of our family lives out of town, so we weren’t sure if anyone would be able to make it. While my family is only about an hour and a half away, Matt’s is almost four hours of town. It just so happened that his parents were visiting from Albany the weekend that I went into labor. When they arrived that Friday, we all joked that it would be great timing if the baby arrived. Apparently, the stars aligned and on Sunday, Grey was born. I was so happy that they were able to be there. My parents and my sister drove in from Buffalo and our best friends arrived shortly after Grey was born. During our few days in the hospital, we welcomed visitors but looked forward to some time alone to bond with our baby.
On Valentine’s Day, we left the hospital and took the baby home for the first time. I remember bringing him inside, sleeping in his carseat, and thinking, “What now?” Matt and I had lunch in the kitchen and talked about how ridiculous it was that our child was asleep in the next room. It was strangely quiet in the house. After several days of chaos, nurses, and visitors, it was weird to be alone. We didn’t have any family close by to help, we certainly didn’t have a baby nurse around to show us the ropes…we were just on our own. Honestly, I think it was a good thing because it forced us to find our way. We only had each other so we had to figure it out. Then, about ten days later, Matt went back to work. I was on my own, at least from 7:00am – 6:00pm anyways. And let me tell you, that is a long time to be alone with a newborn. I didn’t realize how difficult recovering from childbirth while caring for an infant would be. Being a first time parent, you can read What to Expect, but trust me, you are not going to know what to expect until you are doing it for yourself.
I remember walking by a neighbor’s house once and seeing a woman sitting in the window holding a newborn. How precious, I thought. Now I realize that it probably wasn’t some tender, loving moment. She was watching out the window, waiting for her husband to get home from work to give her a break. After a week or two alone with Greyson, I realized that I was missing our visitors, family, and friends. I realized that it really does take a village to raise a child. You need support, adults to talk to, and someone to give you a few minutes to catch your breath. If you are like us and you don’t have a village readily available, my advice is to create one. Get a good babysitter, join a mother’s group. Or I suppose you could just get a room at the Four Seasons, hire a baby nurse, and schedule a couples’ massage.
#parenting #motherhood #stayathomemom #famousparents