I have to say that one of the most memorable things about being a new parent was the paralyzing fear of the unknown. Couple that with a dramatic change in lifestyle, the utter boredom of spending time with a baby 24 hours a day for months on end, and a lack of sleep, and you have the perfect storm on your hands.
I promise you, I’m not bashing being a parent. I really, really love both of my kids, and I truly believe that they have made me a better person. I wouldn’t go back to my single days, even if you paid me. But I also think it helps to talk about the tipping point””that period of time as a new parent where the beautiful newborn glow has worn off, and you feel absolutely stir-crazy trapped in your house with a screaming infant for hours on end. It can wear on you.
New parents, it gets much, much better. You love your baby now, but you’re going to learn to like him one day too. Here are 10 amazing things that you have to look forward to in the not-so-distant future:
1. A Full Night Of Sleep.
The odds are that this is going to happen more than once in the first year of your kid’s life. Relish it.
2. A Night Out.
In the first year, you’re probably going to get the balls to book a babysitter or drop your kid off with grandparents. Get crazy. You deserve it.
3. Toddler Talk.
Now that my toddler has switched from screaming to talking, I could listen to him babble for hours. It’s that adorable.
4. Toddlers Reading Books.
Per #3, listening to a toddler pretend to read a book is pretty much the cutest thing that’s ever going to happen to you. Try to get it on video, if you can.
5. Your Toddler’s First ”I Love You.”
My two-year-old sounds exactly like the cat on The Simpsons when he says ”Ra ruv rou,” and it melts my heart every time.
6. Toddler Kisses.
I’ve taught both of my sons how to kiss, and it’s pretty much the only thing that makes me forget about their epic, hour-long tantrums.
7. Toddler Personality.
I waited and waited and waited for the day when my first son would begin to show his personality, and it really is as awesome as I thought it would be.
8. Toddler Vocabulary.
Get ready for some cheese, but my heart swells with pride every time my son repeats new words and brings new words home from daycare.
9. Family Vacation.
We’ve always optimistically tried to vacation with young babies, and it has been fun, while sucking at the same time. Now, we’re finally in a place to travel normally with two toddlers, and I can’t tell you how good it feels.
10. Family Dinner At A Restaurant.
Now, I have to warn you that this happens few and far between, but it has always been one of my fantasies to go out to dinner as a family. If we time it just right, we may get to finish most of our meal before the kids get restless and begin to harass other diners, forcing us to leave. I’ll still call it a win.