Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My Hardest Life Transition (So Far)

I have heard many friends talk about how their hardest transition was from single to married (had to learn compromise, teamwork, etc.), or from one kid to two (having to learn to prioritize needs among children), or from two to three children(no longer a one-to-one parents-to-children ratio). I can understand all of these, but even though we're still in the midst of the adjustment to being a family of *six*, I think the hardest transition in my husband and I's hearts and in our marriage was going from being a married couple to being parents when we had our first son.

When you have that first child, so much in your life suddenly changes... and you really *CAN'T* anticipate it. People try to warn you: GO OUT ON DATES. People try to tell you: SLEEP IN EVERY DAY THAT YOU CAN. But you really don't *get* it until you make the transition. Even if you try to implement the things people warn you about (going on dates, sleeping in, etc.), you really don't appreciate them in the same way you will a year later.

Here are some of the things that I remember that hit me HARD with that first couple months of being parents:

  • It suddenly began taking us 30 minutes to get out the door. (Nurse the baby, get him dressed, oh wait, he spit up on that outfit, get him dressed again- this time, put a bib on him in case it happens again, grab extra diapers, wipes, burpcloths, etc... then RUN out the door.)
  • We didn't have free reign over our schedule anymore. This is the one that (for me) I really wasn't prepared for. Staying up late and sleeping in early couldn't happen (at least not for both of us). Going out just cause we feel like it and walking around for as long as we wanted... couldn't happen without some planning and that previously mentioned 30-minute window of getting out the door. Dropping by someone's house or having someone else drop by yours is all suddenly colored with the attitude and age and developmental stage of this new little person (is he clingy right now? will he cry because he's teething? is he grabbing everything in sight and putting it in his mouth? will I need to nurse him right when they get here?, etc.)
  • It was difficult to keep our conversations from completely centering around that little wonderful boy God had given us. Granted, that's normal and it's a great part of becoming parents-- falling in love with this new little person. But it does take a while to figure out how to make your marriage a priority above being mommy and daddy.
What about you? What life transition has been (or is being) the hardest for you and why? Becoming an adult? Going to a certain number of kids? Reaching a certain age? I'd love to hear your thoughts...

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