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Spawn of Griffith | The truth about diapers

The truth about diapers

Saturday June 3, 2006 | by Dalia Griffith | 0 comments

Before Jack was born, I wasn’t the least bit intimidated by the thought of parenthood. I had several pets, after all, and each one was happy and healthy thanks to good care on my behalf. So when I thought about looking after a kid, I figured he would be a slightly more intense critter, who would eventually eat more and live longer.

Parents I talked to in my pre-Jack life tried to prepare me for what really lay ahead, but like most new moms-to-be I assumed my experience would be different. That my baby would sleep through the night almost immediately, and cry only for a specific need—like hunger—rather than freak out for no obvious reason.

One of the funniest things—at least it’s funny now—is that it never occurred to me that there was usually a substantial amount of time between sleeping and eating, during which our baby would need to be entertained. And when this scenario actually happened for real, I quickly assumed it’d be all about cuddling and binky worship until it was again time to sleep or eat. I certainly never anticipated times when our baby would be pissed off with a full belly and a recent marathon nap. And who was basically inconsolable until, as suddenly as it came, the storm passed and he was all smiles again.

I believe I’ve addressed the sleep deprivation in another post, but it bears another mention simply because it’s so intense. Now I’m sure the effects vary from parent to parent, but for me, it was, and continues to be, a challenge like none I’ve faced. And believe me, I’ve come up against some serious obstacles in my life, like childbirth, pregnancy, and other stuff I can’t remember because those two things overshadow them all. Except waking up several times during the night to tend to my son. I never realized how delicious uninterrupted sleep was until it eluded me every night for months. But lately, he’s cut his late night feedings down to one—rather than several—so I really don’t have a reason to bitch anymore. But I’ll keep doing it anyway.

Another misconception wannabe parents have is that a new baby will repair a failing marriage. Now I’m not in anyway referring to my relationship with Hugh, because it’s solid, but I’d be lying if I said parenthood hasn’t put our union to the test. Much more so than anything else we’ve come up against. So a marriage-on-the-rocks will likely crumble for good when faced with the challenges of rearing a child, especially a newborn. Whether it’s the sleep thing, or differing opinions about anything child-related (or both), your sensitivity soars to an all-time high, and arguments ensue. So if a marriage is already strained, it’s only gonna get harder with a baby in the mix. A therapist would be a better choice (in my unsolicited opinion, of course).

I’d love to hear your opinions on the matter, whether you’re a parent or not.