Having a baby. Most of us probably assume that we’ve got a pretty good idea of what it’s like. After all, it’s one of the most well-worn stories in the world. But how true is the reality?
We’ve all seen hundreds of movies and TV shows all about what it’s like having a baby. However, if you talk to people who’ve had babies, you’ll find the film stories don’t do the situation justice.
The truth is that having a baby is one of those experiences that you really can’t fully understand until you’re actually in the thick of it every single day.
If you’re currently pregnant and you think that you’ve got a good understanding of what your first year of parenting is going to be like thanks to movies and TV, you might want to think again. With that in mind, here are a few things that the movies won’t tell you about having a baby.
Films won’t tell you that having a baby leads to sleep deprivation… for ages!
We all know that when you have a baby, you can kiss the idea of a full night’s sleep goodbye. From late night feeding to screaming tantrums to the fact that sometimes your baby is going to decide that three in the morning is the perfect time to play. You’re going to find yourself kept up all night much more often than you ever expected.
Now, if Hollywood was to be believed, then all you really need to do is have a cup of coffee and carry on as normal. Well, that’s not how things really are. The truth is that a lack of sleep can be incredibly unpleasant and even dangerous. It can leave you emotionally vulnerable not to mention potentially disoriented.
There’s nothing wrong with needing to reach out to your partner or some friends and family and just say that you’re beyond exhausted and you just need to take some time to get a solid night’s sleep.
Films won’t tell you that babies can be pretty gross
Babies are beautiful little creatures, and no one in the world is going to be more beautiful to you than your own baby. It will be hard not to look at them and see something genuinely perfect. That being said, babies are gross. That might sound hard, but there’s no way around it. They can be seriously gross just as often as they can be cute and beautiful.
Whether it’s dealing with diaper explosions, cradle cap, spit up, or any of the other strange physical qualities of looking after a baby, it’s okay to find yourself a little bit grossed out from time to time.
Of course, that’s not going to stop you from finding your baby to be the single most perfect thing that has ever existed. Just don’t feel bad if you don’t want to deal with the third diaper explosion that day.
One of the best ways to make having a baby easier is to do plenty of research on the kinds of things that you might have to deal with in the first year. That way you’re going to be able to be as prepared as possible for anything that your little bundle of joy can throw at you.
However, watching them do nothing can be the best thing ever
Of course, the things that movies don’t tell you about having a baby aren’t all bad! When you watch a movie or TV show about people taking care of a baby, then you’ll usually see them doing plenty of things with them.
Whether they’re going for walks, taking them to baby groups, or doing whatever else, they’re almost always engaged in some kind of activity. Obviously, that’s the stuff they’re going to show because it would be boring to watch otherwise. However, it doesn’t really capture the strange beauty of one of the best things about having a baby: just getting to watch them do nothing.
The reality is that babies don’t really get up to much a lot of the time. They lie there, gurgle a bit, give you a big smile, and sometimes that can be it for hours. What movies don’t tell you is just how enthralling that can be.
You’ll often find that you’re so consumed with love for your baby that just watching them do nothing can be the best part of your day.
It can get lonely
A lot of people would have you believe that once you have a baby, you’re never going to be lonely ever again since you’re going to have someone to spend all of your time with.
However, there’s a BIG difference between spending time with another adult and spending time with a baby. As wonderful as you’re going to find everything that they do, it’s not the same as being able to have an actual conversation with someone.
Don’t feel ashamed if you feel as though you really need to spend some time with people who can respond to the things that you say. Make sure that you’re getting out into the world. Go and see friends, visit family members, and maybe even join some groups.
It’s okay not to want any more
Most people have this weird assumption that, if you’ve had one child then you definitely want to have more. Movies and the people around you might tell you that having an only child or a small family is wrong or unfair but that’s totally ridiculous.
The reality is that it’s your family. You get to make the choices of how big your family becomes. Plenty of parents decide that they simply do not want anymore kids after their first and whether it’s a man heading to a vasectomy clinic or a woman having a similar procedure, there are plenty of ways to remove the chance of having any more kids from the equation. Never let anyone tell you how big or small your family should be.
One of the most important things to remember is that while movies and TV often don’t show you just how hard and tiring and stressful parenting can really be, they also can’t fully show the sheer levels of euphoria and joy that you will feel as well.
The reality is that having a baby and parenting are two of those things that have to be lived to be fully understood. You might hear people talk about how you’ll never love anything like you love your own child, but until you’re in that feeling yourself, you’ll never fully understand what they mean.