I remember, when Levon was a couple of months old, noticing that my nightstand had a bottle of Melatonin on it from the pre-baby days, and laughing to myself that I couldn’t imagine ever needing that again. And then, not long after, it was back in my nightly regimen. All of a sudden he went from needing me every couple of hours to sleeping long stretches in a blink. — to be fair, I credit the Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit with a lot of this.
I felt like when well meaning parents told me how fast it went, they were telling me to try and remain present and take it all in, or like “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Which is a nice sentiment, but also feels like a lot of work when you are just trying to keep everyone happy and alive. We all want to take it in, but somehow hearing that feels like if you can’t inhale your baby’s smell at every opportunity then you have already failed them. It doesn’t really allow space for you and your feelings.
What I wish someone had said when I was exhausted and he wasn’t sleeping was, “this part will be over soon.” I probably couldn’t have heard that either because I still can’t really wrap my head around is how fast they change. —Like, you put your baby to bed and they may wake up totally different. Sometimes noticeably larger, other times with more teeth, but most often with new preferences, interests, and abilities.— But the great thing about these fast changes is that they are unmistakable. You can’t miss them, so there is no need to make yourself crazy hoping you catch every one. And instead, when you are at a hard part, take a deep breath and know that it won’t last forever.