Sunday, November 6, 2011

Two Months Before Mommyhood

It's hard to believe that our baby's due date is less than 8 weeks away.  It's even harder to believe I've written so little about it here! What with trying to get as much done as I can before going on leave after Christmas, I haven't really thought that much about the whole baby thing.

«I love you, mom!»

Nonetheless, there are still some things I've been looking forward to and others that I have been worried about.  Thought I'd share a few here.

Things I'm Worried About
  • Will I finish everything I want to get done before I go on leave?!
  • My eyes have problems that require me to wear hard contacts (can't see any other way, even with glasses).  I worry about not being to see when I have to get up in the night for baby.  It's also potentially unfortunate that I wouldn't be able to mess around on my phone or read a magazine when I have to get up for longer periods of time (or will I be too tired to do that anyway?).
  • How long will it be before I am able to get back to doing useful things? I'd like to at least continue with reading books and papers related to my thesis after the first couple of months.  If I'm really lucky, I'd like to ramp things up a little bit in my second four months of leave (fingers crossed for a "good" baby!).
  • Once I'm back from leave, what is life going to be like? Am I going to be able to graduate in a reasonable amount of time, and for a reasonable amount of money as scholarships and funding start to run out?
Things I'm Looking Forward To 
  • Having a cute little baby to love and cuddle, obviously. ;)
  • I'm really excited to eventually make use of the really cool educational technology that's starting to come out these days.  It'll be a while, but I'm looking forward to introducing my kid to things like Project Columbia, which melds Kinect and Sesame Street together.  I hope I can eventually make some of my own apps that my kid can enjoy, too.
  • I'm also already wondering at what age I can teach my kid to program with Scratch.
  • We already try to lead a pretty balanced life (sometimes I feel bad about not being as hard-core as I used to be in undergrad).  I'm looking forward to having a quality family life at home, enjoying everything from Christmas to everyday life that much more.


Bryce Harrington said...

We have a 3-month old girl and a 2-year old boy.

It will take a month or so for you to adjust to the sleep schedule, and during that month you're going to be very tired, too tired to do much beyond tend the baby. Don't have a lot of expectations on yourself, it's rough. The only thing you're going to want for a while is sleep, and you're going to want it a lot, and not going to get it.

Things start getting a little better at the three month mark. Your body's adapted to the schedule and the baby's schedule starts to include longer sleep periods (up to 4-5 hrs at a stretch sometimes). The baby is also starting to become more engaging and interactive, and not throwing up so much.

My wife says the major turning point is 6 months. The baby is sleeping a lot more, to the point that you're finally able to get rest.

The most important thing is to have a good support network - grandparents, family, a nanny, babysitter, etc. - to give you a few hours to get useful things done (like getting a full night's sleep!)

As to programming, well we find it hard to keep our 2-year old OFF the computers, but he ain't programming yet. :-)

Gail Carmichael said...

Getting better after three months sounds like it should fit more or less with my hopes. I am definitely expecting to do nothing outside of baby for the first couple of months. In some ways, I'm actually looking forward to that, too - just letting go of everything else. Should have included that on my list.

Thanks for the comment, it was very helpful! :)

lwaldal said...

Every kid is different. Some sleep well, some don't. Some sleep in late, some don't. Some never sleep through the night, even at 6yrs old. For me, it didn't get better til my daughter was probably 2 or 3yrs old. Some cry inconsolably for months. Some are almost always peaceful and happy. You'll figure it out and adjust to whatever your new babe (yay!) does and it's always changing and you're always adjusting. You'll do great and it'll be unbearably everything you imagine and don't. The funniest thing that happened to me when my daughter was a new baby: when I took her for a walk so many people would exclaim at "how slim!" I looked. I couldn't figure out why for about a month and then I realized they thought I'd given birth (I didn't, my wife did). Always the unexpected.

Gail Carmichael said...

For most things, I don't even bother trying to make plans for how I think it will be since, as you say, you can never know. There are "would be nice" scenarios I suppose (as listed in my post), but I don't usually try to predict. Have to go with the flow... :)

Anne said...

In regards to your worries about being able to read or mess around on your phone, I suggest you look into subscribing to some podcasts (things like This American Life can be quite entertaining.. maybe there are also audio-only things like TED talks?) or finding some audio books. I would also look into smartphone apps for the blind.. I believe they exist, though I'm not sure how effective they are. Maybe if they're not effective you'll be prompted to write better ones ;).

I'd also recommend looking into resources for blind parenting. There are a decent number of couples where both are blind and still manage to successfully raise children. Of course you have the advantage of being sighted during the day _and_ you have a sighted partner, but I'd bet that they could still give you some basic pointers.

Gail Carmichael said...

Anne, these are such great suggestions I am ashamed not to have thought of them myself. ;) Thanks!

Anne said...

I must admit I considered software for the blind as my honours project for a while, so that's where the idea came from =). Hope it turns up some useful tips! I'd be very interested to hear if there's anything particularly useful you find.

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