8 Things I Learned After 8 Weeks as a Parent

Yep, I'm doing it.  I'm using a classic link bait title.  People love numbered lists.  Who am I to deny the people what they want?

Technically speaking, you are reading this on Appleseed's 2 month birthday, so I've actually been a parent for a little longer than 8 weeks.  But a list of 2 wouldn't have been as entertaining.

8. I enjoy sleeping.  Heading into fatherhood, I was prepared to get very little sleep.  I have a long history of being sleep deprived and getting on just fine.  But a few years ago, I got help for my sleeping problems, and since then I've managed to get a relatively solid 7 hours a night.  Still, I figured going back was no problem.  I had this sleep deprivation thing down.  Just one problem: I like sleeping.  I had no idea how much I'd gotten used to it, gotten to enjoy it, until it was taken away from me again.

7. Showers are amazing.  I never appreciated them the way I should have.

6. One handed.  It used to freak me out when I saw someone carry a baby with one hand.  It was insanity.  How could anyone hold something so fragile, so precious with just one hand?  I would have extra arms attached to my body so I had more hands to hold my baby!  And yet, on a daily basis, I now hold my son with one hand.  I don't even think about it.  Most of the time, I do it because I need a hand free to do any number of other things.  Some of the times it's just nice to have the other hand free.

5. I am a dancing monkey.
By Tina Burke

4. The golden hour(s).  Nicole and Appleseed usually go to bed between nine and ten.  After that, I'm on my own, and it's glorious.  It's not that I don't love being with my wife and son, but it's nice to have some time alone.  I don't even mind that I spend most of it cleaning up the house, since it's just nice to be able to go about my business without any distractions.  I've finally started using some of this time to edit my writing.  Someday I'll get to the point of actually writing, too.

3. My wife is unbelievable.  I mean, I knew that before, but she's taken it to another level.  The physical demands of being a mother are insane.  Add in recovering from child birth and crazy hormones and you have perhaps the most trying period in any one's life.  She doesn't think so, but she's been astounding.

2. It gets easier.  It's hard to even wrap my brain around how hard the first few weeks were.  Everyone tells you that it's hell, but, like with all things children, it's impossible to explain it to anyone.  You can't understand it unless you go through it.  But each week gets better, even if each week also feels like it's the worst.

1. I feel like I'm going to burst.  Not to be too melodramatic, but I have never felt this way before.  It's unlike anything I've ever experienced.  I love Appleseed so much and in such a unique way that it was almost too much for me.  I think I've just now been able to really function.

Let's face facts: this list should be longer.  It would take days for me to cover every little thing I've learned since Appleseed was born.  The truly crazy thing is that I've only scratched the surface of what I'll learn being a parent.