Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A post about Communication.

Yeah, it gets a capital C. Cause it's that important.

I wanted to write a little about those first precious days home with your baby, because lo and behold, I have an IRL friend who reads this blog ::waves to Lars:: so, that's at least one reader, go me! And I wanted to give her some advice on bringing home baby. A real, live, small carbon-based life-form. Because that's one of the most-asked questions, at least in my mind- we're home, now what? So here are some things I noticed:

1. If people ask If you need something, for heaven's sake, tell them to do the dishes. Or whatever else it is you want done. Even if they just asked to be nice (their bad), you'll still get clean plates, a room vacuumed, or best of all, food.

2. It's okay to cry. You may do this a lot; every time a certain commercial comes on, or at 3am when the kid is going through a particularly hungry time ("but I swear, I just fed him! How can he be hungry again?! They're gonna dry up!" - ps, they won't).

3. It's okay to not have any feelings of insane, head-over-heels love for the kid that hit you like a freight train the second he exits the tunnel. It's also okay if you don't think you have any maternal instincts. This may not happen right away, so don't beat yourself up about it.

And most important:
4. Communication. Not only will you have to tell people which chore you would like them to take care of, you'll have to talk to Your Partner. Take, for example, this lovely exchange:

(me, having just fed Burrito on righty and attempting to burp him and simultaneously put my chesticle back in its home before moving on to lefty) out loud: "Benjamin! Argh!" in my head: dude, why don't you grab him and walk him around? Can't you see I'm having issues and he's crying?

(hubs, sitting on his chair trying to do something important but totally not important with the bills) in his head: hmm, did it really cost that much to have a kid? Hey, is he crying? out loud: "hey, is he ok?"

Me, out loud: "no, but don't worry, I got it." huff huff huff.

See, in this case, what I should have done was said, "hey hubs, grab the kid and burp him while I wrangle the boobs."

Or take another case, where I was waiting to change his diaper because I was going to give him a bath - but hubs got him out of the babycage, changed his diaper, and handed him back to me. This is also huff-worthy.

I find that it works much better if you actually voice what is in your head. Sometimes, especially at 3am, it is tough to do this in a calm manner. Or any manner befitting a human being and not the chupacabra. So I'd have to remind hubs that I was working on being able to let him know why I was upset, but sometimes, I just needed a moment to huff about it before I calmed down and said something - don't expect a reply right away!

I also have learned to let him know whatever is on my mind. As in, "hey, I'm thinking that we should wait to change him into his jammies until after jeopardy because I want to clip his nails and put some baby oil on his head for the cradle cap." (yes, these are the things you talk about at night when you have a baby.) Because every small thought will count when you are working with someone else to take care of the kid. Unless you have the type of working relationship where you are in charge of everything, and in that case, good luck to you, chupacabra.