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Life with Baby

11 Truths About Having a Baby

"Tired" takes on a new meaning, your multitasking game will be strong, and more baby truths all parents experience

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No one can tell you what it's like to become a parent. There are some things you just have to experience. The first time you hold a tiny human you made in your arms is a surreal, out of body feeling that is different for everyone.

But as special and momentous and amazing as it is, there are some things that most parents will go through sooner or later. Here are 11 truths about having a baby.

1. 'Tired' will take on new meaning for you. You thought you knew tired before a baby. Turns out, you didn't. The exhaustion you feel after baby is like nothing you have ever (or will ever) know. It ends. But you never forget.

2. Your backup data becomes crucial. You will take 10,000 photos a day of your smiling beauty. Everything she does will be a reason to snap away. By day 25 of your baby's life, your phone (and your heart) will be full, full, full.  

3. Your grand plans will fly away. Maybe you knew exactly who you would be as a mom. No sugar. No TV. No losing touch with old friends. All those plans mean nothing. You are nothing like the parents you thought you'd be before he or she arrived.

4. You'll do anything for a smile. Perhaps your own happiness mattered to you at an earlier point in your life. But no more. Once your baby flashes that first gummy grin, all bets are off. You will act like a monkey, bark like a dog, dance furiously, and pat your tummy in pursuit of that elusive smile. And you will have no regrets.

5. You'll never be prepared enough. If you pack five outfits in the diaper bag, your baby will blow out six. If you remember diapers, you'll forget the wipes. No matter how on top of it all you feel, babies have a way of humbling us day after day.  

6. You'll wish your baby's head came in perfume form. There is no better smell in this world than the top of a baby's head. It's fresh new rain, baked bread, your favorite shampoo in concentrated form.  

7. You'll need other moms. Mom friends aren't just important. They are life-saving. If your baby has a fever or a strange poop or suddenly won't eat peas or take the breast, these are the people you will call. Even if they don't have the answers, they can talk you off the ledge, tell you they have been there, too, and reassure you when you need it. And the next week, you'll do the same for them. 

8. You'll embrace your obnoxious Facebook persona. You know that mom you'd never be? The one who posts 75 photos of day, including ones of a baby's face smeared with carrots? Yeah, you'll become her.

9. Your multitasking game will be strong. By the end of year one, you'll be rolling meatballs while bouncing a baby in the carrier and singing the alphabet song at full volume. You'll be checking your email while nursing an infant. You'll be quieting your child while talking on the phone. And you will do it all in ways that seem impossible on the day you bring that sweet bundle home from the hospital.

10. You'll be meticulous about embarrassing things. No one ever thinks they will keep a spreadsheet of bowel movements and ounces taken at mealtime. Until they become a parent. For the first few months of motherhood, the only way your baby communicates is through poops and feedings. So track them you will. And you will report them to your pediatrician and use them to learn all the things. Embrace it.

11. You will love like you couldn't imagine. It is a cliché for a reason. The love you feel with your baby is like nothing you will ever experience before or since. For some, it's immediate. For others, a slower process. But once it arrives, it's overwhelming and massive in scope. Just like that. They've got you forever.