Life with a baby is like having a dysfunctional relationship with your new boss.
To me, it's kind of like having a job that you think is ok - you do your work, you get lunch breaks, bathroom breaks, you get vacation time, sick time, you socialize with friends, you read the paper, watch movies in your free time. Hey, life's not too shabby.
Then you get a new boss. And he's quiet, pretty cute and seems sweet, and you fall in love and sign a life-long contract. You've seen lots of other people do this before, so how bad could it be?
Then he changes the rules. You're going to be his #1 assistant. And you're not going to get paid, you're going to have to pay out of pocket to keep the job. Oh, and no more set lunch breaks, vacation, sick time...you can still go to the bathroom, but not always when you want and he probably wants to be with you. Why? Because he's super-clingy and needy and just wants to be around you ALL the time. ALL the time.
You have to feed him every meal, clean up his poop -and sometimes he might even FIGHT you about cleaning the poop off and you're thinking to yourself "seriously, I'm cleaning this off you and you're going to run away and squirm while I do it?"
Even worse, when he's tired he's not just going to go to sleep. You have to soothe him and teach him how to fall asleep on his own - while you're so tired all you need is 10 seconds on something relatively soft and you'd be in a coma.
Oh, and you have to hold & carry him - a lot. He likes that, he doesn't really like that $150 chair you bought just for him because all the reviewers told you it was the miracle chair that saved their relationship. Nah, he just likes you. Not those other people that are perfectly willing to hold him. And he doesn't care if you need to cook dinner or pull your pants down to sit on the toilet - you HAVE to hold him. Well, unless you want him to scream. And MAN can he scream if he wants to. He doesn't just whine or whimper, it's pretty much blood-curdling screams because you want 10 seconds to pull your pants up now that you used the toilet holding, or maybe even nursing him.
Why does he do that? Well, he's a bit irrational. And he really doesn't care what you want. Sometimes he flips out and you have no clue why or what set him off. But you still have to love him and keep him safe so he doesn't hurt himself as he thrashes around on the kitchen floor.
Oh and your hours? Yea... um how about 12-15 hours/day and you'll be on call the other hours of the night. You still have to do all your regular work, too - or else people will think you're slacking. I mean - what else are you going to do during nap time? What? What a movie? Read a book? You've got laundry to do and meals to prepare and stuff to clean. Wait, you want to know when you're supposed to shower and get your hair cut and exercise? Heck, I don't know.
Oh, and when you're having fun - you're playing with him of course! He likes books too - well, probably one book and he wants you to read it over and over and over again. When he's big and strong enough to climb stairs, he's going to want to do it for, hmmm, about 30 minutes - so you'll be there up and down up and down while he practices - because eventually he needs to learn how to climb stairs so your back and hip and shoulders aren't in constant knots.
And if you try to go out to a restaurant,do grocery shopping, or just make a phone call - you have no idea if he's going to be sweet and friendly or a complete emotional wreck. It's stressful, and your mentality is to get in and out as FAST as possible. No browsing, no sipping that glass of wine - that clock is ticking and you don't know when the alarm is going to go off that you took him out for too long.
And when he's sweet, people will say "ohhhh look how cute and sweet he is - you are SO LUCKY. ENJOY these days." And you take pride in that but you're also kind of thinking, "I'm one slap in the face away from leaving this shopping cart and going home."
And all the people who haven't fallen in love with their boss yet will wonder why you're doing your job that way, and seriously - don't be so lazy! What, you don't like your friends anymore - no time to call or go out for drinks. They thought you were better than that. And you want to see them so bad but he's just SO demanding and you can't get away, it's just not worth the stress of trying to figure out how to make it work.
But there are good times, and when they're good - they're AWESOME. You really do love him so much. He smiles at little things you do and tries to talk to you with sounds that aren't screams. He looks at you and it just feels awesome when he's calm and happy and you can kiss his little cheeks and feel his little fingers and toes.
And before you know it... about 2-4 years later, he's not such a bad boss - he's pretty cool. You do fun things together, you laugh at jokes and talk together. And those years don't seem so bad. And then you see someone else with a new boss they fell in love with and you go "oh, he's SOOO cute. Enjoy these days."