Below are some random observations and insights from my first 4 months of parenthood. These are just one man's experiences, and I recognize all babies are different.
Things you can forget about when you have a baby:
-Sleeping. I've had such intense sleep deprivation that I can literally feel my IQ dropping tens of points. I can feel the slowness of my thinking and the dropping of thoughts/memories and conversely a speed-up of my CPU with just a few hours of rest. Coping strategy: write everything down.
-Going out without a care in the world
-Getting work done in one sitting uninterrupted
-Going out with friends
-Eating out at restaurants
-Eating food when it's warm
-Eating food at regular times
-Doing anything at an absolute time schedule in sync with the rest of the world. You had a meeting or call at 1pm? Too bad, baby don't give a shit. With naps and feeding times changing day to day, it's impossible to plan anything in relation to the outside world. Tough luck.
Things you'll be busy with:
-Continual adaptation every minute of every day. That thing that you finally mastered after 2 weeks and which worked yesterday to get him to sleep/eat/not cry? Too bad, not gonna work today. Gotta start from scratch.
-Continual mystery solving. Why is he crying? Not eating? Not sleeping? Sleeping too much? Is it too hot? Too cold? What to wear? Millions of new decisions and investigations every day, and everyone out there has a different opinion.
-Continual experimentation and experiment running. It's like daily science lab. If I change this variable today, will it make him sleeper better or worse? The problem is it's not real science because there's no control population to compare with, and there's no way of knowing what effect the passing of time has since he's constantly changing/growing. If I did nothing, would he be just as fine?
-Learning what I was like when I was little. Developing extreme sympathy for my parents who had to deal with me if I was this difficult.
-The power of singing. Singing and music makes everything better and solves all problems.
-Silly play. Everything is worth putting in the mouth, exploring, and playing with.
-Finding laughter in the smallest things. Who knew spoons and cups could be so fascinating?
-Finding wonder in the smallest things. Any little thing can amaze. Especially if it's red or makes sound or music.
-Amazement at every new experience. First time going outside! First time peeing up the wall! First time hearing live music! Every little moment can be appreciated and enjoyed anew through this little person's eyes.
-Developing a special connection with your new family. It's such hard work, and it takes such patience and teamwork with your partner. But now you feel like a king of your little family, something that it's on you to protect and nourish and be proud of. No pressure.