Babies…cute, cuddly, sweet, adorable. Right?
Well, yes…and no.
Now I know some people love taking care of
babies and I have incredible respect for any one
who can do this, and do it well.
Major confession time: I am not a baby person.
There. I said it and I mean it.
Colic is Hell
Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter more
than anything or anyone else in this world,
but the early weeks of her infancy
were just not my personal brand of fun.
Feeding, burping, changing diapers…repeat.
While sleep deprived, functioning like a zombie,
recovering from labor and delivery. Oh…
and did I forgot to mention 7 weeks of colic?
Colic is not only “not fun,” it is hell.
And yet I would do it all again for her,
the lovely young person she has become.
Beginnings are Tough
So why am I sitting here complaining about
how much I hate taking care of babies?
Because it got me to thinking about how the
beginning of anything really and truly
worthwhile is a lot like caring for an infant.
It’s All About the Basics
The early weeks with a baby are about constantly
tending to, nurturing and caring for your child
way before there is any reward or reinforcement…
not even one measly little smile from gas bubbles!
It’s taking care of the basics.
It’s monotonous. It’s routinely doing the same
things over and over again, with a lot of sleepless
nights, confusing and uncertain days, and sacrifice …
Finally, little by little, those bright eyes begin to focus
That smile comes across that little face when your baby
hears you come into the room or sees your face.
Your little baby grows and becomes strong, and
soon begins to communicate more and more with you,
expressing her wants, her needs, her self.
And before you know it, she’s moving through the
big, wide world “all by herself!”
What’s Your “Baby?”
When you are beginning a recovery process,
starting therapy, trying to kick an addiction,
or starting any new venture that matters to you,
the infancy stage is going to require sleepless
nights and sacrifice, tedious and monotonous
commitment to details without much payback
initially. It is going to require that you put in
the work…every single day…day after day…
long before you see anything accumulating
beyond a pail full of metaphorical dirty diapers.
It Takes Time
Every day you do not drink or smoke,
every day you abstain from binging or purging,
every day you get up and exercise,
every day you choose that healthy behavior
for yourself is just one step.
It’s not going to give you many real immediate
results. (Yeah, I know, it sucks.)
It’s the accumulated effects over time
that begin to make the difference.
And there is no healthy substitute for
doing the right thing every day over time.
Take Care of Your Baby
So, tedious and difficult, challenging and
frustrating…commit to taking care of your baby.
Whether that baby is a real one, or your” baby”
is your mental health, your physical health,
your relationship, your recovery process,
or your new business or creative venture.
It’s going to take time.
It’s not going to be a lot of fun at first.
It’s going to pay off.