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Best Of 2023 - This Whole Being A Parent Thing Sure Is Wild

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Disclaimer: This blog is part of a "help me feel like a real human again" phase while on maternity leave. No, I’m not about to do a bunch of ~mom content~. This is Barstool SPORTS after all. However, Megan (Makin Money) and I do have some collab ideas in the works. TBD. But anyway, I figured I'd dust off my blogging fingers tonight while my boyfriend is on baby duty which currently involves our son laying on his chest while he plays Madden. This is life now.

Disclaimer #2: I know there will inevitably be the "Barstool loves Barstool" people under this blog and to that I say… 

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Somehow it's already been an entire month since our little guy has been out in the wild. It's pretty insane that people just, like, make their own human beings. Sure, I feel like we may never sleep again but it’s truly crazy how much we love him. It's also crazy how little anyone knows about being parents until it happens to them. I’d guarantee every single person who is a confirmed sex haver feels incredibly lost at some point. Now talking to other parents is like being in a club. We all know how awesome it is and also how much of a war zone some days can be too. We're in this together, fam! 

While you can pretty much learn anything you want online, I still feel like there's a lot of things nobody actually talks about publicly and things that “surprise” me daily. (Ya, it’s only been a month. I know I’m in for it). 

Here's just a few "they don't tell you this shit" takeaways that come to mind so far:

- There's milk EVERYWHERE. 

I've always heard about all the spit up, but nobody tells you about the milk wrath that comes with feeding a newborn. I'm a walking milk factory at this point. I swear our entire apartment looks like the scene in Home Alone when Kevin pushes Buzz and spills the milk ALL over the counter 24/7. TV shows and movies always make this part look so sexy. I disagree. It’s pretty unbelievable that women's bodies make whole ass humans and then become said humans’ food supply, but it’s a MESS. And creates way more dirty laundry of my own clothes than I signed up for. 

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-Influencers and “mommy bloggers” want us all to think early parenthood is this super sweet time where everybody is so happy and put together, nobody is crying or in pain and your cute ass baby just sleeps and looks peaceful in carefully planned outfits at all times. Those people are flat out liars. 

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Sure, there are moments where some of that's true. The love I feel for both baby and daddy is out of this world. (Cliche!) But in reality, anyone at this stage is in the trenches. Maternity/Paternity leave is all about survival. It's not vacation. It's literally survive and advance. Luckily, there’s plenty of laughter and cuteness that makes it worth it.  

- Sleep deprivation is NO JOKE. I low key think I sometimes should be thrown in a straight jacket swaddle right next to my kid. 

- I have no idea how people raised humans before Google. Ya that's soOoO 2023 of me, but seriously. How did anybody do this before smart bassinets and the internet?! Speaking of…  

- I'll never truly comprehend how the hospitals just let you straight up leave with a brand new baby. 

I understand it even less now that I've done it in real life. I don't care if you think you're the most prepared parent in the world. You aren't. You can read all the books or listen to all the podcasts you want. Nobody - and i mean NOBODY - knows what the hell they're doing. We had a pretty shitty experience in post-partum at the hospital, so we were very ready to leave. BUT because we weren't taught anything people claim you're taught in the hospital, we were absolutely clueless. Add that to the fact that we hadn't slept in days? Disaster. But just like every single other person leaving with a +1 they didn't come in with, you must heed the advice of Big Cat and: 

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(Shoutout to Boram Care in New York for the assist though. You've probably seen the viral tik-tok by now and if you haven't, the algorithm will surely find you just by reading this sentence. It's portrayed as a luxurious post natal experience but in reality it's way more than that. We actually learned basic but very necessary things like how to correctly feed a tiny human from my body, how to help each other not have a meltdown 24/7 and most importantly, my boyfriend learned how to correctly change a diaper. Kind of important stuff if you ask me. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it was life saving for both of us as new parents and I may be in love with all the women who work there. 

- Moms physically do all the hard work to get the baby out on land, but dads/partners do go through it in the delivery room too. 

Jersey Jerry jokingly told me he thinks he had it worse than his girlfriend when his son was born because of how uncomfortable the tiny hospital chair was. We laughed, but he kind of touched on some truth in a (veryyy roundabout) way. The whole thing is also exhausting for you dads out there. Especially after 10 long months of riding the pregnancy rollercoaster. No, men aren't physically pushing out a human being out of their body - and boy that sure isn't a walk in the park - but the anxiety while watching it and not being able to do anything can't be easy. If you've given birth, you know how much a good partner can ease experience just by being there. Credit to the good ones out there. 

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By the way…  anybody who chooses to view labor from home plate is brave. Even more credit to you for not passing out with that view. We decided my boyfriend would be staying up by my head in center field. Thank God. I can't imagine anybody seeing that in real time and knowing he would forever have that image. 

- Speaking of, I just asked him to put in his 2 cents for this. He said "I'm glad I don't remember being circumcised because the immediate aftermath is grim." 

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Fair enough.  

- Parenting a 0-4 week old seems to be a never ending exchange of "do you think he's ok?"

He's too quiet… "do you think he's ok?" He hasn't been woken up in the feeding-time window that's smashed into our brains as normal.. "do you think he's ok?" A new sound is unlocked… "do you think he's ok?" A new facial expression drops… "do you think he's ok?" He’s crying louder this time… "do you think he's ok?" Seriously, it's just that phrase on repeat all day every day. 

Anyway, I could go on forever. But I'm currently somebody's literal meal ticket and duty is calling. This ride is something… even more that we expected. It’s both beautiful and terrifying. And I wouldn't have it any other way. Even with all the leaking milk, sleep deprivation and random crying out of the blue (it’s me, hi.)  

PS - If you are a parent, may the odds be ever in your favor. If you aren't a parent, enjoy your sleep tonight extra hard for me please.

PPS - Being a boy mom is going to be really fun. Especially once we master the art of changing a diaper without playing a roulette game that sometime ends up with him peeing all over the wall of his own nursery. 

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