How Raising My Nephews Did Not Prepare Me For Raising My Daughter

Not gonna lie: I thought this whole thing was gonna be easy. Like, super easy. To give a little context, I have two nephews, 7 and 4. Their dad (my brother) worked to provide and the thing he married (refuse to call it his wife but that’s a long and frustrating story for another time) had this lovely habit of pushing those boys off on myself, my mom, and my oldest brother so she could go out and do whatever. Hell, I can say without a doubt that I feel like I raised those boys more than she ever did. So before I had my little girl I thought “Ya know what? I got this. I practically raised my nephews. What’s the difference?”

And I tell you what, it’s so different. I never lost sleep when I had those boys. I never got frustrated and at my wit’s end when I had those boys. Well, except when the youngest had a double ear infection and his mom wasn’t around to help. But nothing I’ve done with those two prepared me for what I’ve gone through with this little girl.

They says all babies are different. My oldest nephew is a shy, quiet little boy who was diagnosed with Autism a couple of years ago. He was a social baby, but not to the extent of his little brother. We’ll call him Chunky Monkey because that was my nickname for him and we’ll call the oldest Bub. Chunky Monkey was the most social child I’ve even met. He was everyone’s friend. Bub was one of those who would be more likely to be seen standing next to his dad or attached to his dad as a baby. It’s not to say that Bub didn’t like other people. He was just more of a “I don’t know you so I’m gonna stick with Mommy/Daddy/Nana/Aunt Sissy until I know you” kind of kid. Chunky Monkey, on the other hand, was more of a “I wanna play with all of you!” kind of kid on top of a “Aunt Sissy’s here?! Screw you guys I want her!” kind of kid.

And while I haven’t seen or spoken to any of them in far too long (again, a post for another time), I remember what it was like all too well. And I thought I had it figured out for the most part. Maybe some things will be different, but not in a crazy way was my mentality all the way up until I had Zelda.

I learned real quick that I had absolutely NO idea what I was doing. Is she hungry? Is she sleepy? Does she need a fresh diaper? Does she just want to cuddle? I’m so thankful I have her dad here to help me learned what to do, along with his mom and my mom.  I may have only been a mom for three months, but holy crap has it been an adventure so far. I’m getting better at it all though. Still trying to get her to sleep in her crib is a task since her sleeper sack has now gotten too small for her. She may make me question if I’m screwing up when I’m not able to calm her down, but when she’s calm and either smiling up at me or asleep and snuggled up as close as she can get, it makes me feel like I’m doing an okay job. Woefully unprepared, but I’m not messing up.

That little girl still has a lot to teach me. Things I never learned when it came to my nephews. But Mommy’s hear to learn and take it a day at a time. It’s all I can do, right?


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