What a lifesaver it is, these days, to spend time with other new parents.
They don’t try to cheer us up after a hard night, like people with grown kids who seem to remember their newborns’ days with more romance than reality. And they don’t stare at us blankly and wonder why we never do anything fun anymore, like people who have yet to take the leap.
Everyone asks you how you’re doing with it all.
People with grown kids respond best to good-day answers – “He smiled today!” or, “We had a great night! Another four-hour sleep!” – because when you answer honestly about a tough stretch, they seem determined to talk you out of it. It’s not that bad! Buck up! Cheer up!
Meanwhile, people without kids glaze over – they don’t want any answer at all. They’re just being polite. They don’t really want to hear it. I know – we felt that way once. What the heck is an episiotomy? Never mind, I don’t want to know.
New parents are our comrades, no matter how we answer. We have one of those days that makes us feel totally inept, and our comrades pat us on the back and say, “Just keep drinking lots of water.” They make us feel sane. Despite the great affection we have for everyone on both sides of the parenthood sandwich, thank god for comrades.