6 Ways Having a Baby is Like Being a Clueless Tourist

by Kim Forde
Originally Published: 

My third child is due next month. I know that, by now, I should have a clear, crisp and complete memory of what it’s like to have a newborn. But that would assume my mind is still intact. Not only has that ship sailed, but it has gone down in an undisclosed location near the Lost City of Atlantis.

Plus, the convenience of Parental Amnesia has set in. You know, that Darwinian force that wills you to forget most of those details — so that the human race will continue to procreate and, by extension, exist beyond your lifetime. I haven’t forgotten everything, per se. To oversimplify things, I know this much about the newborn phase: It is hard but so worth it. It is stunning and unforgettable and frustrating — often overwhelming — yet it goes by so fast. Sort of like a stranger traveling abroad. Yes, having a baby is just like being a clueless tourist.

Don’t believe me?

1. You don’t speak the language. You know that feeling — wandering around in a fog, somewhere between enchanted and frustrated as hell, because you can’t understand a damn thing that’s being said. You are an outsider. You can’t communicate, despite your desperate attempts through hand gestures, other bizarre body language, inflection and gutteral noises you feel must be universal. No dice. Are you trying to ask a local Parisian for directions, or are you attempting to communicate, plead and reason with a newborn?

2. You are awake at all hours of the night. After a day of excitement — the beautiful sites, the new sounds, etc. — you find yourself wide awake at, say, 3am. Maybe you visited The Great Wall and your adrenaline is pumping. Maybe you are checking out that after-hours club along the Mediterranean. Maybe you are jet lagged out of your damn mind and staring at your hotel ceiling. OR, maybe you have a newborn who thinks that party time is run by the light of the moon.

3. Everything costs a fortune. Every journey requires preparation; Clothing. Travel gear. Gadgets. And then, after months of such prep, your arrive at your destination and realize there are all kinds of must-haves indigenous to this land. Your purchase way more shit than you ever, ever needed — because you’ve developed a bizarre propensity to pay a premium on just about anything. Despite your carefully planned budget, the costs seem alarmingly disproportionate to what you considered spending at the outset of this adventure. So. Are you on an international vacation, or does a newborn live in your house?

4. The locals can be hostile. You’ve tried your best to be polite, to be a kind ambassador of your land, to have patience and manners, but the locals can just suck, right? They seem to mock you, pretend not to hear you and just not provide any helpful clues about the lay of the land. Yeah, your newborn is the same way. She’ll even spit on you and scream in your ear for hours on end. Where is the consideration, people?

5. The sites are beautiful, but it’s not easy to navigate this place. It sure is lovely here — and I’ve never seen anything quite like this — I’m so lucky to be here. But man, this is exhausting. I wish I could enjoy it more. I feel bad saying this, but I think I’ve had enough now. It’s time to go back to my regular life. I miss normalcy — and my bed. Exotic travel or mom to a newborn? Hard to say.

6. You try to convince your friends to come along. Who would want to experience this alone? Why, you must convince all of your like-minded girlfriends to join you. I know, I know — it’s a big trip. But it will be fun! Of course we’ll stay on budget! I’ve researched everything! You only live once! You’ll soooo regret it if you don’t! And why not do it together?! {Subtitle: I’m scared shitless to do this on my own and I’m taking you down with me}. Girls’ getaway this summer, or group trip to Labor & Delivery?

And here I thought that my next exotic trip was painstakingly far into the future. Not at all! But, really, who wants to come with me? Because it’s still scary the third time.

And where the hell is my tour guide?

Related post: At Least 70% Of Being A Parent Sucks

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