Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

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Big News in My Life

Posted by Ben Erlichman on October 6, 2011

Well, everything about my life as I know it is about to change. I will soon have less freedom, less time, less money. I’ll get less sleep, have less energy, and I will have to scale back to fewer projects.


My wife is pregnant with our first child.

We found out a couple of months ago and recently heard our baby’s heartbeat. We’ll be heading to our next doctor’s appointment soon, and my understanding is that shortly after we will get to see our baby on an ultrasound.

Yes, we want to determine the baby’s gender in advance. That way we can tell our family and friends how to shop. We have a few names selected for both genders, but I’m not going to tell them to you because I don’t want you to steal them. ;)

Our plan is (as of now) that my wife Ashley will take her maternity leave from her teaching job at the end of the school year (she’s due March 22nd, and we’re hoping the baby will be fashionably late), and I’ll take some time off from my ogre slavedriver of a boss (my dad) as well. Then, once we’re a bit more settled in, I’ll get back to work while Ashley stays home with the kid.

We also are blessed to have my parents living in close proximity, which will help to enable us to go back to work after next summer. My mom has already said she’d take care of our baby every Wednesday. That’s awesome. My dad, who runs his own business, said he would take one day (Friday or Monday) with the kid, and I’m planning to take at least one day as well. That leaves only two days we have to account for each week, and truthfully, I could probably work at home for some of that time while the baby sleeps–IF the baby sleeps.

Hopefully that way Ashley can go back to work next fall so we have a steady income. Or, even better, hopefully I sell a book or seven and make tons of money off the royalties from their sales. This is all hypothetical, of course, but my point is that I’m trying to think about this ahead of time.

So, all you seasoned, professional parents out there, here’s your chance. In the comments section, tell me one or two things (as concisely as possible) that you wish you would have known about parenting, or raising a baby, or anything related to that.

I’m looking forward to what you have to say.


12 Responses to “Big News in My Life”

  1. John Wheeler (יוחנן רכב) said

    I’m single so I can’t offer any advice – only my most sincere and hearty congratulations. You write in a way that puts us all “where you are”.

  2. Oh, wow- congratulations! However did you keep it a secret? Can I be a grandma?
    One thing I wish I’d known ahead of time – my goodness, I was just thinking yesterday about all the dreadful parenting mistakes I made with my kids and how they turned out pretty good in spite of that. I wish I’d played with them more outside. I certainly wasn’t perfect, but I’m glad I read to them, taught them the Lord’s prayer when they were toddlers, had books around, took them places and volunteered at school, made church a natural part of the week and taught them to cook. I guess I wish I’d encouraged them to clean more often. :)

  3. A career mom with two kids might say: 1) Value your current eight hours of sleep per night, 2) Keep the Clorox wipes handy, and 3) You might miss a football game or two. (I’m just sayin’.) But – here is my real advice: Tuck the special moments with your wife and newborn away in your memory, for they are fleeting. You will blink and your baby will soon be a child. Blink again ans they will be growing still. You’ll look at your wife and realize it mightnot have been possible before, but you love her even more when you are made three. Blessings Ben and Ashley – this is going to be a beautiful ride.

  4. CONGRATULATIONS!! There’s nothing like the joy of that first child. So happy for you both!!

    My advice? Think of 2-3 sets of godly Christian parents who have children that are obedient, respectful, and happy doing so. (the happy part is essential)Then GRILL those parents on how they do it. Watch them interact with their kids. Watch how they react to issues that crop up. Take note of how they train and discipline. Doing those things went a LONG way toward helping me in those first years of parenthood. Since parenting is an evolving process, it’s a practice that I continue to this day. God intentionally places wise people in our path. It’s our responsibility to seek them out and humbly listen to their advice. Then have the self discipline to put it into practice! LOL

    Many blessings!!

  5. Don’t listen to people who don’t have kids. They’re clueless. :)

    mom to seven

  6. Marisa said

    I’m glad I didn’t know anything. I loved the surprises around every corner!

  7. Kyriann O'Brien said

    one thing i’ve learned from my family is to do all the research. Especially when it comes to medical stuff like shots and even giving birth and the things they offer. There is so much out there that doctors give to parents to give their kids that has been proven to actually hurt their health, even while in he womb. Try being more homeopathic even :)

  8. Nikki Stenson said

    While pregnant we watched a documentary called, “The Business of Being Born” (it’s pretty out there and I will warn you that you will see a lot of women giving birth, but it makes you think.) And we read the book, “The Birth Partner.” Both were great and helped us figure out exactly what kind of birth we wanted to have.

    Enjoy every moment! It’s SO awesome!!!

  9. Ben!! Congratulations, Daddy! SO VERY EXCITED for you and your wife! After reading all of the above advice, I gotta tell you—everyone will have their piece of it for you! Some of it will work and some…well…just smile and say, “thanks”, then do what your instincts are telling you! Above all else, PRAY! Pray for wisdom for you and Ashley, that the Lord will guide you in EVERY decision you make, from cloth vs. disposable diapers, to how to school them. As a nurse, I’ll give my 2 cents about immunizations: PLEASE get your child immunized. All three of my triplet grandbabies have received their shots. They are happy, healthy and not autistic as false rumors still imply can be a side-effect. Most of all, enjoy him or her and do realize as another friend has so truthfully said above: he or she will be grown and gone before you can blink an eye. Blessings, dear daddy!

  10. Shasta mc NayNay said

    Sometimes, destiny just strikes. Sometimes it doesn’t. This is the only advice you should listen. All else is false.

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