I’ve spoken to many first time parents since we had our first kid four years ago. First time parents, as is their wont, typically ask for advice. I say the same thing to all of them.
When we were expecting our first child, the one idea that helped us the most was – “expect it to suck.” Go in expecting the first couple of years to be a nightmare. No sleep, no rest, no husband-wife time – the works. Definitely avoid any expectation of the fabled “miraculous” bonding experience.
It inevitably ends up being better than that. :-)
Our day-to-day happiness is a function of reality over expectations. Expecting a better reality means saddling your poor new born kid with the pressure of being a good sleeper, healthy eater, etc.
Just lower your expectations and embrace what life presents.
It works. Beyond parenting too.