On September 10th, not even a month ago, baby Ember Jean was born to Audrey and Jeremy Roloff.
Jer and Auj are losing sleep and overwhelmed, but they're making it work. And they're looking ahead to the future.
Like all good, first-time parents, it sounds like these two are agonizing over how to raise their kid. Being a parent is the toughest job in the world.
Recently, Jeremy Roloff shared the first close-up photo of Ember Jean's face.
Along with it, he shared a little about his experience so far with being a parent.
"Ember Jean is two and a half weeks old already!"
Now she's closer to a month -- she'll soon be growing up before our very eyes.
"She’s doing great, loving life and practicing her singing whenever she’s hungry or needs to poo... Auj has had a tough few weeks, (more on that over on her profile) but that’s not to negate the fact that she’s having fun and enjoying being a first time mother!"
Audrey Roloff's postpartum symptoms are absolutely zero fun, but she has a support network and she's going to be okay.
And so will their cat.
"Pine, Pine is wondering why we brought this “thing” home."
Cats can actually develop beautiful bonds with their humans, but right now the cat has to be like "this is the most useless, noisiest hairless cat in this entire colony of hairless cats." Because, to cats, we're all just huge, dumb cats.
"And me, I’m a Dad - loving the perspective shifts and late night cuddles while I read my book."
With the exhaustion and stress comes a sense of satisfaction. Having kids is a milestone for a lot of people.
The new parents spoke to Us Weekly about their anxieties about raising Ember Jean.
"Just balancing life while being a mom, like work and marriage and other family members and friendships and all of that, just trying to find a rhythm."
We all know what work-life balance is like.
Being a parent means always putting your child first, but if you forget to take time for yourself, you'll completely lose your mind.
What's eating at Jer? Questions of how to raise Ember.
"“For me, specifically, just parenting in the sense of discipline when they start getting older and that just makes me nervous because you can do it really, really right and you can also do it really, really wrong."
Our first comment is, of course, don't panic.
While it's true that a lot of child-abusers use "discipline" as a euphemism for their abuse, there are non-abusive parents who use the term.
It looks like Jer is very conscious of how awful some parenting can be, what with is "you can also do it really, really wrong," line.
Obviously, abuse is in the "really, really wrong" category. But it's possible to develop an adversarial relationship with your children even without, you know, causing them pain.
If a parent is obsessed with consequences, or always winning (and never picking their battles), you're probably going to see a child who grows up full of resentment, literally counting down the months and weeks and days until they escape off to college.
You might get a rebellious rule-breaker even before that, too -- depending upon the child. And if you do, that's 100% on you.
The key is to, well, find a balance -- don't be an authoritarian parent, but also don't be automatically permissive of everything.
The general advice is to be authoritative -- that is, you know that you're in charge and they do to -- without feeling the need to assert your authority at all times.
The couple mentions that Audrey was brought up in a very strict environment, while Jeremy had a lot more freedom.
We'd say that the Roloff kids turned out pretty well, so taking advice from Matt and Amy sounds like a good idea.
Jeremy says that everyone has one idea or another.
"Ultimately, like, everyone is gonna tell you all these different things to do and try."
Yeah, some people's ideas will horrify you, but others might be helpful.
"There are so many different ways to parent and raise a baby and all that, but ultimately just kind of trusting your gut I guess and doing what you think is best."
Depends on your gut, to be honest.
"I feel like we feel confident in it."
He's confident, but he's honest.
"I think we're ready for this journey, but are we prepared? No. I don't think you can be prepared. Similarly to marriage, you just do it and it happens and then you kind of catch up to it."
He's right -- no one is ever 100% prepared for their first child.
Because each child is different, we'd say that no one is 100% prepared for their second or third children, either.
But the fact that they're thinking and worrying about how to do things the right way is a great sign.
Not thinking about what's right, not worrying, is how you become a bad parent.