"It's Different When They're Yours"
That cliche. It's one of those that I couldn't STAND to hear pre-baby. Because I hadn't planned on having kids for the longest time, I heard that CONSTANTLY. And each time I would just nod and smile and scream internally to please leave me alone. I'm not what you call a "baby person". I was never a babysitter, I never really went out of my way to hang out with my friends kids, and though I was crazy about my niece and nephews, they didn't make me want to rush out and have children. And then once we changed our minds about having a family, I heard it even more whenever I voiced my concerns- "Don't worry, it's going to be so different when they're yours."
And then Henry came along. And I immediately felt protective of this little tiny thing that was screaming in my face. And whenever someone else held him, I was like a hawk watching, making sure they weren't going to drop this precious little thing I had created. And then as the days and weeks and months went on, I realized all of those people were (annoyingly) right. It IS different when they're yours.
At the beginning of his life when we were trying to figure out his reflux issues, he'd scream and scream and we didn't know what to do or what was wrong or how to fix it. Instead of thinking "Make that baby stop crying!", I thought "My poor boy, I need to figure out how I can fix it." When I change him and suddenly have poop on me, I just clean it off and move on, rather than running away screaming (although I might do that mentally). When he throws up on me, I calmly get up, clean him up first, make sure he's okay, and then go deal with getting myself cleaned up.
I can't explain it. And I could never begin to explain it to someone who hasn't experienced parenthood. But it's just different. You realize that this little person who is looking at you is someone that YOU made, that you want to love and protect with every ounce of your soul. This little person is counting on you. And you get to grow up and teach them about the world and help them be good people. And so those cries in the middle of the night, the bodily fluids all over your clothes, the constant feelings of inadequacy- you just deal with them because you love this person more than you could ever imagine loving another human being. And it's different, because they're yours.