Take 5: Mahoneys adjust to being parents

Hazel Mahoney is the new at-home boss of her parents, Mark and Christina Mahoney of Sheldon.

You can research all you want about what to expect when you’re expecting, but nothing can prepare you to be new parents.

That is what my wife, Christina, and I are finding out as we adjust to raising Hazel, our newborn daughter, who is our new boss at home.

For Christina, who is at home on maternity leave until January, if she can find time to sleep while Hazel takes a nap during the day, she takes advantage.

When I come home for the evening at the end of a workday, I take time to watch over our daughter so Christina can take a break and take a little time to herself.

Then Christina and I spend time with Hazel as a family before we head to bed whenever our daughter falls asleep for a few hours.

During the night, Christina and I take turns feeding Hazel so we can each get some sleep and be somewhat functional the next day.

We are getting more and more used to operating on less sleep during the day, which isn’t fun, but that’s what happens when you have a baby.

The weekends were welcome times for Christina and me before we had Hazel, but they are even more welcome now because we can take turns taking day naps at home.

I also never knew how expensive baby products — like formula — were until now or how fast new parents can go through diapers, wipes and other baby items.

On top of that, there are all of the baby clothes that Hazel will wear and quickly outgrow. My head starts to spin when I think about everything.

It is all overwhelming, especially for me, who grew up with only an older brother and no younger siblings, so I had never been used to being around babies during my life.

Christina has two younger brothers and loves to take care of people — being a registered nurse fits her well — so being a mother comes naturally to her.

Becoming new parents has been a stressful learning experience for us, especially me, but my wonderful wife has been patient with me as we embark on a new chapter of our life with Hazel.