I felt alone. It didn’t seem as though many people legitimately cared about me or how I was doing. Continue reading
“I’ll love you forever. I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”- Robert Munsch
When you’re in the thick of it, especially the first three months or so, you really don’t understand what people mean when they say the old phrase that “it passes so quickly.” In the beginning, some of the days literally feel like years. If you’re sleep deprived, the minutes may feel like years… Continue reading
I’m pretty much an expert since I’ve been doing this for nine months (longer, since I think gestation counts). I need to be real. Parenting is hard. It’s seriously super, duper hard. Hopefully you’ve heard people talk about how hard parenting is but, just in case, here are some issues that you will come to heads with:
Side note: If someone tells you they’re “pretty much an expert” you probably shouldn’t believe them. But, you should believe me because you trust me and you should know that I’m gonna give it to you straight. Anyway, here goes nothin.’
“I’ll just breastfeed my baby.”
That is what I would tell people when they asked how I planned on nourishing my baby who was due to arrive October 10, 2014 (you can read her birth story here). She came right on her due date and the two of us set about getting established with breastfeeding… and life… because it was so very different than I’d imagined it be after giving birth.
**There are pictures of breastfeeding in this post. If you’re offended by breastfeeding, please stop reading now.**
Maybe I’ve always been this way or maybe this is a trait that motherhood is bringing out in me but I seem to worry a lot these days. At first, I thought it was me being my contemplative self but then I realized that it’s just flat out worry. Continue reading
The list continues…
11. You’ll need to come to terms with the fact that you may NEVER be on time ever again. Six months in and I think Wes and I have been to church on time twice…maybe. It doesn’t really matter how early we get up. It could be 530 a.m. and we don’t need to leave for three hours and we’ll still be late. I don’t really know how it happens. Oh wait, I do. The reason is now almost six months old.
12. Some days you still won’t believe that you’re parents. Wes and I are still in awe of the little miracle that we created. How can we be parents? I mean, seriously. This has got to be a joke, right?
13. You may not be used to the reality that you’re a parent but other people will soon begin to pester with the inevitable question: “when are you having more?” Ummm, I am finally getting my head on straight, I do not intend on unscrewing it any time in the near future (oh, sweet baby Jesus, please hear me!). The “pesterers” will be super happy when you create another baby so that they can poke fun at all of the precautions that you took with baby #1 and are no longer taking with baby #2. They will laugh at you and tell you horrible stories about being dog tired from pregnancy and taking care of baby #1. Well, some people will. The ones who care about you will leave you to imagine the perfect scenarios where you’ll still be able to sleep when the baby sleeps… those are the people who you need to keep in your corner.
14. You’ll still be tired. Yep, even this far into the “game.” You see, now you’re trying to decide on whether or not you should actually go to bed at night when the baby’s asleep or if you should have some quality time with your spouse. Many times, the quality time will win but…
15. You may sleep through the quality time. It has nothing to do with how attractive you find your spouse it’s just that your precious baby is literally sucking the life out of you. I kid you not… I’ve already lost one tooth. Seriously. But that’s a story for another day.
16. While we’re talking about spouses… the two of you will bump heads more now than you ever have. You see, being responsible for another life is taxing. It’s taxing because you think so freaking much. About EVERYTHING. And once, you decide your opinion/philosophy on something, you’ll find that your spouse may not agree with you. That’s where the bumping of heads occurs. You’ll want them to do everything perfectly. They’ll think you micromanage them. It will be a problem.
There is nothing that you can do to prepare yourself for this phase except to practice the art of “fighting” fair. Remember that your spouse loves you and your spouse loves baby. They will not do anything to purposefully harm you. They will not do anything to purposefully harm baby… even though, your neurosis may tell you otherwise. Remember that you trusted them enough to marry them. You trusted them enough to share your life with them. You can trust them with your baby. (I’m preaching to myself here, too.)
17. It may still take some time for you to get used to your post baby body. But go ahead and get accustomed to your new curves and what not. LOVE YOURSELF.
18. You’ll come to realize that to love yourself, you’ll need to invest time doing things you love. This is NOT selfish. You need to get some rest, read books, magazines, watch trashy t.v. shows to unwind. You NEED to talk to your spouse and make arrangements for them to take care of baby so that you can do some yoga or go running or for a walk BY YOURSELF. It’s important. Chances are your spouse is just waiting to see how he can help you.
19. And, on that note: Let. Your spouse. Help. You.
20. By now, I’m sure you’ve realized that you’ve become that person who only talks about their baby. That’s normal. I mean, you’re in love as you SHOULD be! Don’t feel ashamed to show the love. I mean, I’m pretty sure that I am like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas: “And what happened, then? Well,
in Whoville they say – that the Grinch Sam’s small heart grew three sizes that day. And then – the true meaning of Christmas grace came through, and the Grinch Sam found the strength of *ten* Sams, plus two!”
I’ve been a mother for about six weeks now and, in that six weeks, I’ve noticed some things. Naturally, I’ve assembled a list.
1. People spend so much time trying to convince people who don’t have children to have children just so that when said new parents
complain comment on their new life as parents the former can snidely (or, at least it feels snide…and we all know how reliable feelings are) say, “welcome to parenthood.” So freaking annoying.
2. There’s a lot of hype about getting back to pre-pregnancy weight. For me, after I gave birth, I weighed less than I did before pregnancy but, man, did it look different. It still looks different. And it’s hard to get used to.
3. People think you’re crazy when you ask them to wash their hands before they touch your baby. But it’s really not crazy because if/when your baby gets sick from people’s nasty germs, it will be YOU AND ONLY YOU taking care of your sick baby. I will no longer feel bad for wanting things to be a certain way.
4. People will constantly ask you if you “like” being a parent. Some days you will like it and some days you won’t. That’s the honest truth.
5. You’ll spend countless hours
looking gawking at your sweet baby. You’ll notice when their face changes from that newborn look to the baby look. You’ll notice when your baby grows even one centimeter. You’ll notice when their finger nail beds get larger. You’ll notice every single thing. It’s crazy cool.
I mean, look at this sweet face:
6. Although you’ll have a strong desire to keep your house clean, the housework will not get done. Raising a newborn is time consuming… way more time consuming than people let on.
7. Something else that won’t get done: sleeping when the baby sleeps. That’s the one one universal piece of advice that EVERYONE gives to new parents. It sounds easy but it’s pretty much impossible (See #5). I mean, how can you sleep when you’ve got an adorable sleeping baby to stare at, diapers and clothes to wash, personal hygiene to attend to? Although you’ll be exhausted, you’ll want to tackle some of your to-do list items during those short, precious moments that your baby is sleeping.
8. Parenting a newborn is exhausting work. It seems that becoming a parent means being tired all. the. time. Basically, you’re operating on a sliding scale that measures your degree of tiredness because you’re always, always tired.
9. The responsibility for nourishment of your baby is a heavy burden to bear. There are all sorts of things that can hinder the mommy and baby nursing relationship. And, while it is normal for babies to lose weight once they leave the hospital, it’s nerve racking when you realize your baby is wholly dependent upon you to feed them. When your baby loses weight, you’ll take it as a personal failure and when your baby gains weight, you’ll take it as a personal victory. It sounds crazy but that’s the way it is. I have cried on more than one occasion regarding my baby’s weight. (Maybe we can blame the tears on the new mommy hormones.)
10. All of those clichés about parenthood changing your life, being the best thing ever and the love you have for your baby exceeding your expectations, etc. They’re all true. Every. Single. One of them.