I’m a month into this parenting business. I’m now an expert on all things baby.
Don’t worry, I’m joking. I’m so far from being an expert, I’m basically in Antarctica (if you’re an expert you’re in the Arctic; I don’t understand this analogy either; I’m not even sure it’s an analogy; I’m too tired to think more about it and would like to end this bracket and stop using semi colons incorrectly).
Given the response to last week’s post, I thought I would add a few more things I’ve learned as a new (and young?) mother. Also, I’m so glad my comment re: breastfeeding resonated with so many women. Being honest about how hard this life-altering change can be is critical to ensuring sustained mental health, at least in my humble opinion.
Okay, so here are a few other gems I’ve learned in the last week that no one mentioned to me (if you did, I apologize for my subpar memory; please take credit where credit is due):
- Your house will become a gallery of sorts. No, not the gallery you were hoping for with beautiful modern or classical art and sculpture, but a gallery or perhaps, homage to all things baby. Everywhere the eye can see will be something related to child care: a bassinet, a vibrating chair (yes, very exciting for baby), a breastfeeding pillow, a stained burp cloth (how modern art, I know), 60 blankets (slight exaggeration), a car seat, another blanket, and random toys that your baby is not remotely interested in yet. There is no method to the madness, only madness in the placement of said items around your house. When guests come over you will try to give the illusion of being tidy, but it will become more and more impossible as the modern art only continues to accumulate (the amount of s*** you buy is ridiculous and never-ending).
- You will hate everyone (not everyone, but pretty close). You will especially hate other drivers and people at the grocery store who amble (I’ve always hated amblers, but I hate them more now). Seriously, don’t they know you have a three hour window between feeds and that you have 30 minutes until go time? DON’T THEY KNOW THIS? No, they don’t as the world does not revolve around you. If only…
- Your husband is going to say weird ass stuff to you in the middle of the night. Last week, during one of my 3 AM parties with Arwen (boob party, that is), my husband groggily looked up at me from the bed and asked, “are you pointing a laser at me?” While I wish I had been pointing a laser at him (how entertaining), I sadly was not. I am now looking into laser pointers on Amazon.
- There is some serious comedy involved in child-rearing. The same night I was asked about the laser pointer, Arwen decided to explosively poop all over me and the floor. I was so startled, I screamed (a blood curdling scream, I assure you). This caused my husband to leap from the bed, completely and utterly startled as he thought I had dropped our baby. Of course, being the sympathetic person I am, I laughed and shared the HILARIOUS story with him. He, surprisingly, did not find it quite as amusing.
- Your attention to detail and memory will continue to fail you. You will put on your running shoe for the fourth day in a row, do it up and start walking only to realize you have once again forgotten to take out the pesky pebble that has been annoying you for days. You swear an oath to remove it once you’re home (doing so while walking with a sleeping infant is not possible and would result in complete and utter destruction). You think about naming the pebble. You don’t. You place the shoe on the next day; you swear at your stupid oath and memory; you never remove said pebble. And you never get around to naming it.
- You will become skilled at using your feet as hands. You may learn to hook your toe into your water bottle handle (thankfully mine has a handle), at shifting your cell phone just a little bit closer to your grasping hand (usually still not enough to get it without smothering your breastfeeding child), at moving the blanket from the bed to cover your toes while seated and breastfeeding, of course, on the rocking chair. I am currently working on dinner preparation and typing with my feet hands.
- You will regularly worry that you’re going to kill your child. I used an infant carrier / baby wearing contraption for the first time last week. It took me approximately 5 hours to get it on (slight exaggeration) and I was a sweaty mess by the time my baby was securely fastened in (not an exaggeration). I then realized I had forgotten to put on my shoes (how wonderful). I managed to get my shoes on using some sweet contortionist moves (yes, think cirque de soleil style) and thankfully, my baby stayed passed out for the entire process. Okay, back to worrying about killing your child. Once I was successfully outside and walking, I stopped about every 2 minutes to look for signs of life. This would involve watching the life form closely (not really safe while walking), removing the hood to see her face (she did not appreciate), and leaning forward at an awkward angle so her nose / face did not rest too close to my coat. The lean continued for the majority of the walk which somewhat defeats the purpose of an ergonomic baby carrier. I can only imagine what I looked like to other pedestrians or people looking from their windows.
- You will rotate between two very sexy outfits (in my previous post I mentioned how sexy you will feel as a new mom). Both will provide easy breast access and withstand being washed 10-20x per week. Well, we shall see about the withstanding multiple washes. I could be wearing threads in short order.
Okay, I think that’s just about enough for one post.
Please share your funny stories via the comments or send me an email. Since sharing the laser story, I have heard some fantastic middle-of-the-night-husband moments from fellow breastfeeding friends.
I’m a relatively new player in the world / game / realm of motherhood (I’m not sure this is really a game, but you get the picture) and it’s tough. I’m currently writing this post hoping the sound of the keyboard will not wake up my three week old in a completely separate room (it won’t).
Okay, I know this post (and likely many more to follow) is a a stretch from the essence of this blog, but I will do my best to keep the health and wellness theme alive. I promise, I will try. If anything, writing about motherhood will help to ensure my own personal wellness…aka stave off the “stir crazies” and hopefully provide readers with a few laughs.
Today, I wanted to write about a few things people don’t and / or forget to tell you about having a baby:
- People / books / nurses do a good job talking about the baby blues and postpartum depression, but people forget to, or simply don’t talk about the massive psychological shift that is required once you start caring for a very small, needy, fragile human being. You’re it for this little peanut – well, your boobs are. You are essential to ensuring the survival of this little being which means you’re on call 24/7. Your body is no longer your own. As my father-in-law puts it, I’m the Dairy Queen and my drive thru window is always open. If you’re used to incredible personal freedom, like I am, being on demand may feel akin to being trapped. And feeling this way, in my humble opinion, is not indicative of postpartum depression, but is simply a natural and honest response to the most monumental life change one can likely experience. It’s a big deal.
- You’re going to feel guilty. A lot. I feel guilty for writing the above simply because I shared the fact I sometimes feel trapped.
- You’re going to feel ridiculous most of the time. Last night, as I was feeding my sweet baby girl at 3 AM, I was delighted by the resonance of my husband’s nostrils. He finally awoke, startled, after the third or fourth gentle yell of his name. No, I don’t like waking my husband up. Especially when he has to work the next day, but I have a weakness when it comes to snoring. I asked him to find my headphones so I could listen to music and block out his not-so-melodious tunes. He couldn’t find my earbuds, but returned with his massive noise cancelling headphones, placing them gently on my head before falling back into blissful slumber (not sure it’s really all that blissful with baby phlegm noises and my “SHHHH SHHHH SHHHH” soothing noises). I sat there, rocking (it is a rocking chair, I haven’t completely lost it…yet), listening to music with these massive headphones, watching my infant pendulum back and forth across my nipple, coating her face in milk as she searched for my hardy nipple, and started to laugh at the picture painted in my mind’s eye. Oh, and to top it off, I also had my incredibly sexy mouthgaurd in (I am way too lazy to take it out every feed). Yes, you’re going to feel ridiculous most of the time. And very sexy.
- You’re going to get really skilled at ripping fast showers. I had my first experience this morning (I have been spoiled with help for the last three weeks) and it was far from relaxing. I tried to shower with the shower door open, but my carpeted bathroom floor was becoming saturated (yes, you read that correctly, it’s carpeted. I thank the 1950s for this delightful trend. We are going to renovate, don’t worry) and I weighed the pros and cons of a rotten bathroom floor vs. an unhappy baby for 3 minutes. The former won.
- Your nipples are going to kill. Thankfully, this didn’t last too long, but man oh man did it rock my world (in a bad way) for the first five days. I cannot recall ANYONE warning me of this, but everyone did commiserate once I shared my plight. I have never received so much nipple butter (it means more than you will ever know).
I have a suspicion this list will evolve and grow over the next year (or 18) as I discover new and wonderful things about being a mother. All joking aside, it is pretty rad. Especially when your baby smiles at you(even if it is spontaneous and not remotely connected to anything you just did / said).
Until next time…