On motherhood…things people don’t tell you
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…