If you’re getting sick of motherhood posts, you might want to unfollow this blog.
I can’t stop. I won’t stop.
It’s been a huge life change and it’s different every single day. It consumes just about every waking moment in ways that are equal parts fascinating and frustrating. There’s so much I want to remember and reflect on — if only there was time to record it all.
1. Moving into a dorm was tough…getting married was an adjustment…but parenting is the hardest thing ever. I have a newfound respect for everyone I know with children. Add another boatload of credit to anyone with more than one child, a child with special needs or single parents. You are heroes.
2. Babies make marriage different –but not worse. Having a child has given me — no exaggeration — a thousand new ways to love, appreciate and respect my husband, and it’s shown us lots of new ways to work together as a team. This includes everything from tag-team diaper changes and baths to knowing when the other person has hit a wall and stepping in before disaster strikes.
3. Everything changes all at once. Your very existence will be rapidly redefined. I thought nine months of pregnancy prepared me for being a mom but alas, I was blissfully ignorant. Suddenly, none of my decisions can be made independently, and the whole idea of “me time” is redefined as being able to take a shower. And it’s forever.
4. Despite intrinsic tendencies, being a perfectionist is impossible and a waste of time. Same goes for being a control freak. Nothing is ever going to be perfect or under control again, which is surprisingly ok. Rolling with the punches means not batting an eye when your daughter poops in the bathtub for a fourth night in a row, or screams bloody murder at a tailgate party.
5. Thought you already were mature? Oh, no. Babies require you to grow up more and faster than you ever anticipated. For us, this meant big things like buying more life insurance and filing a will, and smaller things like missing a lot of social events and not shopping as often.
6. Friendships change after kids. No way around it. But the strong ones — the ones worth keeping — find a way to adapt and continue, even if it means more time spent texting and less time at happy hours. It’s a sacrifice that’s simultaneously heart breaking and ok.
7. You will question why you did this on a daily basis.
8. You will be humbled and thankful to the point of tears on a daily basis.
9. Small and simple pleasures are increasingly important. Taking a walk, having a glass of wine, vacuuming…everything shifts to keep baby at the center, so that even the smallest things elicit deep gratification.
10. You will have a dumbfounding new respect for your own parents. Oh man. No words.
11. There’s a lot of pressure. Nursing, sleep training, vaccination schedules, milestones. Geesh. Staying true to yourself and knowing your baby are the most important factors, but it’s hard. Outside pressures are intense and all around.
12. Post-partum depression and anxiety are real and they are crippling. I never knew it was possible to feel so horrible. I was terrified and miserable and so fortunate to have had support from my family, friends and doctor. Knowing when to ask for help is the hardest part.
13. Smartphones are life-saving devices. The amount of things I google is absurd. Not to mention I have a way to stay in touch with friends when I’m stuck at home, and can read books or watch tv when I’m being held hostage by a crying baby.
14. Babies are sometimes loud. Really loud. And sometimes they smell and make disturbing noises.
15. Deep breaths and wine are a powerful combination.
16. No one’s ever going to follow your instructions for caring for your baby perfectly. And it will make you batshit crazy. But it will be ok. I think.
17. Everyone will give you advice. Some of it will be really good, life-saving, even. And some of it will make you want to projectile vomit.
18. Speaking of projectile vomit…babies do that. And they poop and pee and drool on you. Best to just get over it and embrace doing laundry as an even greater necessity.
19. Severe fatigue is a funny thing. Your body will astonish you with what it can do on absolutely no sleep, but it will be a painful experience.
20. It’s ok to let people help you and to be bossy about what you need. Ask for food and babysitting and whatever will get you through to the next hour.
21. The connection and support among moms is beautiful. I mean, it takes my breath away when I stop to think of the support and advice I’ve gotten from moms of all ages and walks of life. It’s a silent and unbreakable bond because there’s no stronger connection than the love a parent has for her child.