Monday, July 16, 2012

It's Not What It Seems...

Being a new mom is like college all over again.  Lots of learning about each other, drinking (milk), partying all night, and certainly NOT sleeping.  

I've been thinking a lot lately about parenting and being a mom.  Everyone knows it's not easy work, but no one knows it until you LIVE it.  And as soon as you're not living it, you forget.  This mom blogger, accurately explains things that no one says about life after birth.  Props to someone who actually wrote down what everyone was thinking.  I really hate how there are 5,000 books about pregnancy and what it's like to be pregnant. 

There are so many things that I would hope someone knows when they get pregnant.  For some people, it may change their view on pregnancy, or motherhood.  Most, it wouldn't change anything, but it would make DAMN sure for those moms to know they're not alone at 3:00am when it's dark, quiet, and they're utterly exhausted.  Here are a few things I wish someone would have told me....

10 Thoughts on pregnancy and newborns:

1.  Stretch marks are awful.  And they fade, but they don't go away.

Image from:
 Let's be honest.  This chick has an awesome stomach- EXCEPT for those stretch marks.  Yup- just accept them as a sign of mommyhood- unless you're willing to pay to get them lasered off (which I'm totally doing after I have my 4th child and my tummy tuck and I become my size 6 self again).  It's like people who lose several hundred pounds.  No matter how hard you work, you can't get rid of that skin- and in this case, no matter how rockin' your abs are- those stretch marks are your red badge of courage.  As much as I look at my stretch marks and cringe- here's a good way of looking at it:

2.  Please don't eat for two.  Okay, maybe once in awhile eat for two- but DON'T do it every day.

 Why do people tell you that?  It's all fun and games to eat whatever you want for the ENTIRE time- until that cute cherub comes out- and you still look like there are triplets stuck inside.  Not only will people wonder why the baby sucked all of the beauty out of you- but you'll feel bad about yourself- which will lead to #6 even sooner!

3.  Your house will be messy.  Get over it.
 You're not going to be able to do it all.  Your baby should be your main priority.  If you don't have help for the house or the baby- then you shouldn't have anyone in your house to judge you either!  I promise- no one cares about the dishes, laundry, or bed being made.  You'll be grateful if your sheets are covered in pee, poop or breastmilk.  I promise a shower does a lot more for the soul than a clean house.  Paper plates are helpful- and a mom, mother in law, or neighbor (or a husband with OCD- but I wouldn't know).

4.  You will probably wear maternity clothes home from the hospital.  Yuck.

 It's so not fair that you work so hard for nine months to grow this baby, give up your body (and alcohol, caffeine, bad habits, etc.) and you go home looking less than stellar.  Best advice ever- shower as soon as you feel up to it after the birth.  It'll make YOU feel a lot better.  With both of my kids- I was in the shower within 4 hours.  It made me feel awesome.  You'll feel clean enough to sleep, and greet the 4,000 guests that you can't stand really want to see in your hotel hospital room. 

5.  Breastfeeding is NOT easy (and if it is, you are SUPER lucky!)

If you are a momma who had a great first experience with breastfeeding, you are one of the lucky ones.  As someone who has dealt with mastitis twice in the 12 weeks I breastfed my first, I know it sucks. There are some nights when you just hope and pray that Daddy, grandma, auntie, the trash mad, ANYONE would wake up and feed your baby.  When you are breastfeeding- it's not an option- even if someone does get up- you have to get up and pump- fun fun!  Like milking your own personal cow!

6.  You are bound to have one nervous breakdown in the first 10 days home (only one if you're lucky).
Just know that this is okay.  And normal.  With baby #1- it was in the doctor's office when the pediatrician asked how breastfeeding was going.  The problem was that it was absolutely awful.  And I felt like I should have known what I was doing.  So, I cried.  A lot.  And anyone that knows me knows I don't cry.  Good times.  The doctor sent me home, instructed my husband to send me to bed for a good nap, and to call the lactation consultant to help.  Thank.god.for.her.  If not- I may have been playing in traffic that evening. 

7.  I call the first three weeks the honeymoon.  After that, you're just exhausted, your help leaves and life becomes your new normal- except it's not- for you anyway.

In the beginning- everyone is there to help.  And when you first come home, your baby tricks you into thinking he/she sleeps.  Disclaimer:  Your baby hasn't really been born yet.  By the end of week 1, then you'll know more of what he/she is like.  By week 2, you'll understand that babies have NO idea what night/days are and are sure that you certainly enjoy being awake when everyone else isn't.  This is when you cry/scream/beg your baby to please.sleep.for.more.than.five.minutes.  And to please stop breaking out of that swaddle.  And to PLEASE learn how to keep that pacifier in their mouth.  Thank God for this.  Saved me SOOOOOO much heartache with #2.

8.  It's okay not to know what to do.  Or what the baby wants.

You have to take time to learn from each other.  It's like you're shoved into a new house with roommates. Sometimes, you see the grunts, looks, faces, screams, and you have NO idea what that means.  Despite the moms that swear they know on Day #3 that their baby is hungry/wet/gassy, rest assured that they have NO clue either.  They're totally lying. 

9.  Babies sometimes cry- just because.

And you can cry too. They don't know why their crying too.  Plus, since they've just made their exit from your body, they're probably hormonal too.  

10.  You will be VERY jealous of your husband- or anyone else who gets to leave the house alone for several hours- for awhile. 

I know this seems like an oxymoron.  Why would you be jealous of your husband who gets to go to WORK?  Because work involves being ALONE.  QUIET.  ADULT INTERACTION.  SHOWERING.  GETTING DRESSED.  When you go to work- chances are, you won't be pooped on.  You will be able to discuss something of importance with another adult.  You will be able to leave your home for more than a walk to the mailbox.  Yup- let's be honest.  You'll be able to PEE ALONE. 

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