May 27, 2014

The Wonderful Surprises that Motherhood Brings

Let me start off by saying this: Mommyhood is amazing. It has been by far the most special, important, and FUN thing that has ever happened to me. I look at this little boy and am still in awe of the love, wonder, and beauty he has brought to our lives.

But that's not to say that it's all unicorn giggles and rainbow kisses. On the contrary, motherhood has had some hilariously messy, cranky, frustrating, painful, and disgusting moments! Let's talk about them, shall we? Just for kicks.

1. Date nights. Okay, this is how is starts: "My parents said they could watch the baby this Saturday."
"No way. Really?"
"Yeah, wanna go to dinner and grab a drink?"
"No way. Really?"
The excitement mounts. Get dressed up? Hold hands that aren't sticky from spit-up? Have grown-up conversation? Eat food that didn't come out of a slow cooker? Disclaimer: there's nothing wrong with that, but after weeks of it, it gets a little tired. Have a cocktail at a bar with my handsome husband? YEEESSSSSSS.
Then this happens: "How much is that cheese platter?!" "How do you think the baby is doing?" "This glass of wine is making me sleepy." "It's only 8 o'clock? I'm exhausted!" "How do you think the baby is doing?" "Do you really want to see that movie now?" "It's only 8:30? I'm exhausted!" "How do you think the baby is doing?"
And then we're home by 9 pm and asleep by 10 pm. So much for our wild date night. We still love them though :)

2. Indecision. Babies come with a LOT of decision-making. Should we feed him now? Do you think he needs more milk? Is he too hot? Too cold? Should we go to the grocery store together or one of us stay home? Should we comfort him when he wakes up crying or let him soothe himself for a little while? Should we change his diaper in the car or in the public restroom? Do you think he needs to be swaddled? Rocked? Should we take his clip-on high chair or just hold him? etc. etc. etc... There are questions ALL DAY LONG. They NEVER STOP. Brett and I drive each other crazy with questions and can never make up our minds! There are days when one of us will just say, "I refuse to make another decision. You get the right-of-way on all accounts," or something to that effect. Choices are freaking exhausting.

The best is when I ask him a "should we" question, don't like his answer, and do the opposite. Brett loves that ;)

3. Pee. Olivia Wilde recently tweeted that "Having an infant son alerts me to the fact that every man, at one point, has peed on his own face." 'Nough said.

I don't have a Twitter account and only know this from reading something on the web, but since then, I read her tweets once in awhile and if YOU have Twitter, follow Olivia Wilde. She is hilarious.

4. Poop. It will get on you. You may even be surprised while changing a diaper and have it explode all over your arm. It will come up the back of the diaper and stain baby's clothes. When your baby starts mushy food, his/her poop will change accordingly (Brett has used the term "semi-solid"). Sometimes there will be four poopy diapers in one day. Sometimes you won't have a poopy diaper for three days and then three gigantic poops in a row. Sometimes you'll get a weird rock-hard poop. Sometimes you will swear to the Almighty that your baby had a ghost poop that you heard and then disappeared miraculously. Sometimes your baby will poop in the tub. And then in his towel while waiting for you to clean the tub. And then in the second towel you put him in.

There will be poop. You'll be obsessed with that poop. There will be times you'll be praying for poop.

5. Shopping. Suddenly shopping for baby items and baby clothes is more fun than shopping for yourself! Zulily, Baby Gap, and Amazon are now the best sites on the planet! ...But I'm still guilty of overindulging on myself as well. Just that now my taste in clothes is waaaay more modest and conservative-ish (however, let's face it, I'll never be a Stepford wife).

6. Netflix. We promised we wouldn't let Caleb watch TV before the age of two. We even had our cable cut off and only subscribe to Netflix. Well, you should see our recommendations on Netflix now! Curious George, Sesame Street, Turbo, Dragon Tales, you get the gist. It's good background noise, you know? And we started to feel guilty watching our shows around him, so started watching more kid-friendly stuff. I don't know about you, though, but I can watch Emperor's New Groove a thousand times.

7. Travel. Or going anywhere. Running errands. It's hard. Prepare to bring a LOT of stuff with you and plan your day around feedings and diapers. We're about to go to Hawaii in a month which means 16 hours of travel EACH WAY. So fun.

8. Sleep. It was a luxury before baby with our already-crazy schedule and now it's a memory. Baby slept ONCE for ten hours straight and ONCE for twelve hours straight and at the time we were high-fiving each other like, "YEAH! Victory is ours! Our baby is the most sleepiest baby that ever was!" Flash forward to the next night and we're back to getting up every 4-6 hours. Now baby's first teeth are coming up AND he has his first cold/cough so welcome back to 3-4 hour cycles! One day we'll get sleep again. 


9. Your spouse. Your romantic, cuddly, sweet husband. In my case, he's still all of those things, but who has time for romance and cuddles? LOL. Just kids. Sort of. I lucked out by snagging a super-tidy, super-helpful, super-responsible guy who also happens to be smart, funny, and exciting. HOWEVER. At 4 am after waking up every 2 hours, you will still snap at each other and have cranky, ugly remarks to regret in the morning. The important thing to remember is (a) say you're sorry, (b) try really hard not to let it happen again, (c) keep a sense of humor, and (d) he's your partner and you're a team. You'll get through those sleepless nights together.

It helps a lot that he gets up with me each time to change the diaper and get me water or whatever else I need as I nurse. Thanks, teammate! :)

10. Your body, especially your boobs. It/they're not yours anymore. It/They look kinda funny. It was all worth it.

11. Now that we're talking boobs, let's talk breastfeeding. It's effing hard. Back when I was pregnant, I heard a lot about breastfeeding. It's okay to stop if you can't/don't like it/hurt/for whatever other reason (which are all true). This friend had mastitis. That friend didn't produce enough milk. This friend found it too painful. That friend didn't feel comfortable pumping at work. Yes, I understood that other people had difficulty breastfeeding. But me? I was going to own it. Breastfeeding will be a piece of cake!

Nope. Breastfeeding is hard. My milk took forever to come in. There was blood and crackedness and crying. Showers were excruciating. My boobs leaked. They were swollen. I also got mastitis. Now I'm not sure if I can keep up with baby's needs and our milk bank is depleted. I have to ask each preceptor during my nine months of eight rotations for a private room to attend to my maternal duties (this is awkward for me). I have nursed in public countless times which still feels odd. But I wouldn't change any of it for the world. If you decide to breastfeed, it IS hard, but there's a lot of help and support out there. And it IS okay for you to stop, for whatever reason.

12. The great paradox of wanting me-time. I want to be alone. What is baby doing right now? Gosh, baby sure is a lot of work, I really wanted to do some yoga. Gosh, I miss my baby. This baby is so fussy and really needs a nap. Baby looks so peaceful napping but I wish he would wake up so we could play!

I know I know. I'm a little cuckoo.

13. There is no right answer. You'll hear a lot of advice and read about parenting tactics all over the interweb and in books. And while the 5 S's did work for us, every baby is different! Some "sworn remedies" for issues like sleeping through the night haven't worked for us. It's okay. We're all learning.

14. Baby love. Oh my, the way your heart swells each time you look at your baby and think, "My God, I'm responsible for this tiny human," it really feels like your heart could burst. You and your sig oth have brought another life into the world and holy shit if that is not just the most amazing and daunting and thrilling experience you will ever have. Every time he lays his head on your shoulder, or cocks his head and smiles at you, or laughs at your funny faces, or reaches out for you, there is so much joy that your heart breaks a little knowing you have never been happier or more fulfilled than in that moment. This is everything to me, and I'm so grateful.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to message/comment me with your own surprises and stories!

Aloha! ♥

1 comment:

  1. #14 - yes. This. All of it actually. And I'm really proud of you, you actually go out on date nights! I can count on one hand (or less) the times the hubs and I have both left somewhere together without the baby.

    xx Viv at JoieDeViv


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