Category Archives: Motherhood

Adjusting to Your New Role

No matter if you are entering motherhood at 16, 25, 32, 40+ or somewhere in between, you life will be forever changed once that little boy or girl takes the first breath of air.

I always thought knew my life would be different after becoming a mother. However, until it becomes reality you can only imagine how it will be.

The early weeks are the longest weeks of your life. It seems that the days and nights all mesh together as if you were trapped inside your own version of Groundhog Day. It seems that every day is nothing but the same, but yet it is all brand new.

For my husband, adjust to the role of daddy was pretty easy. He really didn’t have to do much. He hasn’t lost sleep much. Not one damn bit. The man snores like a freight train and has yet to wake up in the middle of the night to change the first diaper. Now, of course I am breastfeeding so that throws a wrench in any midnight bottle feeding episodes.

Speaking of breastfeeding, that is probably the biggest adjustment for me. Exclusively breastfeeding means that I need to be there for my son 100%. In the early weeks, they (you know the lactation experts) advised not to give him a bottle to avoid any confusion between bottle and breast. So anytime Shark Baby was hungry, mama was there. That often meant holding him for hours on end while he cluster fed. Just as soon as I thought I could put him down for 10 minutes and grab a quick shower, he would let out a blood curdling wail and let me know that he didn’t want me to be clean. He wanted milk and he wanted it now. I absolutely love being able to bond with my son and be able to offer him the healthy nourishment for his growth. However, it definitely been an adjustment. I have been able to go from moving freely throughout my day doing my daily tasks when I feel like it and on my own terms.

Now, even the most seemingly mundane task takes forethought. I have always been an independent woman who did what she wanted when she wanted. Now, I have to plan to go pee, plan to go to the grocery store, etc. I am a terrible planner. I always buy the cute yearly agendas with the idea of getting organized and planning my day. It ususally lasts about two weeks and then I forget about it. I am learning that if I am going to survive mommyhood, I am going to have to become a planner. Otherwise, going to the grocery store will become a perfect time for a mini/mega meltdown.  This is something I am working on daily. I am trying to learn his cues to know when it is time to sleep so that I can get my needed tasks accomplished. I am trying to be more prepared going into the store so I can get in and get out quickly. I know when he has had enough (most of the time) to avoid the need to walk out of the store and leave a full cart of groceries in aisle 9.

When SB was 10 weeks old, I returned to work. This has also been a huge adjustment. I had just learned to adjust to being with him 24/7. Now, I was adjusting to being back at work from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. He was spending his day in childcare. I was no longer the sole provider of safety and security for him; another person was responsible for making sure he was happy, healthy and had a fully belly. This rocked me to my core. For the first few days, I kept a box of Kleenex close by my desk to catch the inevitable boohoo moments. I am slowly adjusting to the role of balancing motherhood and worker bee. This probably has to be the most emotionally challenging adjustment for me. I want nothing more than to be there for him to see every coo, cry and development. However, I know that I am doing the best thing for my family right now by working and building a nest egg so that we can live not lavishly, but efficiently and comfortably.

Tell me about how you have had to adjust to your new roles as a parent. What were the biggest surprises and changes that you had to make?

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When Mommy is Sick

mom

Babies still need mommy even when she is miserably sick. God bless you single mommies who battle on when you feel under the weather. I don’t know how you do it, but kudos to you. My husband wasn’t much of a helper, but he was a warm body for me to whine to and bring me drinks while I was down.

Now, I am a pretty healthy person. In fact, during my entire pregnancy with Shark Baby, I never missed a day of work for illness. I was lucky enough to avoid any sinus infection, flu, or other bug that plagued my office and home life.
But, after being back in the germ-filled petri dish that is my office less than three weeks, I have been knocked down for the count.
On Thursday evening, I came home from work and started playing with the boy. I felt great, but by the time I needed to put him into the bath and get him ready for bed that all changed. I was achy, cold and miserable. It felt like someone had stripped me of every ounce of energy I stored in my body.
I felt magically better on Friday so I went to work and felt fine. But, Saturday morning rolled around and it was obvious the sickness was still here. Shark Baby had no clue. In fact, he was more than happy to wake up early and be in a wonderful mood. This did help me “fake it ’til I make it” all day. Well, except for when I finally was able to take a nap and he woke up screaming for a boob. Not a bottle. A boob. Husband tried the bottle and failed miserably. He has the patience of a two-year old anyway so I knew that wouldn’t work.
I managed to get some decent sleep (between the times I had to wake up to nurse SB and then ask hubby to roll over from snoring like a wild animal). I woke up on Sunday not 100%, but I attempted to make it to church. On the drive to church, I changed my mind and drove on to Target to get some meds.
WELL…wouldn’t you know that Target would be the place that SB finally realizes I am sick and wants to tell me that he is whiny too. I checked his butt, dry diaper. I checked his head, no fever. I tried to nurse. Nope. No boob. Guess who didn’t have a bottle with her? Guess who forgot the tummy drops? Yep. Guess who had a meltdown in Target and had to leave in a bucket of tears? Yep. This mommy.
I ended up getting hubby to take me to the walk in clinic yesterday because I thought it had turned into strep throat. My mouth was coated in white dots and it hurt like heck to swallow.
The nurse said the test was negative. Yay! Glad I spent $35 to hear it was negative. I really wanted something to make me feel better. I guess it is just a virus that will have to run its course.
But, at least I did get some popsicles brought to me in bed by the hubby. And I woke up to a happy baby who wanted lots of cuddles and love. I think cuddles are really the best medicine. It does make any sick mommy feel better.

It’s a Balancing Act

elephant balance

Everyone tells you that parenthood will change your life forever. When you are pregnant, all you hear is “Blah, blah, blah. Rainbows and butterflies. It will be the best time of your life. It will be the worst time of you life. Blah. Blah. Blah.”
Until that day comes, you are never fully prepared to be a parent. You can read every book on every aspect of parenting a child, but until he or she is actually in your arms it is all just theory. No amount of friendly advice, book reading or parenting classing will prepare you for your child.
I have a small army of nieces and nephews (12 to be exact) that I thought prepared me quite well for being a mommy. I have changed many a poopy diaper, calmed colicky babies, kissed boo-boos, wrangled unruly toddlers, etc.
While it did give me some insight on how to make sure the diaper was on the right way, it did not prepare me for learning how to live life with this new tiny human. My whole life now has a new axis. It no longer revolves around what I want to do in my free time, it revolves around making sure this little one is fed, burped, cleaned and loved to the best of my ability.
The love part came naturally. From the moment the midwife placed him on my chest, it was true love. I suspect it will remain that way until they put me six feet under.
What is more challenging, is learning how to effectively do all of the stuff I did before becoming mommy. You know, like showering, eating a meal, exercising, having an adult conversation. Thankfully, my husband has flexibility with his job that allows him to work from home some days and on others have more flexible hours. This has allowed me to transition into mommyhood a little bit more smoothly. He has held Shark Boy while I was able to get a shower. He has been gracious enough to fix my plate for me so I can nurse and eat at the same time.
I am still trying to balance the exercise thing. One would think that when baby naps would be a great time to get in your 30 minutes of exercise on DVD. Not always. Cranky baby is cranky. That 30 minutes with Shaun T becomes 55 minutes because you have to change a diaper or try to nurse baby back to sleep. Or you say “Whatever!” and give up for the day. You stay in your workout clothes so your husband thinks you are Super Mommy who can balance all of these things.
Well, I am Super Mommy. Shark Boy thinks so even if there are days that I feel more like the evil villain who has been defeated by the superhero baby.