10 Things That No One Tells You When You Have a New Baby.

You just brought home your new bundle of joy! Congrats! Being a new parent is a whirlwind of emotions and can be quite overwhelming at times. There are so many books and resources out there that you may have read about your new baby, but there are some things people leave out when they talk to you about having a new baby, let me fill you in.

  1. Your belly is still going to look pregnant. It does go away eventually but for the time being avoid brutally honest preschoolers or that Uncle that thinks he is hilarious. “Yes, I’m positive there isn’t another one in there.”
  2. Forget that you own non-maternity jeans for at least the next 5 months. I’ll tell you right now, they aren’t going to fit well. Don’t bother trying them on because it will only add insult to injury. This is why elastic was invented. Use it to your advantage.
  3. There are going to be people that have ZERO boundaries when it comes to touching your baby. Wearing your baby is the easiest way to combat this BUT there will still be a select few (generally people you don’t know that well) that will put their hand on your child’s head, foot, etc. I have yet to come up with a tactful way to say, “Excuse me, your hand is less than one-inch from my boobs, what the heck are you thinking?” Let me know if you figure something out.
  4. Your baby will cry and need you at the most inopportune times. For example: when you sit down to a hot meal, when you answer a phone call, or when you are in the middle of washing your hair. However there will be times when they WON’T cry: when you get pulled over by the police, when a random stranger goes into great detail about their birth story, or when it’s your partner’s turn to wake up in the middle of the night with them.
  5. If you get invited to a trampoline park, a jump-a-thon, or a workout class that involves jumping jacks do yourself a solid and bring an extra pair of pants. You’ll understand why.
  6. Now is the time to pick a television series to watch. If you are breastfeeding you are going to have a lot of time to sit. It doesn’t have to be child-appropriate when it is your first born because those little eyes are only seeing your boobs and their own eyelids so they won’t be traumatized by Prison Break, House of Cards, etc. Live it up now because if you have subsequent children you are going to be feeding your child while watching Curious George.
  7. Accept help. If someone wants to bring you dinner, take it. If someone wants to fold laundry, let them. If someone wants to hold your baby while you take a shower for the first time in 3 days, let them.
  8. You are going to know things you had no prior knowledge of. It’s weird, but Mother’s intuition is a real thing. If you haven’t been around babies much this will almost feel like an out of body experience when you start spitting knowledge of your baby and what they need. Just go with it.
  9. They are more resilient than they appear. They won’t break by you putting clothes on them no matter how terrifying it is to pull clothes over a screaming newborn’s head but rest-assured you won’t do any permanent damage unless you are secretly the hulk. They also won’t tell their therapist when they are 30 about crying for 10 minutes while Mom finished taking a shower.
  10. Your brain is going to go on a vacation for the next couple of weeks. I’m not sure where it goes but it won’t be with you. You may have been forgetful during pregnancy “pregnant brain”, you’ll forever have “Mom brain”, but “newborn brain” takes the cake. For my firstborn I completely forgot it was my birthday; I was truly wondering what the heck all these alerts on my phone were. For my second child at his one-week well check I left my car running unattended in the parking lot (mind you, it is a Prius and makes no noise) for 1.5 hours. Now is NOT the time to defend your thesis or make life-altering decisions.

 

It gets better and don’t worry, you will block out the next couple of weeks because otherwise no one would do this again. Best of luck.

Not a baby person.

 

 

I’m not a baby person.

This is possible, even if you have kids. I have three. Still not a baby person. I just wish they came out walking, talking, and eating chicken nuggets.

Babies are boring. It’s ok if you feel this way too. They don’t do much. They can’t walk, talk, or even laugh for a long time. I remember being on maternity leave with Kate and feeling like I was losing my mind. I just needed to talk to someone about something other than sleeping, eating, pooping, etc. At the time I was coaching soccer and I was SO excited when the head coach I was working for called me because we could talk about starting lineup possibilities, how practice went that day, or just something other than babies.

Everyone does not feel this way about babies. I have a couple of friends that LOVE babies. Like a serious, if your baby cries at bible study I’ll just take them from you love. If you aren’t a baby person, you need some of these people in your life. Whenever I have a newborn and I am going somewhere where these friends are I just walk in and hand the baby over. We don’t even talk about this exchange, it just happens.

I feel like I hit my parenting stride around two. You can talk with them (pretty incoherently for a while), play, and you don’t have to carry them everywhere at this point. I’ll take an extra toddler on in a heartbeat, but an infant….you have to be super desperate or we are REALLY good friends.

I figured this would change after I had kids of my own, but turns out it hasn’t. If you have a new baby I am more than happy to bring dinner for you but I really don’t want to hold your baby. I don’t know what to do with your baby. Once they can talk and interact, let’s hang out.

Breastfeeding my own kids has really put a damper on my ability to care for someone else’s infant. This is the only way I know how to make a baby happy. Seriously. This was brought to my attention when I was watching a friend’s 8-week-old for a few hours. I could NOT get this child to stop crying. Definitely one of the most stressful times I’ve had as a parent. I felt like a first time Mom even though I had two kids of my own at the time. I have ZERO arsenal in baby comforting that doesn’t involve boobs.

If you have these same feelings it is ok. You aren’t a bad parent if you think your baby is boring. There will be an age that is your forte as a parent. I haven’t made it past a 4-year-old yet but toddlers are way more fun than a baby so it seems things can only get better. (Except I hear 13-18 is rough)

 

 

 

 

Learning on the job

When I became a Mom 4 and 1/2 years ago I had NO idea what I was doing. I legitimately had never changed a diaper in my life until Kate was born. My google cache’ the first two months of Kate’s life was nothing short of terrifying/hilarious and she pretty much only wore a diaper for her first few weeks of life because I did not know how to put clothes on a tiny human. I remember going to Kate’s one month check-up at the pediatrician (for which she received the best bath of her life) and when Clint asked me how it went afterwards my response was “They didn’t say anything about CPS or taking her away from us….so good, I guess?”

Becoming a Mom was/is the most terrifying and surreal experience of my life thus far. Sometimes I look in the rearview mirror in my van (cool is gone forever) and think “there is no way all of these small kids belong to me.” Turns out, they do.

So here is my not so sage advice for anyone about to become a mother, thinking about it, or for those that are overwhelmed by it…if I can do this, you can too. Here’s the things that make it possible:

  1. Coffee. This is real. I seriously have NO idea how non coffee drinkers function in society. I’d say my intake went up 150% upon having children.
  2. Jesus. Because I don’t have the love/patience/selflessness required to take care of someone 24/7, but he does.
  3. A smart phone with google. Everybody needs some web MD to reassure them that if their baby hasn’t pooped for 4 days that it isn’t going to start coming out their ears or something.
  4. One medical professional in your circle that can tell you off the books that it is just a rash and not the Ebola virus or malaria. (This will also save you a bundle)
  5. The assurance that everybody else is as clueless as you are. Being a parent has made me realize that even though I thought my parents knew what they were doing when I was growing up, they were just making it up as they went along like I am. If someone you know thinks they have it all together and knows how to be the perfect Mom they are LYING to themselves and you. I’ve come to the conclusion in my life that if you think you have your sh!% together then we have NOTHING in common and nothing to talk about.
  6. They don’t remember anything before they are 4 (at least in long-term memory). So if your baby cries it out for 20 minutes while you are in the shower or attempting to take a nap yourself they WILL NOT be able to talk to their therapist about it when they are 30! This is what I tell myself on rough days at least.
  7. Have an outlet that involves no children. Whether that is nights out with friends, going on long runs, bible studies that have childcare, etc. I have become a distance runner purely because no one is touching me when I am running.