Monday, November 9, 2009

What No One Told Me About Motherhood... (Oh, and I'm back)

After an extended hiatus, I'm back! No real reason for the hiatus, I just felt like I had nothing interesting to say. However, today, as I was unloading the dishwasher during the baby's nap, it hit me.

I needed to blog. There was something that came bubbling to the surface that I NEEDED to express. So without further ado, I bring you- What No One Told Me About Motherhood.

During your first pregnancy, (if you're like me anyway) you DEVOUR books about pregnancy and motherhood. You read what's happening to your body every week, what is developing on the baby every week, and then as the due date nears, you start reading about how to deal with your little bundle when it arrives. How to breastfeed, how to calm them down, how to get them to sleep (and also, if you're like me, you CONTINUE reading those books until they just. go. to. sleep. and. stay. that. way. already.).

Anyway, you also talk, a lot. You talk to your parents, your friends with kids, your relatives with kids, anyone who has some experience in the matter, trying to glean whatever wisdom you can get from anyone who will talk about it with you. So for me, by the time the baby was about to come, I felt like I had pretty much gotten the low down on everything. I didn't feel CONFIDENT, mind you, because I knew I was the one who had to put those ideas and techniques into practice, on very little sleep and with large amounts of hormones running through my system, making me feel crazy.

I thought I knew most of what I was going to be dealing with. 9 months later though? I realize that I knew NOTHING. Sure, I figured out the logistics, when to put them in the crib, when to start solid food, et cetera et cetera. There were lots of things no one told me!

1. That bringing that baby home was going to be just the start of your life completely and totally being turned upside down on a daily, if not hourly, basis. You will NEVER be able to think about yourself first ever again.

2. That depending on the person you are and the type of metabolism you have (thanks a lot mom) it's a LOT harder to lose the baby weight than you could ever imagine. Books make it sound like "oh, breastfeeding burns so many calories, it really is a good way to lose that extra weight" A big Phbbbtt to all of that. Breastfeeding also makes you hungry. REALLY freaking hungry. All. The. Time.

3. No matter how hard you try, at a certain point, your house will NOT be as clean as it used to be, nor as orderly. We have maids that come in and clean... MAIDS, people- and still- the next day? You can't even tell they've been here. And now that B's favorite activity is taking things out of the toy box as Mommy tries to put them in, and generally causing destruction and mayhem wherever he goes (and he goes a LOT of places- that little bugger is FAST)... it's incredibly hard.

4. How hard it is to get dressed, shower, get out of the house, and go somewhere. Seriously- I was a "Give me 5 minutes, I'll be ready" type of gal before I had a baby- Now it's turned into, "Please just sit here and play for 2 seconds while I take this clean shirt out of the closet, take off the one that has sweet potatoes down the front from you spitting your lunch all over me, and put the clean one on so people at the grocery store don't think I've completely lost my marbles, although it feels like I have." I get in the car, drive away, and don't realize until I'm halfway to wherever I'm going that I forgot to brush my teeth, or brush my hair, or cover up that gigantic red pimple that has suddenly appeared on my chin.

5. The Mommy Guilt. There is guilt over everything! Am I playing with him too much, and not letting him foster his independence, am I not playing with him enough and making him feel neglected, should I let him cry in his crib, should I not, is he eating enough, is he eating too much, is he eating something that's not good for him????? And on and on it goes.

6. That one little smile makes it all worth it, no matter how hard it is. All the nap failures, all the crying and hard days are negated by that one little look, that one little smile or giggle, and you know that you want to do it all over again tomorrow. Being a parent is by far the hardest thing I have ever done, but it makes me feel more fulfilled on a daily basis than any other job I've ever had.

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