Yes, its only been four weeks, but there are a few things I’ve learned in my very short stint of motherhood. I thought I’d share…
Baby wearing rocks.
Its great for having some mobility while the baby sleeps… I’ve done dishes, laundry, and gone grocery shopping all with the babe strapped in her Mei Tai. One thing that doesn’t lend itself to baby wearing, however, is eating dinner. This babe often ends up smelling of parmesan cheese after my nightly dinner of pasta with butter and cheese as some of it inevitably ends up dropped in her hair. But hey, she sleeps thru it so what do I care? A little parmesan-cheese-scented-baby is a small price to pay for a peaceful, uninterruped dinner.
Pacifiers can be a thing of beauty.
Those silly, but oh-so-important-at-the-time rules I invented pre-baby somehow go right out the window when you’re in the thick of it and are looking for anything ANYTHING to quiet a screaming baby. Like, say its 11pm and your baby has been screaming for hours and sucking at your boob for an equal number of hours just to soothe herself… your resolution to never use a pacifier before she hits the one month mark (as all the lactation books instructed) goes RIGHT out the window – as you find yourself digging thru the nursery closet searching for that ONE pacifier your sister insisted you buy “just in case” – and thank god she did. Because there I stood the other night night, at 11:30pm counting down the five minutes of required sterilization time to get our lone pacifier clean and ready to throw in this kid’s mouth. And it worked like a charm. My ears (and nipples) were given a miraculous reprieve from the screaming kid. The pacifier = my new best friend. And my “no pacifier rule” is a distant memory as the babe silently sucks on her new best friend.
“Whatever works”… is my new motto.
I thought I’d never let my baby rock to sleep in an automatic swing, fall asleep on me and sleep for hours stuck to my chest, or any other number of “don’ts” that the baby sleep books instruct. But again, when you just want your baby to stop crying and sleep, whatever works. Whether its walking her around the block in her stroller for hours, throwing her at your husband so she can get a few hours of blissful sleep on his shoulder, or busting out a boob for her to suck on even when she’s not hungry, just to get her to sleep. I figure, she’s still little. I’ll have all the time in the world later for sleep discipline. Procrastination and delusion are my other new best friends.
We make plans and God laughs
or, expect the unexpected. Like when you buy an entire oh-so-adorable newborn wardrobe, knit endless newborn sweaters, sleep sacks, and booties, and plan an entire month worth of blog-worthy photos of your newborn in her adorable new outfits – and your baby is born with hip dysplasia and has to wear an all body harness from her shoulders to the tips of her toes – and you realize that the only clothing this child will wear for the first 6-12 weeks of her life will be white snap tees with a diaper. And yes, yes, I’m super thankful that they discovered the hip condition and as inconvenient as it is, at least there’s a relatively painless way to remedy it – and the babe doesn’t seem to mind her little jumpsuit at all. But oh, all those clothes, all those adorable hand knits, that this kiddo will never wear. It sort of breaks this crafter-mama’s heart. But, its life, right? I have a healthy, beautiful baby daughter and am oh so ridiculously grateful just to be able to stare at her precious (when she’s not screaming) face and experience first time motherhood with just the most amazing little person in my life. And who are we kidding, the babe is probably loving life now that she’s unable to play dress-up-doll for her crazy mama who, given her druthers, would have her wearing at least 4 different outfits every day. And, there’s a lot less laundry this way – way to look on the bright side.
I’d rather sleep than eat.
When its 8pm and I finally get the babe down to sleep and I realize I haven’t eaten anything since noon when I scarfed down a few granola bars over the kitchen sink, I think about what I could/should eat for dinner, and then take two sips of wine and curl up into bed for at least 2 hours until the hubs brings me the babe for her 10pm feeding. Yeah, sleep trumps food these days.
This is hard.
Being a new parent is a lot of work. My vision of sitting on the front porch in my rocking chair with the babe asleep in her bassinet at my feet while I drink tea and knit doesn’t exactly dovetail with reality right now. Which included me having a full blown panic attack on day 5 of this babe’s life – scared that I had no idea what I was doing and was going to screw this baby up before she was even a week old. But, then I take a deep breath, look at this precious babe and realize just how blessed I am to have this amazing little being in my life. Even on the most sleepless of nights. Truly blessed.