I’ve officially been a mom to a living, breathing baby of my own flesh and blood for a full month. It has been an emotional roller coaster every single day. Here are the top five things I’ve learned so far.
1.) I’m tired boss. “Sleep don’t come easy… Booooy please believe me! / Since you’ve been home, everything’s going wrong…” or whatever Mary J. said. The advice to sleep while your baby sleeps is a cruel joke somebody needs to be slapped for. For one, when Carter is sleeping, I’m tiptoeing around the house trying to showerEATcleanRELAXblogSOCIALIZE and by the time I get my lil’ tasks done he’s up ready to eat again. The crazy part is I’ve just about adjusted to sleep deprivation. When I do get some shut eye, it’s with one of them open cause I’m making sure he’s breathing correctly, comfortable, on his back and not on the verge of waking up prematurely. My advice is to sleep well before you have children.
2.) My tidy standards have got to relax. I am a person who loves and needs order. Things being in their proper place literally make my heart smile. My house has been in shambles half the time since Carter arrived! If you know me, you know how disturbing this is for me. BUT I don’t have the time or the energy as I’m still adjusting and healing. I’ve had to be okay with dishes in my sink and things out of place or I’d go crazy (as I did initially). Bae picks up some slack, but he’s adjusting as well. I tell you what stays in order though; all of son’s things. Everything is neat and in its place. It’s his world, we just live in it obviously.
3.) Breastfeeding sucks. Yea, I said the shit. I know the chocolate milk momma’s might be on my heels for this, but I don’t care! Part of the problem is I thought I was getting my body back after labor. NOPE! Every time I look up my titty is in this boy’s mouth! It seems he does not stop eating and it can be overwhelming. I was not prepared, and the experience was severely underestimated. Due to the Rona, I couldn’t take the classes that might’ve better equipped me and the things I’ve read did it no justice. It’s shoved down your throat that it’s the best thing for the baby, which cannot be denied. But it’s mentally and emotionally taxing and that’s the part that’s left out. Then apparently at three weeks, babies have a growth spurt and eat more. This is seemingly impossible until you see that it’s indeed possible. It can make doing any and everything challenging and help feel like no help at all. I’ve once again had to relax my standards and find what works for me. We are currently moving towards half breast and half bottle feeding for the sake of my sanity and nipples. The goal is for Carter to exclusively be on breast milk without wearing momma out in the process. I realize everyone’s experience is different, so it is not my intent to deter anyone. This is only my truth.
4.) Grace and patience are not just for the child, it is also for my partner and especially for me. I’ve shed so many tears in the past four weeks. I know there’s no such thing as a perfect mom, but I want to get as close as possible! Unrealistic expectations can only lead to great disappointment though. I’ve got to take this day by day. Even as I write this blog, I recognize that it may come off as a bunch of complaints. As a woman who’s lost a child and been given a second chance at motherhood, we often feel like we aren’t allowed to display anything but joy and gratefulness. But we’re human. Being a mom is tough and previous loss does not silence or blind you, it actually makes you that much more aware of every detail. I don’t have to overcompensate and feign my happiness to prove my gratitude for my child. I have bad days like everyone else. I had to learn this. Shedding guilt and navigating new and old feelings. It’s still a process.
5.) I have one job. Everything else is now an extension of that job. I have become an essential worker! Carter is the center of my universe and even with all the challenges, my world is a much brighter, beautiful place with him in it. My gratitude is shown in how I care for and love him for the rest of our lives. Thank God for his mercy and favor wrapped in the flesh of this perfect little boy. What a gift to finally be able to say this without sadness or pretense: Happy Mother’s Day to me. 😊