Motherhood is not as I’d pictured it. Taking care of a baby is easier (in many ways) than I had been led to believe (thanks Mom). However there are many things I did not anticipate, particularly my own feelings toward the changes in my life. I have gone from dreading it to loving it. This is the magic of motherhood.
1. Life slows down
Perfection goes out the window. I am late for practically everything. My house is never clean. I have become the queen of unfinished projects. “It can wait until tomorrow” is what I constantly tell myself.
My son’s schedule is approximate. I let him wake when he wants and sleep when he is tired. He will frequently demand my attention and – even if he doesn’t – I treasure any opportunity to spend quality time with him. “Me” times are coffee in the morning and evenings after he goes to bed. By then, I am so mentally tired that I just want to relax.
We do go out, but not everyday. Most activities are optional. If he is cranky or tired, I keep him home and wait for sunnier dispositions.
It’s a change of pace from my pre-baby life, and I love it.
2. Expensive baby items are not worth it
I have seen parents spend insane money on new baby stuff and it is completely unnecessary. They outgrow their clothes in only a few months. Dollar store washcloths are THE BEST washcloths as they are thin and soft to fit inside baby’s mouth to wash their gums. My stroller/carseat combo was only $250 from Costco, it is practical and lightweight and I am thanking my stars I didn’t spend more since it wears quickly with everyday use. I switched to the Kirkland brand of diapers only to discover I have been overpaying for Pampers and Huggies.
Overspending is silly, and will not make you a better parent.
3. You hate to be away from them
When I was pregnant I spent 9 months grieving the loss of my freedom only to look into my newborn son’s eyes and realize it wasn’t an issue. While I enjoy a few hours of “freedom” or alone time with my fiance, I simultaneously miss my baby and can’t wait to get home to his cuddles and smiles. I enlist babysitting services much less than I originally envisioned, and I am completely okay with it.
4. Annoying advice doesn’t stop, it gets worse
Pregnancy is the first taste of unsolicited parenting advice. Unfortunately, people only become more intrusive and the boundary-setting is endless. They comment on if he is too cold or hot, his weight, breastfeeding vs. formula, and so on. Most of it is friendly. All of it is annoying.
5. They always come first
I am keenly aware that – until my son reaches adulthood – I will always have a little person’s needs to consider before my own. No matter what I am doing, I am constantly thinking of him at the same time. Did he eat? Did he get enough sleep? Is he happy?
THAT’S ALL FOLKS!
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