What's that up at the top? "Kate Hawkins Photography"? Well, I'm not working, because I have a 3 month old. So here's a post dedicated to that 3-month old. If you don't like talk about babies, or baby poo, or childbirth, or sleepless nights, or other fun things like that....turn back now ;)
Once upon a time, I pinned (yes, all you non-Pinterest [aka CRAZY] people, "pinned" is now a verb) a link to an article called, "Ten Things No One Told Me (about childbirth). And then 1500 people re-pinned it (yep, "re-pinned" is ALSO now a verb. Don't believe me? Check a dictionary. Ok, that was a bluff...don't check the dictionary), because, basically, I pin the best stuff, and the chick who wrote it (www.pregnantchicken.com) could very well be my new best friend. So I decided to write my own little version:
Things People DO Tell You About Having a Baby...But You Don't Believe.
1) Free Time basically ceases to exist.
Taking a 5 minute bathroom break becomes something akin to "recess". Telling J, "You're in charge; I'm going upstairs to pee" feels like I'm on vacation. Sometimes, I pretend I'm having a loooong bathroom break, when in reality I'm alphabetizing the books on my nightstand, or color-coordinating my closet (again), or re-folding all the socks in my sock drawer, or doing other ridiculously stupid things...not because I have OCD, but because it's really, REALLY nice to not feel "in charge"...even for just 5 minutes :)
2) You Will Never Sleep (or, never sleep THE SAME) Again.
Let it be known, my daughter has been sleeping through the night since she was 7 weeks old. More recently, she's started sleeping ELEVEN hours instead of EIGHT. REGARDLESS...sleep will never be the same. She's a noisy sleeper, and I think I actually end up getting LESS sleep than the parents of a quiet sleeper who wakes up twice a night to feed. Jamie can get called into work, snowmobiles can start right outside my bedroom windows... a bomb could probably go off in my bedroom and I wouldn't wake up: but one little cough or gurgle over the monitor (and there are a LOT from Miss N!) and I'm almost out of bed, as awake as if I'd just downed five or six Redbulls. (Not that I drink Redbull...I DON'T...after all, I'm breastfeeding. I stay away from energy drinks, and all soda, and coffee. Well, let's just say I stay away from 1/3 of the things I just listed...)
3) Cherish Your Showers.
And I don't mean your Baby Showers (although those are lots of fun too). This started immediately after Baby N was born: That first shower, with my semi-reliable Epidural legs, felt so amazing, a feeling that was topped only by the feeling of finally being able to sleep comfortably on my stomach again.
Sometimes, I just stand in the shower and do nothing. I wish there was a "pre-shampoo" and a "Second Conditioner"...so that I'd have an excuse to shower longer. Sometimes I consider shaving my legs, but that just feels like so much work. Maybe someday, you'll be able to hire people to shave your legs for you.
4) You WILL Figure It Out As You Go.
I SO thought I was going to be a "scheduled" sort of mom. While I was pregnant, I read all the "necessary" books (what pregnant women did before these books were written, I'll never know. HOW did we survive, without the knowledge that sleeping on our backs might cause us to pass out??)
Someone recently asked me what sleep plan I used to get Nya sleeping so well at night. I responded, "The kind where, when she cries to eat, I feed her. And if she doesn't cry to eat...I don't feed her..." Really, quite complicated ;) I'm learning that my Tiny Human will tell me what she needs. She'll let me know if she's too warm, too tired, too hungry.
Since having Baby N, I have read zero baby books. She was easy: she put HERSELF on a 3-hour feeding schedule right from Day 1. Now, if she was a baby who's goal in life was to eat every hour, for an hour at a time, it may have been a very different story, and this relaxed, "just go with it" Momma would quickly have discovered the need to implement a feeding schedule, which leads me to #5....
5) Every Baby Is Different.
It's so simple, that it had me all confused. But it's true. Baby N is going to act, and react, differently than Babies A, B, and C (see what I did there? So clever...so very clever.) And likewise, every Mommy is different. I have friends who would answer every baby question I threw their way with an opinion, followed by, "But it'll probably be different for you; every baby is different. Do whatever you feel is best." Appreciated...SO very much appreciated! A huge learning curve, for me, has been realizing that there isn't just one "right way". If my baby is healthy, and my baby is happy, than THAT'S the right way.
Huh. So simple. Who would've thought.
6) Your baby will be a GENIUS. Oh, and a supermodel.
I sincerely thought I would be the first Momma to ever NOT walk around with a pair of Baby-Goggles on (think of Beer-Goggles...only minus the alcohol, and only messing with your vision when looking at your baby). I was mistaken. For instance. If only someone could record us when we see Nya smile, or coo, or pout. Even though we knew those things would happen eventually, it's honestly as if it's some sort of huge shocker to us: "LOOK! Our baby is SMILING!!! She must be the first baby in the history of the world to EVER DO THIS!!!!!" And then, of course, I must announce her most recent achievement on Facebook. You know, because if I don't TELL people, they'll never know that babies can smile ;)
As far as I'm concerned, our little Nya IS the most gorgeous baby ever to be born. and she IS brilliant. If you ask me, the only reason she's not rolling over yet, is because she's smart enough to know she wouldn't be as comfortable on her tummy, anyway (see? BRILLIANT, I tell you).
7) Being a Momma is really, really, RIDICULOUSLY fun.
Ok, so I didn't really "not believe" this one, but I guess I didn't realize just HOW much fun it would actually be. Like, on a scale of 1 to AWESOME, I thought it would rate about a 7 or 8, and that those missing points would be made up by other great things...like love for the baby, and such ;)
I am CONSTANTLY amazed at how much fun I have with that Tiny Human. It's fun to try new outfits on her. It's fun to nurse her, while she makes little faces at me, and tries (and fails) to eat and smile at the same time. It's fun to take her picture (as evidenced by my enormous and, I'm sure, slightly annoying photo albums on Facebook). It's fun to show her off to people. and as much as I always want to stay in bed just FIVE MORE MINUTES in the mornings, it's SO much fun to go into her room, and see her smiley little face grinning up at me. That just lights up my heart.
From what I can figure out, no matter when people tell you beforehand, I don't think anyone is really "ready"...especially for the less fun stuff. Because let's be honest here: no one WANTS the less fun stuff. If we could take a poll, I'm sure every single person would rather sleep through the night, every night...and eat supper while it's still warm...and never EVER touch a slimy, sticky, yellow and green poo diaper. I'm sure every Momma (like me) would love to have 10 minutes to herself during the day to do something other than fold laundry or empty the dishwasher. And I'm quite sure no sane woman actually looks forward to pushing a whole PERSON out her lady business. So the best I can figure, is that a baby is kind of like a new coffee maker. But a really nice, top of the line one...like an expensive expresso-maker. It's a novelty; something new we can show of to our friends. The only difference is that by the time the new-appliance smell has worn off your Baby, and the actual reality of the next few years of sleepless, cold-supper, poo-filled days and nights sets in...it's far too late. You're already completely, irreversibly, HOPELESSLY in love.