I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since Baby Asher joined (and rocked) our world. So much has changed since his arrival. In fact I write this in bits and pieces via iPhone during late night feedings. Prior to his arrival, we had a lot of information and prep classes available to us. Upon delivery, we received more information on what the first two weeks would look like and tips to cope. I completely appreciated the advice but also found that it created some low grade anxiety. I would succumb to a “the book says” rationale and not rely on my own instincts. As a result, I have developed a list of my learnings from that first two weeks to help manage (and hopefully help other soon-to-be mothers’) expectations.
1. No, I will not sleep when the baby sleeps. Lack of sleep is one of the big things parents warn new parents about. Therefore, it is important to nap when baby sleeps and forget your chores. I found this advice very difficult to follow. I am not much of a napper and found myself getting stressed out about trying to sleep. Despite the lack of sleep at night, I am wide awake during the day and, for the moment, enjoy using Asher’s nap time to catch up on other things. I have decided to embrace this urge and rest only when I feel sleepy.
2. Yes, I will shower every morning. After the first couple of days at home, waking up and frantically making sure he eats, I have have decided going a day without a shower was doing me mental harm. The world seems more manageable after a warm shower so I found a routine to shower after the first morning feeding (see lesson #1).
3. You will eventually flip out on a family member trying to help or cry uncontrollably or both…and it’s okay. Let’s face it, you delivered a baby, your hormones are all over the place, you are sleep deprived trying to figure out how to care for another human, and dealing with others who aren’t normally in your home. That is a lot to handle! After talking to my sister and hearing anecdotes about others having a similar breakdown made me feel a whole lot more normal. So I am here telling you it’s NORMAL.
4. I get why parents take so many pics of their baby. Other than the cuteness that overwhelms you that you just have to share, I have learned that parents are an absolute hot mess as they adjust to life with a newborn – pay no attention to celebrities as they aren’t real humans. I felt that my body was proportional during pregnancy, but not so much after delivery considering the baby is gone but the insulation is still there. There were times where I didn’t recognize myself and that was (and is) tough. To keep everything in perspective, remind yourself that you just brought forth life! Give your body the credit it deserves and gradually you will look and feel like your old self again.
5. Love and be kind to your body, it created and continues to nourish a new life. As a continuation of the learning in lesson #4, I am amazed at what a woman’s body is capable of. We incubate a new life form, deliver it into the world, and then feed and nourish it. It makes me appreciate my body in whatever shape it’s in and remind myself to take care of me be it a pedicure, a hot shower (as stated in lesson #2), or dessert.
6. Be thankful for the top knot and messy braid trend. This may seem random but I am grateful for hairstyle trends that are tousled and unkempt. This way I “do” my hair every morning and feel a little pulled together, even if I don’t leave the house.
For moms out there, what lessons have you learned along the way?