This Sunday marks my first Mother’s Day as a mother. I repeat: I am someone’s mother. Bwahahaha! They should really have licenses to be parents.
As I look back at the nine months that have passed, I’ve learned more than five things. But you know, it’s the Friday Five. So there.
Five Things I’ve Learned As A New Mom
5. Poop is a big deal. You’ll never see poop the same again. I am always checking Baby Spawn’s poop. Did she poop? What did she poop? How often? What’s in it? It’s been nine months of checking for poop. I guess it doesn’t end…
4. It’s ok to ask for help, and it’s so very OK if that help is not your mother. In my case, I looked for a part-time nanny when I went back to work. Some people have families who live close by and can help them. Some people have that great relationship(s) with their families. That’s awesome if you’re one of them!
I wanted someone consistent, reliable and knowledgable about current parenting methods, namely RIE.
Plus I didn’t want to hire a relative I couldn’t fire. (Let’s be honest.)
3. You can get by with very little sleep. I mean, VERY LITTLE SLEEP. I’m amazed I am still standing. Two hours? Yeah, that sounds about right. Broken sleep all night? That’s my norm now.
This isn’t a boast. This is my reality right now. (See next bullet.)
2. Things change every day. Be nimble and pivot, pivot, pivot. The baby is constantly learning. Just yesterday, she walked with her Fisher Price lion walker! She also learned how to put the rings on the ring stack!!
That said, routines change. The baby is growing every day and she is going to do things or not do things different from yesterday. In the beginning, she napped every couple of hours. Then she went to three naps, and now two. I’ve been told she’ll drop again and only have to nap once a day after she turns a year. This all means you build your activities around nap time. Seriously. Do it or die.
For you, your body keeps changing. I’ve been trying to work out again and that has gotten me more tired (and energetic). My muscles are tired. My body is not as flexible as it was pre-pregnancy. I can barely do downward facing dog without something creaking.
1. You come out of this stronger and more confident. You are Mama Bear. Only you know your child. You know what’s best for her. You can appreciate others’ advice or stories about their kids. But only you know your child. This gives me the confidence to tell people to back the F off.
For example, New moms, people will shove rice cereal in your face at Month 4, so be warned. You don’t have to feed your baby rice cereal. Some babies don’t like it. Some babies aren’t ready. Have you tasted it? Tastes like crap. You are your baby’s last defense. Don’t fail your baby.
I think about this all the time. Don’t fail your baby. It makes me angry when I read stories about new moms who are upset or are in self-doubt because someone (usually ends with “…in-law”) does something to the baby. While relationships are important all around, nothing is more important than your baby and you know, keeping her alive and healthy. So be ready to get all Ripley on anyone.
I think there are plenty more lessons learned here. I’ll save them for a later post. For now those are my five for Friday.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the new mamas out there. You made it! Your baby made it! I wish you a block of uninterrupted rest.