Reflections. I’m almost to the one year mark. No, I’m not talking about my baby’s first birthday. It’s the one year mark of going back to work post-baby. I wrote this piece a few weeks before I returned to work (close to a year ago) and it still rings true…
Reflections on Becoming a Mom
Two and a half weeks. That’s how much longer I have left of my self-prescribed 10-week maternity leave. To say that I don’t want to go back to work is an understatement. I just want to soak up every second I can with my adorable little ever-demanding mini human who seems to grow and change every day.
Becoming a mom has been an experience that I tried to prep for through reading books and blogs, pinning helpful tips on Pinterest. But, I don’t think you can be 100% ready for what is thrown at you. Here are a few lessons I learned in my first few weeks as a mom.
From now on, baby shower presents from me will consist of diapers, wipes and some Aquaphor.
I used to be one of those people that was so excited to visit friends in the hospital as soon as a baby was born. What was I thinking? Though I experienced a smooth labor, it was still just that- labor. It was intense and exhausting. The hospital stay is a time for mothers to heal. My husband and I had the chance to learn how to nurse the baby before being sent home. I included my husband in that because his support was much appreciated (and very much needed). The hospital is not a time for new parents to entertain guests for hours on end. Not that I ever visited friends for hours on end…
Just don’t be offended when I give you a few weeks before coming to meet your new little one.
Breastfeeding is Hard
Spoiler alert- breastfeeding is not you standing in a green field with your long wavy hair blowing in the wind while your child gently suckles away. Breastfeeding hurts. It’s messy. It’s around the clock. Breastfeeding is easily one of the most complex tasks I have ever faced in my life. I was able to nourish my baby with milk I produced for one whole month while experiencing the trifecta of breastfeeding troubles: tongue-tie, infection and a milk protein allergy in the baby. Breastfeeding is hard. If this is the route you choose to nourish your child, consider each day an accomplishment.
If you ever want a lesson in humility, have a kid. From the healing process after delivery through sending my sister pictures of dirty diapers because I’m not sure if I should be concerned about the color and/or consistency, this whole experience has been one big fat lesson on humility. Babies do not come with manuals, but thankfully we do have Google these days.
And, even more so, I have my Mom and sister, who have both birthed 3 children each. I have told my Mom several times, I don’t know how her generation raised kids without Google. They just winged it and/or made it up as they went along…and I think my brother, sister and I turned out pretty ok. Prior to giving birth, I read blogs after blogs, articles after articles on how to raise a kid and formed these ideas in my head of how I wanted to raise my child. And, now, I admit that the answers aren’t always on the internet, even though whatever it is may be based on studies and research, etc, etc. Sometimes the tried and true methods my Mom used 30+ years ago are the answers that I need. And I just need to ask her for help.
Love at First Sight
I can’t say that I believed in love at first sight until that little baby was placed in my arms. I am a Pisces and by virtue, I’m a very emotional person. Knowing that, though, could not prepare me for the rush of emotions that I felt on the day my baby was born. From complete exhaustion to “I can’t believe this baby is finally in my arms,” the day was a roller coaster. One thing is certain, my heart was so full when I held that baby for the first time. Then and there, I believed in love at first sight. It does exist.
Are there any reflections you have on being a new mom?
…And Stay Tuned
Next up: Reflections on going back to work.