I Love My Baby, But…
September 11, 2013
My husband, Brian, is a stand up comic in NYC. Since we got married in October, I’ve been to every one of his shows. When Clark was born, he took time off to help me adjust into my new routine with the baby. Tonight is his first show back.
And I won’t be going.
I love my baby, but I’m pretty bummed that I won’t be able to see my husband perform tonight. I’m not upset about having a baby or staying home with him. No.
I’m upset because I think it’s finally hit me: I’m a mom. And I don’t know if I like that title.
I want to believe that being a mom doesn’t have to mean being “boring”. But, today, it doesn’t feel like that’s possible. Today, I feel exhausted. I feel frumpy. I feel old. In every sense of the word, I feel boring. What I most anticipate this evening is Clark taking a long enough nap for me to clean the entire apartment. And, even as I typed that sentence, my inner-self smirked a judgmental “Pathetic!” at my own life.
Today, Clark is 6 weeks old. I have to keep reminding myself that 6 weeks is not a very long time. While he’s become such a massive part of my life, he’s still learning and still entirely dependent on me (and Brian. And anyone within earshot. Or, now, eyesight). Things will get easier. I will feel more like myself.
Eventually, Clark will sleep through the night (for real). Eventually, I will get back to the gym. And, soon enough, our apartment will be clean again (once Clark takes a nap, that is).
For now, I have to do what seems impossible and just relax. I have to trust that this is only temporary. I have to trust that there will be more happy days ahead of me. I have to believe that my Manhattan nights with Brian aren’t over. And, I have to make room for new adventures. New ideas of fun. New ways to get a thrill. For Clark, everything is new and exciting. And, for me, as a mom, I should look at it that way, too. Because, I’ve never done this before. And I’m learning, too.
And, if I can’t spend the night with my handsome husband, am I really disappointed that I’m going to be spending it with this handsome little guy instead?
The Little Things…Like Feeding Yourself
September 10, 2013
While I’m sure there’s nothing extraordinary about my lack of free time as a new mom, it certainly is unfamiliar to me. When I was a student, and when I held a professional job, I always found a way to make my morning coffee and leisurely breakfast into my routine. Now that I have tiny human in my life, it seems like there’s never time for basic things, like breakfast.
In the past 24 hours, I have enjoyed only half a cup of coffee, and I can’t remember the last time I showered (actually, it was Sunday. I think.). Up until this week, I had been relatively good at juggling showers, meals, and down time for myself during Clark’s 3-4 hour naps. But, that all changed when Clark figured out that he, indeed, could interact with the world.
For the first few days, it was really exciting and adorable that Clark would stay awake during the daylight hours. I’ve spent an embarrassing amount of time just watching his big, unknown-color eyes inspect our apartment. He looks at everything. Always. Constantly.
It was also particularly satisfying to see him start smiling socially. And, by socially, I mean any time he sees my face, hears my voice, or sees his daddy, Brian. If either of us are around, his little face lights up, and he starts cooing.
He really is adorable. And he’s a great baby. He never cries. So where does all the time go?
Once I sit down, I feel immobilized. Insomniac. Inhuman. Before I know it, a little grunt and the slight twitch of a lip disturb my stare down with the wall (which, for the record, I was totally winning).
I’m constantly exhausted. But it’s worth every aching moment for the little things, like a subtle cuddle or a playful bath. And, while you sit there amazed by the little things, you learn to appreciate the small things – like half a cup of coffee, a four-minute shower, and two bites of a breakfast sandwich.
The Mayo Clinic Said It’s Okay
September 6, 2013
This morning, Brian (my husband) had to leave early for class. I must admit, I’ve gotten very comfortable with Brian being home 24/7, but the paternity-leave-fantasy-world I’ve been living in has come to an end. Boo.
So, without any pumped milk, in a panic to feed a fussy baby, I grabbed some ready-made formula from the fridge, poured it into a bottle, and fed it to Clark.
Yes, you read that correctly. I fed my baby cold formula. I fed Clark formula. And he made this face:
And I freaked out. Was it okay to feed a baby cold formula?
Dr. Google to the rescue. The Mayo Clinic said it’s perfectly fine. Heart attack averted.
It’s funny how being a parent will make you second guess the smallest things. Like giving a human being milk that isn’t warm. Because no one ever drinks cold liquid. And babies are not people. Wait, what?
Yes, there are things you can’t feed an infant. But, breast milk and formula are safe. Whether hot or cold. For the most part. As long as you don’t go to a keg-er, then feed your baby. Or leave formula at room temperature for two hours. And I’m pretty sure the list goes on and on.
There’s a reason the paranoid parent stereotype suits the majority of new moms and dads. And, while our intentions are good, being full of anxiety can actually hinder your parenting abilities. If you’re not able to relax and think clearly, you could end up doing crazy things. Or being an insomniac. When it comes to parenting in the 21st century, there’s an app for that. And a baby monitor to soothe your maniac mind.
Nest? I Still Have Nine Days For That.
July 17, 2013
My due date is July 26th. Today is July 17th. Am I ready to bring a baby home?
Clearly, the answer is no. Pictured on the right is the bassinet portion of my baby’s pack and play, where he will be sleeping upon his homecoming, appropriately being used as a clothing drawer. You might think, “That’s not so bad, at least you washed the baby’s clothes!” And you would be thinking wrong. Because I didn’t wash my baby’s clothes. My husband did.
Moving on, I must warn you that the photo above is not the worst of what’s to come. Below, you will witness a horror so real and so vile that I will be shunned by the entire mommy blog community. Proceed with caution.
Yes. Yes, that is what you’re looking at: a naked boppy pillow, sprawled out and exposed on an undecorated baby mattress that is held by crib rails which are being used as a clothing racks.
But it gets worse. Much worse. That crib is in our bedroom.
Yes, it’s true. My baby does not have his own room. Even if I get everything done, I will never be able to Instagram photos of my son’s nursery (because he doesn’t have one).
And, finally, for the worst parental fail of all, the closet.
This is a closet shared by my husband, myself, and my baby. It holds my clothes, my husband’s clothes, and no baby clothes (but baby diapers, accessories, monitors, toys, and bath).
HOW WILL WE EVER SURVIVE?