I can’t really remember what I thought being a mommy would be like before I actually became one. maybe that it would be like babysitting, just 24/7? I don’t really think I had in mind that it would be A LOT of work. and I think I forgot that at the end of the night, I wouldn’t be driving home with $20 extra cash, to go sleep in my bed until whenever I wanted the next day. and I think I assumed that all my years of babysitting would prepare me for mommy life. let me tell you… NOTHING prepares you for mommy life!
the first month was relatively easy. breastfeeding was hard, but whatever I did, I always had an extra set of hands (between matt or my family visiting) to help me change diapers, feedings or just get some well-needed sleep. semi-reality set in when matt went back to work and I was home with a baby all by myself ALL DAY and ALL NIGHT. it was hard. all the days blurred together. and I RARELY got out of my pajamas. I constantly felt like I was failing as a mom. and then the end of january came and I had to go back to work and reality REALLY set in – so now I have to get up, get myself ready, get my baby ready and to the babysitter by 7:00 and into work by 7:30 and then attempt to maintain some sort of focus while at work and then race back to the babysitter to pick up my baby and then some how feed the baby, get dinner on the table, get the baby bathed and to bed and get everything prepped for the next day all without totally burning out before my head hit the pillow. oh and somewhere in there do the laundry, go grocery shopping, clean the house… by this point I was failing MISERABLY as a mom and wife. the fridge was empty. our “eating out” budget was WAY overspent. I was EXHAUSTED! everyone said it would get easier which just made me feel more like a failure.
since then, we have made A LOT of adjustments to make it easier. some of that has been logistical adjustments just to maintain some sort of sanity. but a lot of it has been an attitude adjustment for me. realizing that I don’t have to have it all together. realizing that pretending like I do is just WAY too stressful. realizing that being a parent takes A LOT of sacrifice. realizing that EVERYONE has an opinion and that I don’t need to take them personally. focusing on the fact that my baby hasn’t hit the next milestone yet ruins the wonderful moments right before my eyes today.
I’m still learning, but I have to say… 7 months later, things ARE getting easier! all the hard work and lack of sleep IS paying off. sure, there are things that I pictured would be different, but I’m learning not to dwell on those. instead, I am enjoying the way he smiles and shrieks when he sees me walk in the door. the way he buries his head into my shoulder right after he wakes up and then gives me the biggest smile to make me forget that it’s 4:00 in the morning. the way he laughs at my stupid games of peek-a-boo. the way he falls asleep in my arms to my out-of-tune, I-forgot-half-the-words songs. the way he says “mama mama mama mama”.
it’s SO worth it!