Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Things I've Learned Post-Baby....

It is 1 pm.  My (almost) 7-month-old is taking his afternoon nap.  I'm drinking an apple martini.  Keepin' it real over here...

So I've actually deleted and restarted this blog about 3 times since this morning.  I can't figure out the right way to start it.  I feel like I have a lot to say, but not sure how to put it.  I don't want to write a preachy blog or a "how-to" blog.  I don't want to get on a soapbox.  I just want to write some things I've experienced these last few months that might sound halfway original.  Bear with me.

Since becoming a mom not only have I learned that I am much more capable of anything I ever imagined (for instance, my child is still alive), I've learned that I definitely don't do well with change.  In fact, it flat-out depresses me.  I've learned that I still miss my old life in so many ways.  And I've also learned that my life is, in so many ways, better now than it ever has been or will be.  Other things I've learned...

1. People will judge you when you become a mom.  And you will judge other moms too.  I said I would never do it, but oh do I ever.  Let's face it, if it's not the way you would do it, you make a judgement.  It's not because you're a jerk.  It's because you're human.  Or, worse yet, you feel guilty because you don't do it the same way they do it.  "Is their way the right way?"  "Wait...is that the way I should be doing it too?"  are just a few of the many thoughts that will flood your mind on a daily basis.  It's maddening.  The only way to tune them out is just to stick to your guns.  Don't let the methods of other parents make you feel like your methods are wrong.

2. There are people out there who put their kids first and they will not understand when you tell them your kid(s) come second.  I think it's a controversial topic when it comes to the issue of whether or not your kids should come first before your spouse.  But my husband and I both firmly believe that we should put each other first.  We still go on dates without our child.  We have conversations that don't include our child.  We still sleep in the same bed.  We enjoy each other's company.

3. You will talk about poop more than you ever thought possible.  It's true.  You'll talk about how many times your child has pooped.  You'll talk about it when he doesn't poop.  You'll talk about the texture, the smell, and everything else pertaining to poop.  And it won't be weird.

4. There are people out there who think they have the duty to drop off the face of the earth once their child is born and you will either join them or not join them.  It's a choice you make and there are many who will try to tell you what choice you should make....Usually it's the ones who disappear that will tell you you have no choice but to join them.  You can choose whether your life stops after you have a baby or not.  There are a gazillion mommy blogs out there that go on and on about how life isn't the same and how you never have time to shower or put on makeup or sleep or complete a sentence.  I'm sure that's true for some, but it's because they're making a choice.  And it works for them.   If they didn't want a ton of kids they wouldn't have had them.  You can have kids and still have a life too.  You can drink a glass of wine.  You can take a shower.  You can put on makeup.  You can complete a sentence.  You can also have friendships too.  You can have girls' nights and couples' nights and double-dates and game nights.  It can be done!  I ran into a friend that I hadn't seen in years at a store.  I made a comment to them about how we never get together anymore and we needed to change that.  Their response was, "Well, we have kids now."  See what I mean?

5.If it works, it works.  I don't have a manual to refer to when it comes to figuring out how to handle my baby and neither does anyone else.  But once you find something that works, you should keep doing it.  No matter what anyone else tells you you should be doing.

And that's about all I can come up with right now.  Original?  Probably not.  But honest, yes.  For me to say which way is the right way is doing what I don't like being done to me.  However, if there is one thing I will preach it is this:  Don't let having a baby take over your life in such a way that you lose yourself.  It doesn't have to be that way.  You aren't "sacrificing" your identify when you become a mom.  I think many moms have a misconception that once they have a child they have to give up absolutely everything they did before in order to do what's best for their child.  NO!  Not true.  Trust me, don't do it.  Be yourself.  Let your child see who you are.  And you'll be all the better for it.