Just You Wait

I remember shortly after my first baby was born, I had just put her down for the night. My husband was out for the evening, so I was on my own. She was a bit fussy that night, but I threw on a little white noise {the rainstorm one. love it} and she was out in like 20 seconds. I proceeded to take a long, hot, beautiful shower. Which got me thinking: before I had my baby, I wondered when I would ever shower. I know it’s silly, but my only experience with kids was babysitting and nannying. And when I was with other people’s kids, it never occurred to me that I could shower at night after they went to sleep!!! It was a legitimate concern of mine that I would never shower again unless Bradley was home. I had so many concerns before B was born, so many worries {great and small} that  ultimately led me to believe I would be terrible at motherhood, or that at the very best it would just be a giant struggle.

I recently read an article somewhere that basically said that way too many people terrify pregnant moms with the threatening sentiments of “Just you wait! You’ll never sleep again! You’ll never go out again! You’ll never be skinny again! You’ll never poop without an audience again! You’ll never DO ANYTHING AGAIN!!!!!!” And you know what? Those people are just a bunch of liars.

I am the type of person who builds things up in my head to be a way bigger deal than they really are. Comments from the liars most certainly did not help me. Here are several concerns I had before B was born that just turned out to be either me giving in to other people’s negativity, or me just psyching myself out.

  1. That my husband and I would never have alone time again, and that everything we did or talked about for the rest of our lives would only be our children.

This is just completely ridiculous. I would cry my pregnant self to sleep some nights, worrying about this. Turns out that Bradley and I are the same people we were before our kids were born! Shocker! We still talk about our hopes and dreams before we go to bed at night. We still laugh about stupid SNL sketches that apparently no one else thinks are funny. We still argue about how to load the dishwasher {he is just so much more efficient, dang it!}. But now, we just have one more thing in common: our undeniable and unsurpassable love and obsession with our kiddos. We talk about them too. We laugh about when they fart at inappropriate times, learn to do new things, throw up in our mouths, and all of those pleasantries. We also get out quite a bit, which, to be fair, is easy for us because we live close to our parents, but I am not paranoid about leaving them with other people and they have early bedtimes so if I can find a babysitting we like, this isn’t too much of an issue.

  1. That I would never sleep again.

My sleep is very dear to me. I hardly slept at all both pregnancies. With my first, it got to a point where I would sometimes get only 20 minutes per night. On top of all of this, I kept getting comments like, “Well sleep up now, because you’ll never sleep again once that baby comes!” Ahem. No. B was and is a great sleeper, yes, but even so, I slept WAY better after she was born than I ever did pregnant. I had the same experience with my second baby too. Even if it was interrupted once or twice, at least there was sleep to interrupt! Plus I have a spouse {and you probably do too!} that loves me and realizes how very dear my sleep is. He always takes the first feeding in the morning so I can sleep in {and by that I mean past 5:30}. I don’t know why I imagined I would be doing all the nightly baby things myself, but I have a ton of help from my husband, and I sleep so much better now than I ever did pregnant. So don’t let that worry you either. You will sleep again!

  1. That I would be fat forever.

You know, they say “9 months on, 9 months off” about baby weight. I was frustrated at first because nursing wasn’t helping me lose weight like everyone said it would. I just stayed the same weight the whole time I nursed. Since I had to stop nursing at 2 months because of medical issues, I got on the ball and started working out and counting calories. By the time B was 5 months old I had lost it all. And I didn’t start working out till she was 2 months old! And 2 of those weeks I was on vacation! So really, the weight does come off. And if you work at it, it comes off rather quickly. I was back in my pre-pregnancy jeans at about 3 months. Granted, I needed to buy some tops that are a little more, how you say, flattering, for my new motherly shape {which can now appreciate. more on that another day}, but I’d say it’s a fair trade. It’s taking a bit longer with Oliver than with Bea, but I’m still way on track for the 9 months on, 9 months off philosophy.

  1. That I’d never leave my house again.

Ok I’ll admit this was still a concern of mine even after B was born. But that’s because it was winter and I had never done the newborn thing before! Duh! Of course I never left the house!  {No one leaves the house in a New England winter anyway…}. So that was rough. But, as soon as it got a bit warmer, I started taking that baby with me everywhere! With the first, it can be difficult, trying to figure out grocery carts and carseats, and “can I really take my stroller in there?” moments, but after a few weeks, I became a natural. You’ll figure it out. No one will be mad that your baby is with you. {unless you are at a movie and your baby is crying. then you will be run out of town. i do not take babies to the movies.} People love babies. You will be fine.

  1. That I would simply just not know what to do with them!

This was also a dumb worry. Just do stuff! Play with them, take them places, read to them, do tummy time, let them swat at a baby gym, sing to them, dance with them. The list goes on and on. I could write a book about it! And the great thing about this is, you will never get bored, because these baby things grow so fast, that their interests and abilities are always changing, so you will literally never run out of things to do!

Now, I’m not trying to say motherhood is a cakewalk. It’s not. It has its fair share of toughness. And we all have our own struggles with it. There are some mornings where I am so tired that I don’t even think I’ll be able to smile at my kids, let alone keep them alive for the day, but then they give me those googly early morning smiles and all of a sudden, I miraculously have all the energy I need to just snuggle all the snuggle out of those babies, and the day turns out just fine. You’ll be ok. Motherhood is wonderful. Just you wait.

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