I’ve been MIA lately. But for a good reason! My little princess decided to make her arrival about two weeks early (two short days after my college graduation!). It’s been a busy week with adjusting, learning, cuddling and experiencing everything new. Since today marks the end of my first week as a mommy, I thought I’d call out the biggest things that I learned!
- There are never enough diapers – or wipes! We ran out of both. Twice. So finally we took advantage of a sale at Target and stocked up on value packs of everything. No one tells you that in the beginning there’s MORE dirty diapers than there are as they get older!
- If you don’t want to rely on the fast food diet, pre-made meals are your best friend – Although we did eat out a couple times, I definitely get more energy out of a good balanced meal. While my boyfriend was getting his share of cuddle time, I took the opportunity to throw together some tupperwares of fruit salads, pre-made sandwiches, energy balls, ready-to-make pasta meals, etc. Good food means more energy for that goofy new sleep schedule! On that note-
- No matter how hard you try, you will adapt your sleep schedule to baby, not the other way around – We thought that we could be the miracle parents who could make their newborn sleep at night and be awake during the day. Wrong! She prefers to fall asleep around 2-3am and be awake generally around 12pm (with . Your best bet is to accept this and get creative with how you can get your sleep. Since my boyfriend had to return to work this week, I typically find I can cuddle with her in her room until her 2-3am feeding and she won’t mind if I fall asleep as long as cuddled up with her. Then she usually will sleep in her crib so I can get some cuddle time with my boyfriend, and throughout the day I’ll nap when she naps. It’s an interesting schedule to adapt to, but it gives me the most sleep.
- There are no better cuddles in the world than baby cuddles – This one speaks for itself. My favorite is when she lays on my tummy. 🙂
- Your appearance becomes significantly less important during the adaptation phase – I generally don’t put too much effort into my appearance anyways, but typically if I were to go somewhere or have company over I would at least put in the time to straighten my hair, do my makeup and choose a semi-flattering outfit (although my wardrobe does consist primarily of yogas and flowy tees and tanks). I’m currently in green sweats, an orange striped tank, am on day 7 of wearing my glasses with no makeup and have yet to brush my hair. I know I’ll get back into it, but until I figure out how to optimize my time with my new responsibilities, how I look is the least of my worries.
- Accept that your body and its changes are natural, because all modesty goes out the window – I’m pretty sure all of my immediate family has seen all of my stretch marks, and to be honest they don’t even phase me anymore. Yes I’m using stretch mark cream, but I’m not going to try and hide them in pants on a warm day. I just grew a baby, my stretch marks just prove what my body is capable of and if someone wants to complain about that, then that’s on them! If you don’t like my stretch marks, don’t look at them! In addition to stretch marks, stripping down in front of medical staff doesn’t even make you hesitate by the end. You learn very quickly they see this stuff many times a day, there is absolutely no reason to be conscious about what your lady parts look like.
- Welcome back coffee, and welcome back a lot of it – Like I said, my baby girl likes to stay awake until about 3am. Sometimes it’s totally worth it to drink a cup of coffee and use that energy to clean the living room or do some laundry while keeping baby entertained in the late night. It will also help you wake up to get through those diaper changes every 4 hours.
- Even though it’s hard to find (and hard to put baby down that long), time for you is still important – even if it’s just a candle lit bubble bath, find some time for you. Read a book, get a manicure, paint, do yoga, whatever it is – do you. It doesn’t need to be anything too time consuming, because enjoying baby is still important. But take some time to relax between baby cuddles.
- Be assertive about what you want – I wish I would have set stricter guidelines earlier. Personally, I don’t tolerate being in big groups of people very well, it stresses me out. A lot! Of course our immediate family was allowed at the hospital after she was born, but for the days following we would have anywhere from 4-8 visitors with us in the hospital or at home on any given day at the same time. It really stressed me out and it made the space conversations so much harder after the fact trying to explain that it wasn’t that I didn’t want the family to be involved, but that I also needed private time with my daughter and that my personality doesn’t allow me to be comfortable with so many people as often as I was.
- You will never fall more in love. Ever. – After recovering from the realization of what I just did in regards to the labor, I realized that I now had TWO loves of my life – my boyfriend and my daughter. I love them both in different ways but even with sleep deprivation, you wish you could hold onto every second with your baby. This is the hardest part for me to accept, is that this won’t last forever. I know every stage will bring new excitement and new moments to love, but you still can’t take for granted a single second now.
These are just a few of the things I’ve learned this far. I can’t wait for the journey ahead, but I also wish I could stop time and stay here forever.
Free Spirit Babe