Tuesday, October 23, 2007

unsolicited advice, or what your mother never told you...

about having a kid.

my niece is expecting. she's about half way done gestating. i'm really excited for her. she has always been the mothering type. she is a great babysitter. she's been married for a couple of years, she has a nice home, i think it's great timing. it hit me as odd that i'm going to be a great aunt. weird. even weirder, my mom is going to be a great grandma.

She is 22 years old, the same age i was when i had harry. it struck me how much 7 years can change someone. i am not the same person i was back then. not only do i have 3 kids, no job (or real sanity). my ideas about raising kids has drastically changed. i'm sure i'm not the mother that i told myself i was going to be.

so here goes
1. obvious...your body will never ever be the same again.
yes, just by being pregnant means your wonderful rack, will heretofore be deflated. not immediately, no. first they are going to swell to the size of footballs. and they are going to hurt. there is much pain involved with this. like as if someone shoved rocks under your skin (it will look that way too) heavy and cumbersome. and if you are like me, then you will feed your baby with these wonderfully huge footballs.

that isn't the only place your body will change. your rear also either deflates into flat, or inflates to bubble. your hips, once petite, swell and spread to provide ample room to evacuate and balance. and then there is your tummy. i had fair warning for everything but this. squishy belly. extra skin. gross. for YEARS i didn't let big d even see, much less handle my lovely midsection. i had no idea the damage that came from birthing. it's a good thing too, or i might not have ever had kids.

2. your marital relations.
a nooner will no longer reference anything to do with your spouse. a nooner is what happens when you find yourself waking from an unintentional nap while praying the baby takes a nap. if you are lucky the baby will have napped, and maybe, just maybe, you will have the energy for post baby relations. it is rare though, especially with subsequent children.

your sweet spouse is himself exhausted. this i do not understand. while i am the one getting up every night, multiple times, my dear sweetheart hubby is sleeping. yet in the morning, he can claim that he is tired as well. yeah, i did see you during the night, only you were sleeping!

besides the lack of sleep, there will be the fear of spawning another. that right there can be effective for several months.

3. laundry.
i'm throwing this out there, because a strange phenomenon happens when you bring a small little baby home. your laundry triples. how this happens when they only wear little clothes is beyond me. are the onesies mating in there? and then try to match up all those baby socks! you think too, that you have to wash their clothes in special detergent that overwhelms baby into not sleeping. it smells so sweet, only babies seem to come allergic to that sweetness and prefer the smell of sour milk. at least we know why there is so much laundry. or it could be...

4. diapers.
is there anything that strikes fear into the soul of first time parents. they get their bundle home, only to find out, it isn't too bad. and then the kid will poo every 10 minutes one week, and then not for days the next. but when he goes, try to hold him over the sink. if you have kids, you know why. for real, i'm not making this up (why would i?).

diapers are pretty much all the same. ask anybody what kind they use and why and you will get different answers based on fit and "leak proof ability". it doesn't matter. they all do the same thing. go cheapest, unless someone else is buying. if you do waste your money (rationalizing) on the spendy brands, understand that they do size them 3 sizes too small.
meaning the playground gossiping of "what size is he in?" means nothing. your newborn could fit into size 3's.

it's about the most wonderful experience. but it is hard. n i p p l e s take the beating for the first 6 weeks. don't give up before then. and don't cave into the formula marketing. i never regretted nursing, but i know plenty of mother who regretted not. it isn't natural, and it does take time. you are tied to the baby more, but isn't that why you had a baby?

6. they do grow up.
fast. those first 6 weeks are hellish and long, the next 6 are gone in a blink. the first year is full of firsts and new experiences and fun memories, the subsequent speed right by. you alternate between "why did i do this" and "stop growing, i want this to last forever". take comfort that it doesn't last forever on those days when she won't sleep-you've got laundry piled up from diaper blowouts-you're tired and all you want is a nap without holding anybody. but it sucks when she smiles for the first time. or when she does fall asleep snuggled in your arms with sweet baby breath on your face.

i promise it is the hardest work i've ever done. not a day goes by when i wish i had time for me. not only do i worry, i clean, i fix wounds, i nag, i threaten, i play, i rock, i wipe, i feed. days melt into each other and thursday turns into monday, saturday disappeared, and wednesday is always laundry day.

it gives me a purpose. it has made me who i am. i'm no longer what i wanted to be, i can't be that perfect mother. i'm real, saggy and all. i'm a mommy.

1 comment:

scraphappymama said...

so true and good for me to read today