As of this weekend, I will have been a mother for three whole months – well, unless you count me carrying around a fetus when motherhood consisted of making sure I took my prenatal vitamins and didn’t eat sushi, in which case I’m coming up on a year. Either way, I’m pretty sure I literally blinked and my daughter went from “newborn” to “baby.” *Cher voice* If I could turn back tiiiiime…
I feel like I haven’t said much about this new chapter in my life since it happened so, because we’re pals, I figured I’d bring you up to speed so you have an idea of what’s been going on behind the scenes of the good ol’ GVD.
Oh, you thought it was all ice cream and slow cooker meatballs and lovely loveliness? HA. I mean yes, those things have happened, along with cuddles and smiles and laughs and feelings of so much love my heart could burst. Truly, I enjoy being a mom more than anything and I always knew this was the role I was meant to have in this world. BUT. There also have been breakdowns and blowouts and fightin’ words and eating of feelings and wonderings of, “Why the heck is she crying?” And wonderings of, “Why the heck am I crying?” and fears that maybe I’m the worst mother in the world and stressy stressiness. Still, I wouldn’t trade a single second of it.
I’m not going to lie, you guys – the first two and a half months of Avery’s little life were ROUGH. I don’t know if she was colicky or if it’s just the plague of being a newborn in a very big, big world, but she decided to enter it with a lot of fussiness and crying for what seemed like no good reason.
I felt like I couldn’t leave the house for fear of embarrassment – like how she’d scream in her stroller all the way up and down the block and I felt like people were staring at me through their windows wondering why I was letting my kid cry so much (truth: No one did that. But I’m the most paranoid). Or that one time I drove to Target alone with her for the first time and she woke up in her car seat as I entered the store and proceeded to freak out in the card aisle, so much so that I had to leave immediately, get back in the car and drive around for a half-hour before she passed out again so I could re-enter Target and buy my things (we made it to checkout before she woke up and started wailing again). Or how 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. went from “Elliott and Stephanie’s time to watch Netflix and eat snacks” hour to “Avery’s time to lose her ish” hour – except for three. Whole. Hours.
I was tired. I was (very selfishly) missing my old life of Netflix watching and snack eating and being able to go grocery shopping and to Target without any obligation. My husband and I were struggling to figure out how to be married and be parents at the same time. I was struggling with balancing my work with taking care of a baby. And I was feeling incredibly guilty about all of it, because being a mom was something I’d wanted for years, something I’d prayed for and had to wait for a little while longer than I’d hoped, something I thought would fulfill me in a way no other role could and make me the happiest clam of all the clams.
Then, a few weeks ago, something clicked. Avery started cooling off – as in, she wasn’t just eating, crying, pooping and sleeping but there was actual calm time between there. In fact, she’d even include a few smiles and laughs (which are more like coughs right now and I DIE any time she does it). I started being able to go for walks or to Target without shame or embarrassment – either because she’d cry less, or maybe because I was feeling more confident and OK with the fact that hey, she’s a baby and she cries sometimes. I even started nursing in public (and by “public,” I mean with a cover in the women’s lounge of Nordstrom but STILL).
Now, three months into this journey, things are definitely easier. I’m learning how to bake and cook with a baby attached to me (either in my Boba Wrap or the ERGObaby 360 carrier, both of which I highly recommend). I still struggle with the balance of my work with baby (mayhaps a story I’ll share in greater detail another day), but I’m learning to be OK with having to work less so I can be present for my child. In fact, Netflix seems so much more boring now than sitting on the floor playing peekaboo with my baby and seeing that million-watt smile appear on her face, or seeing her stare at her feet wondering how she can grab at them because they are just so interesting. Even when she does get fussy, I remind myself that the moment is only temporary and that rocking her and holding her until she falls asleep is something I should cherish because pretty soon I’ll blink again and she won’t want to be held anymore. I’m starting to feel normal again and more trustworthy of myself and my instincts as a mother. And Avery is starting to be OK with this big, big world she now lives in.
Overall, while life may look very different now than it did before 4:15 a.m. May 9, I wouldn’t change a thing. I am so blessed and thankful to be this sweet little girl’s mama – a role that is harder than anything I’ve ever done, but one that I love more than any other I’ve ever had. I can’t wait to see what the next three months will bring.
There are soooo many other things I could say about these last few months but I’ll stop there so you can, you know, get on with your day. Plus I need to go snuggle with my little peanut because seriously, this cuteness is unreal.
If you’re a mom (or dad!), I’d love to know what your experience was like in your first few months of parenthood. Or, if you have any questions at all about my experiences – with birth, breastfeeding, blowouts (OH DO I HAVE STORIES), baby gear, anything and everything – shoot me a message or e-mail and I’d love to chat with you about it!
Thanks for letting me share a bit about my life in mama-land today. Next week includes yummy things of the sweet and salty variety, so yo’ face best get ready.
P.S. My eCookbook is still 40% off through the end of this week! Just enter SUMMER40 at checkout and you’re golden.
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