I know this is a book blog, but since being a mom is kind of a big part of my life, I thought I’d make a post about it every once in a while. Because some things you just need to share with your people. Though if you’re not at all interested in a post about motherhood, feel free to skip it! Though why did you click on the post then? The title pretty much says what it’s about, but anyway…
When you think of motherhood, especially the baby phase, a lot of people imagine living on a pink cloud cuddling your newborn and feeling the most extraordinary bond with your baby whom you love so much. Well, I’m here to tell you that that is NOT the case for most parents. There is no cloud. There is no magical bond. I’m not saying that’s true for all parents, but I know that there are a lot of us out there that feel the exact opposite in the beginning. At least I do. Motherhood is a job. And on most days, in the words of Ali Wong, a wackass job. And here’s why.
Babies Are Cute, But Kind of Useless
We all love looking at those cute pictures of babies and their tiny noses and hands and feet and OH MY GOD LOOK AT THOSE TEENY TINY FINGERNAILS. But as a new mom, while I find my baby very cute and pretty (not that I’m biased…), I’ve also learned that babies are actually pretty useless. Especially in the first few months, you get nothing from them but crying and poopy diapers. I didn’t feel like a mom. Sometimes I still don’t. It’s very much a responsibility, a job you have to do because this little tiny human depends on you for everything. And I do mean everything. Because babies? Yeah they’re kind of useless. Though it is magical to stare at their expressions whilst they sleep.
Changing Diapiers Gets Old SO Fast
Ahh yes. Diapers. A necessary evil you don’t mind doing for your own baby, but after a while… it gets so old, so fast. Because babies poop and it stinks to high heaven. No joke, I’ve had a gag reflex more times than I can count whilst changing Emma’s diapers. It is NOT pretty and it STINKS. It’s a lousy chore you have to do because the alternative would be letting your precious child hang around in a dirty diaper, which eww. No. Don’t do that. But it gets old, people. So old. By now every time I notice a funky smell coming from Emma’s diaper I’m like “AGAIN, REALLY? I CHANGED YOU AN HOUR AGO, EMMA.” I’ll be very happy when the diaper phase is over, but sadly that’s going to be a while.
Sometimes You Just Want to Put Them In The Garbage
Listen, I love Emma very much. She’s my small little miracle that is beautiful and cute and somehow I MADE THAT. It’s astounding and magical. BUT. There’s always a but.
Some days, Emma isn’t very cooperative. She’s whinging and doesn’t want to play on her own and she’s crying for no apparent reason. And then she’s teething, which hurts, so she cries a little extra. And then she decides she doesn’t want to go to sleep for some reason, but will sleep if you put her in the stroller and drive her around for an hour. Oh but 3 hours later she wakes up again in the middle of the night because who knows but you have to get her back to sleep, which can take a while and then you’re exhausted and you can barely keep your eyes open because oops now it’s 5.30 in the morning and you had an hour of sleep.
Those are the days where you have this moment where you’re so tired and frustrated and annoyed and you just want to put them in the garbage, 1/10 do not recommend, shipping back to the store because this thing is broken and I need sleep.
And you know what? That’s totally okay! Every mom, at one point, feels like this. Don’t believe me? Go ask your mom if she had those moments. I’m quite sure she’ll agree with me. It’s natural. Because being a mom is HARD and we’re all just doing our best, okay??
What Is Sleep?
Sleep was this magical thing I got every night for a solid 8 hours or more that helped me function as a semi-normal human being. And then Emma showed up and now I haven’t felt rested in 9 months and ahahahaha I might be going insane slightly IDK. of course I do get some down time when Emma sleeps over at her grandparents, which by now is almost every week, but one or two nights of sleeping properly doesn’t make up for all the lost sleep I’ve collected over those months. I need a week or two where I can sleep all night without interruptions okay?? Alas, it’s part of the job. And sleep will come. But for now, Emma controls how much I sleep. My advice? NAPS. They’re the key to staying sane. Ish.
Communication Is Key
NEWSFLASH: Babies don’t talk. They can’t tell you what’s wrong, they can only open their mouths and cry. And that is very frustrating sometimes because they don’t always have a reason to cry. You go through your mental list: Is the diaper clean? Is she tired? Is she hungry? If not, what else could it be? Maybe it’s her clothes not sitting right. Maybe she has cramps or just isn’t feeling that well, we all have those days. Sometimes it’s impossible to tell why your baby is crying. Yes, sometimes I can tell what’s wrong by how she acts while crying. But that’s not always the case. And it’s frustrating, but what else is there to do but try and comfort your precious little baby while she lets out an earsplitting cry right next to your ear and now you’re deaf for a week, thanks Emma.
Me-Time? More Like No Time
We can all agree that me-time is very important for our mental health. We all need a moment to ourselves to do what we love because it’s just for you and not part of being a mom. It keeps us sane. But some days you don’t get that moment. By the time the little one is finally asleep in her bed, you’re so tired yourself that you follow her example and promptly fall asleep too. Sometimes you just have to choose. Okay, she’s napping now. I can spend the next two or three hours reading/blogging/watching TV/… or I can sleep. More often than not, sleep wins.
My solution for this is simple, but not all parents have this luxury. One day a week, Emma goes to my in-laws for the day so I can have some time for myself and do what I want + what I can’t do when Emma is home. Next to that she also goes for sleepovers in the weekends on most weeks so I can catch up on sleep and have quality time with the boyfriend. Do I sometimes feel guilty about letting her sleep over so much? Yes. But is it necessary for my mental health? Also yes.
Motherhood is hard work and it ain’t always sunshine and rainbows. It can be draining and frustrating and tiring. And you do all the work because you adore that little human you created, but sometimes it’s just. so. hard. My advice? Get yourself some mom-friends that understand and with whom you can vent all your frustrations. And never be afraid to ask for help from friends and family because your own health (mental and physical) is just as important as your baby’s health.