Once you become a mom, everything shifts in your life and you begin to care a little less about your own well being, and only about your baby (oh and your husband too, love you honey)! You take a backseat to your child. Do you know how many days pass where I don’t end up eating a decent meal throughout the day because I spend most of the time thinking about or preparing meals for my son? Spoonfuls of peanut butter and granola bars get me through the day. Half the time I forget to eat. I am too busy playing, changing a bum, feeding or getting him down for a nap. There is no time for gourmet meals let me tell ya! I have even caught myself sneaking cheerios and Mum Mums (yes, those plastic rice like cookies that babies eat) while waiting in line at WalMart. It’s never too early to teach your child about sharing, and that includes food right? Surprisingly, they don’t taste THAT bad (on an empty stomach). My husband, however, doesn’t think that a bowl of cheerios (with a spoonful of peanut butter for dessert) is an ideal supper. He does most of the cooking in my house (I HATE to cook and am not very good at it), so I gladly let him. Sadly, my son has a t-shirt that says ”I love Grilled Cheese” and the shirt is very accurate as he will probably be eating a lot of those sandwiches in his life. I should get a matching shirt.
One thing I still care enough to do for myself is catch a few extra zzz’s, when I can! It is funny, when A was a newborn, I tried the ”sleep when the baby sleeps” thing but it didn’t work for me. I couldn’t sit still long enough. I had to clean my now messy house, do laundry, prepare bottles or just watch TV. I wanted to feel like my old self again. Now that he is older, I realize how silly I was! Sleep is not overrated at all, it is awesome!! So the second he goes down for his morning nap, so does Mama. Most nights when he goes to bed, I am tempted to follow suit. I try to stay up for a couple of hours at least. I like to stay up until 9:30pm, so at least then I can say that I outlasted my Grandmother’s bedtime 😉
Another item (on a long list) that you focus on when you have a baby is poop! That is something else that you concern yourself with once you become a Mother. Not your own poop of course, but your baby’s poop. All of a sudden you become obsessed with (well at least I did) talking about baby poop! My son had digestive issues from the day he was born, so it seemed natural to talk about the color, texture, consistency and frequency of his poop at the dinner table, to whoever would listen. All mom’s do it, we talk about and compare descriptions of our baby’s poop, just to make sure they are similar and there is nothing strange about what is coming out of our baby’s bodies. It just becomes such a normal issue to talk about! It may be something I should only talk to our family doctor about, but frankly, it is not.
Finally, something else that you tend to care less about (for yourself) when you have a baby is comfort. As long as A is comfortable, it doesn’t matter how I feel. He woke up with teeth pain in the middle of the night last night (or was it gas? who knows!!) and I cuddled with him on the couch. His head was buried into my armpit, my arm was asleep and I had an elbow digging into my ribcage. It was not at all comfortable for me, but it was for him and he was starting to fall back to sleep, so it didn’t matter. If him feeling no pain means me feeling it, well then that is all I can do about that. I stayed like that for at least 5 minutes before moving him back to his crib. Another time, on an airplane, I was crouched down in my seat, honestly my head was almost where my bottom was supposed to be, and A was sprawled across my belly, sound asleep. It was 20 minutes before landing and he had just fallen asleep after a long, delayed flight. I thought for sure my neck would snap off. Again, oh well! When the flight attendant walked by to make sure we were all in an upright position with seatbelts fastened, she quickly diverted her eyes and left us be. I wanted to hug her. I knew that if she turned a blind eye like that, she must have been a mother.
Motherhood is about putting someone else’s needs ahead of your own….in a completely different way than you would for any other person on the planet. I may not always have a full belly, be fully rested or even comfortable, but I can promise you one thing, that just means that my son is.
Hugs & Smiles