Having a Baby Means…
September 19, 2013
Once you have a baby, everyone you’ve ever met – your mom, your friend’s grandma, the lady you see in line at the grocery store every other Friday – thinks they have a right to schedule meetings or visits with your child. These aren’t business-type meetings, where money making is involved. No. These meetings are more like community service. Actually, that’s exactly what it’s like. Take every bad thing you’ve ever done – or thought about doing – in your life, multiply that by 12, and that’s how many individual visits each person believes they’re entitled to having. Seriously.
Not only does having a baby mean that other people will want to introduce strangers to your child, it also means you have to meet these suckers, too. And, these little visits come with the “Oh!-Don’t-worry-about-what-you-look-like-you-don’t-even-have-to-take-a-shower-to-come-over” disclaimer, in case there was any debate about the status of your postpartum significance (in case you’re still wondering, your status is ZERO. No one cares about you, your comfort, or your desires anymore. Period. Ever).
Having a baby means you must get better at sharing. You think having a little sister constantly “borrow” things from your wardrobe was difficult? Was not. Siblings, schooling, careers – that’s all pussy shit when it comes to sharing the child that you grew with people you don’t even like. Or know.
Having a baby also means that the people who used to pretend they cared about you no longer keep up the charade. All eyes are on the baby. It doesn’t matter how good you look, or how well put-together you manage to be postpartum. No one cares about you.
Having a baby means you have to constantly surround yourself with strangers and all you get out of it is another creepy toy cluttering up your living space. If you’re reading this, and you’re not a new parent, here are a few suggestions as to what you can give/do for/bring new moms and dads (because, if we’re being honest, this 7-week old baby will not remember your “thoughtful gift”. I will. And guess who’s not invited to the Christmas party? Mrs-Are-You-Sure-You’re-Doing-That-Right-Here’s-Another-Piggy-Bank. Yeah. Screw you.):
1. Baby Wipes: There can never be enough baby wipes. No, they’re not cute or fun to buy. But you know what’s even less fun? Being elbow deep in poo. It’s SO not my best look.
2. Food. Preferably hot food that can be eaten right now, as you hold my baby. Imagine that! You bring the new mom and dad a delicious meal, and they let you Oo and Ahh over their precious bundle, while they devour the take-out you brought. It will probably be the only hot meal they’ve eaten all week, and, trust me, that’s much more than a thoughtful gift: it’s a gift that will be remembered.
3. Cash. This is probably the favorite, most best-est gift a person could give to new parents. Do you know how much diapers cost? No, really. Do you have any idea how much diapers cost?
Hey, Baby: You’re Doing It Wrong
September 18, 2013
We made a Spotify playlist for Clark based on the music he responded best to. His favorite songs include “Word Up” by Cameo and “Da’ Butt” by E.U. He’s also a huge fan of Eddie Murphy, and Clark would like to “Party All The Time”, as he made apparent when he demanded a light show from his Twilight Turtle at 6 o’clock this morning. Excuse me, baby, but you’re a white boy. And you were born in 2013. So, when it comes to music, you’re doing it wrong.
Wearing sunglasses both indoors and at night are not his only issues. He’s bad at: sleeping quietly, sleeping soundly, and sleeping (at all). He also sucks at taking naps when I’m trying to eat my breakfast. Truthfully, though, he’s a beast at interrupting my coffee. He’s a total expert when it comes to being obnoxious.
Like most newborns, Clark is attempting a coup against the pacifier. Basically, the pacifier was his BFF4L, until he decided that he would prefer to suck his thumb. However, this is where the conflict really gets heated, because my little baby cannot seem to figure out where or what his thumb is.
Clark’s solution? See Exhibit B. Clark will stick his entire fist in his mouth. Loudly. Obnoxiously. Without rest. At all hours of the night.
Now that I’ve gotten my bitching out of the way, let’s talk about what a great day yesterday was (while simultaneously remembering that today is a different, totally unrelated world – according to Clark).
Happy Baby, Not So Happy Mom
September 17, 2013
Clark is wonderful. He’s rarely fussy, and he frequently smiles. He’s adorable. But I’m exhausted, and I’m having a hard time adjusting to my new role. I felt fine for the first few weeks, but, now, I just feel frustrated with myself. I know it will take time for my body to get “back to normal”, but I’m impatient. And I’m too tired to really do anything about it. I’m worried that maybe I haven’t escaped the postpartum depression that plagued my mother shortly after my birth. However, the fact that I’m mindful of this and aware that it’s still possible will hopefully help me avoid it, or, at least, seek help if I feel down.
I think the biggest adjustment is that I no longer get excited about things that used to be nice. Yesterday, I took a long shower and gave myself a pedicure. I have to say, having pretty toes doesn’t seem to matter as much anymore. Mascara and makeup seem to be more of a hassle than a help. And food just feels like a future chore – like I’m constantly adding up the calories and dividing it by the exercise I (never have time to) do.
What I think I really need is a night out. But then I think about all the effort it would take to get ready, and I lose interest in the idea of a romantic evening. This is why moms get the “boring” label. And, it’s really not fair when the reason you’re so tired is because you’re taking care of everyone else.
If there’s one way motherhood has definitely changed me, it is this: I have the greatest appreciation for my own mother and everything she did for me and my siblings. I had no idea how difficult being a mom could be until I became one myself. No amount of education, reading, or research could have prepared me for how parenting can be rewarding and ridiculous. It’s a ridiculous toll on your body. Even if you’re young. But it’s worth it for every little grin and happy coo.
And being a parent makes you vulnerable. This is perhaps my least favorite part. That something so little is so precious to me, and my emotions can be easily manipulated because of a 16-pound, stinky little monster. It’s like life didn’t begin until his life began. And that’s terrifying. Because it makes you wonder: how did I define “important” before?
Starbucks, Buy Buy Baby, Midnight Release Party for GTA, and How Much I Hate Pumping
September 16, 2013
This morning, Clark woke up at 11:50AM. And so did I. Thus, my glorious day of shopping, coffee drinking, and indulging my 35-year-old husband’s video game lust. After braving the world of Buy Buy Baby and saving over $50 on formula, Brian asked to go to GameStop. Naturally, I rolled my eyes. But, he’s really the best husband ever. So I said ok.
“Ok” turned into me saying yes to taking our 6.5 week old out at midnight so that Brian can pick up the newest Grand Theft Auto. (Word to the wise: if this isn’t how you picture your life, don’t marry a handsome man. He will talk you into this bologna every time.) I’m pretty sure he started buttering me up for this event by cleaning the entire kitchen and encouraging me to take an extra long shower this morning. Also, reminding me that a midnight drive with Clark would ensure a promptly sleeping baby didn’t hurt, either. And, we’re always awake late anyway.
So, here I am. Waiting in the parking lot for Brian to pay for this game. Then we’ll go to Starbucks, so I can have my 8th cup of coffee today. Did I mention I love coffee?
Did I also mention how much I hate pumping? Choosing a formula to supplement your baby with is definitely difficult. After pumping around the clock for the past 5 weeks, I got a little lazy this week and have suffered from low supply. So, I face a dilemma: do I go back to the power pumping routine, or do I just get extra formula? I know breast is best. So, please, spare me. I’m just suffering from exhaustion, and I want to get all my options. Is organic formula best? Should I feed my sometimes-fussy-after-feeding baby sensitive formula? Is Similac better than Enfamil? Should I make my own formula, or is that something only crazy people do?
Silence and 5 Things I Wish I Knew During Pregnancy
September 14, 2013
Yes, you read that right: silence. Silence with a 6 week old. Does such a luxury exist? And accompanied by caffeine and chocolate? What a perfect, blissful morning.
Clark is currently snuggling with Brian while I happily navigate the internet and, then, I remember: I SHOULD BE CLEANING. Story of my life.
Yesterday, while Brian was in Manhattan, I went to visit my mother-in-law. It’s nice to have family live nearby when you want to eat. Or sleep. Or finish a cup of tea. Or take a walk. Or be a human. So, that’s what I did.
Without further ado, here are 5 things I wish I knew before I had the baby:
1. It does not matter how much you slept during your pregnancy. Tell those self-righteous bitches to go suck it. Seriously. I slept an average of at least 12 hours a day + naps during the last 3 months of my pregnancy. And, you know what? That time was WASTED. I wish I would have taken advantage of the baby-free time by going out and about, making dinner, going for walks, taking a vacation, or, basically, anything BUT sleeping. Worst advice ever.
2. If you get an epidural, there’s nothing to be scared of, and you’re not “cheating”. Trust me. The epidural is probably the best medical magic to exist on the market. If druggies got a taste of what an epidural can do, they would be all over that needle. For women who think they’re going to be missing out on the miracle of childbirth, I say this: you will have plenty of pain to endure after the epidural wears off.
3. You will never actually drink that glass of wine you craved all pregnancy. Yeah, that’s right. My entire pregnancy, I craved a glass of Moscato. I have since had the baby, and I have had ZERO glasses of white wine. ZERO glasses of any wine. ZERO glasses of alcohol. But, I have felt drunk. Thanks, sleep deprivation (see #1 if you’re thinking sleeping will help! It will not!)
4. You will not be able to keep up with the Kardashians. This one truly breaks my heart. Keeping Up With the Kardashians is my absolute guilty pleasure. I love, love, love seeing what the girls wear, and Scott Disick is probably my favorite person on television (or possibly ever). However, since Clark made his appearance, I have not been able to enjoy a solid hour of television. This is probably better for me.
5. The baby weight will melt off, but you will not look 19 years old again. If you have some fantasy about the baby weight melting off, and you’ll look like you’re in the best shape of your life, I have three words for you: You are CRAZY. Yes, the baby weight, in my case, has come right off. I only have 7 pounds to go. Where are those 7 pounds? Apparently, they’re in my ass and my thighs. Um, excuse me?!