10 Things: Being a Momma

10 Things on Being a Momma
What I’ve Learned in the First Two Weeks

You will cry about everythingYou will cry because you only got a half hour of sleep last night. You will cry because it’s been two weeks already since your little nugget was born. You will cry about how sweet your baby is (and your husband will make fun of you). You will cry because the baby’s crying.  And just when you think you’ve pulled yourself together, you will cry for no reason at all.

Everyone has an opinion. Don’t give your kid a paci because it causes nipple confusion and buck-teeth. Don’t co-sleep because my sister’s cousin’s boyfriend’s nephew rolled out of bed. Sleep when the baby sleeps (which is a total pipe dream if I’ve ever heard one). Everyone and their mother will offer their opinions and advice, whether you ask for them or not, but take it all with a grain of salt. It’s definitely important to consider multiple viewpoints when making parenting decisions, but at the end of the day you will figure out what is right for you. 

Babies cry. Ok, duh. Here’s where I’m going with this– babies cry, and sometimes there is nothing you can do about it. Sometimes they’ve been fed, burped, changed, and cuddled and absolutely nothing will change the fact that they are not happy campers. Accept it. 
Mommas are superheroes. Sometime in the course of pushing a human being out of your vagina, you will acquire special mom superpowers. In fact, it might even happen before that because let’s face it– giving birth, in and of itself, is a superhuman feat. Suddenly, you can conquer the world on three hours of broken sleep. You can breastfeed, eat dinner, and update your Facebook status simultaneously. You can juggle your purse, a diaper bag, and a car seat without breaking a sweat. Cure cancer and solve the oil crisis while changing a dirty dipe? Consider it done.

Do something for yourself every day. Stop for an iced coffee on the way home from the doctor’s office. Set aside an hour to curl up under the covers and watch Kathy Lee and Hoda (even if you have to DVR it). Take advantage of the fact that your husband is home and treat yourself to 30 minutes of uninterrupted shower time. If you value your sanity at all, you will make time for yourself and it will be amazing. You deserve it!

I would be a hot mess without my husband. I definitely lucked out in the husband department, because he’s basically Superman. He helped me figure out how to use a breast pump, a.k.a. the least sexy thing ever next to watching me give birth (which he did, and promised it did not scar him for life and he would still give me the business four very long weeks from now). He waited in line for thirty minutes at the Sonic drive-thru just to get me an orange slush. He asks what he can do to help me around the house. And even after working all day, he is ready and willing to take on baby duty the minute he gets home, without complaint. He’s quick to tell me I’m an awesome momma, but the truth? I wouldn’t be if it weren’t for him.

It’s okay to be a bitch. Don’t be afraid to enforce boundaries when it comes to your little one. At the end of the day, you have to be your baby’s advocate. Smoking was a big issue for me, and it was hard to set ground rules for family and friends because I didn’t want to offend anyone, but protecting my little man’s brand new lungs is way more important than anyone’s hurt feelings. Sorry I’m not sorry.

The baby books are only kind of accurate. I’m very Type A, so I spent a lot of my pregnancy researching everything there was to know about labor and delivery. By the time June rolled around, I was convinced that my postpartum life was going to look something like a bloodbath massacre and my lady parts would never be the same. Real talk? It was a scary sight for like five minutes (ok, most of the first day) and then it got better. By no means was it all rainbows and unicorns, but it was not the slasher movie I was expecting. Moral of the story? Don’t freak yourself out reading about how so-and-so needed twenty stitches or had to wear Depends or bled for twenty days because chances are, it won’t actually be that bad. I promise (unless you are the so-and-so the books are referring to, in which case I’m sorry the universe hates you).

You will not have the answers to everything. If anyone ever claims that they do, please send them my way so I can let them know that they’re full of crap.

If you make it to bedtime and no one died, it has been a successful day. Some days will be harder than others. The laundry might not get done and there might be dishes in the sink. Your baby might decide to projectile poop at 1AM and dipping him under running water might seem like the right thing to do before putting on a new onesie and passing out. Is everyone still alive? If the answer is yes, pat yourself on the back and enjoy the two hours of sleep you’re about to get before you have to wake up and do it all again.

Author: Erica the Great

Wife, momma, teacher, and a twenty-something for a little while longer. Every day, I'm a lot of things for a lot of people. This space? It's just for me.

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