When I was pregnant, I read all the books, followed a handful of bloggers and chatted with friends and family about what post-baby life would be like. Most summed it up as a magical time of bonding with baby and growing as a couple. (Sleep-deprived and spit-up covered, but magical nonetheless.)
While I’ve found all of that to be true, there are several things people didn’t tell me about welcoming a little one into the world and how are lives would change from our B.M. (Before Maddox) days. Jared and I didn’t have much exposure to babies before becoming pregnant so I knew there would be a learning curve and that life would surely be different, but I just didn’t know how. Three months into parenthood and I’m here to share some things I’ve picked up along the way.
Little boys pee. A lot. Ok, in full disclosure, I did have several people warn me while I was pregnant that if I had a boy, I’d either need to develop cat-like reflexes or invest in “pee-pee teepees” to dodge the frequent sprays at diaper changes. What I didn’t know was that it would be at every single changing. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.
Or that just when you think you’ve got it contained, somehow it seeps out the back of the diaper, while the front remains dry.
It’s truly one of life’s greatest mysteries.
We’ve now nearly mastered the art of pee-free diaper changes, but just when we think we’ve got it under control, little man reminds us who’s boss.
You become acutely more aware of time. When your days revolve around feeding a little person every two hours (or one hour, or every 25 minutes — some days are LONG, people), you find yourself looking at the clock even more than a Friday afternoon at work. This means that if you adjust baby’s feeding and changing schedule to accommodate for guests coming over at 6:00, guests better be arriving at 6:00. Not 6:15, and for the love of all things holy, not 5:45. (And if you come 30 minutes early, chances are I don’t have makeup on, Maddox needs changing and the vacuum is still out because I just cleaned for the first time in a week). #sorrynotsorry
On a more serious, sad note, you also realize just how fleeting time is. Each milestone is equal parts exciting and heartbreaking because even though it’s fun to watch Maddox learn new things and grow, I know my baby will never be as little as he is right now.
Freezer meals aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Disclaimer: We enjoyed some seriously DELICIOUS meals made by our dear friends and family throughout the first couple months of my maternity leave. So what’s the problem? Freezer meals often need to be thawed out in the refrigerator the night before and at the end of the day, when you finally get dinner on the table (and eaten—these things don’t necessarily happen at the same time), then fold laundry, give the baby a bath and put him to bed, the last thing on your mind is what’s for dinner the next night.
I also found that, some days, cooking a meal made me feel more like “me.” And when it seems as though your life revolves around baby, it’s good to feel like yourself again. (See next bullet.)
You will remember what life was like before baby. At least I hope you do. I’ll be the first to admit that I struggled with the transition in the first few weeks after bringing Maddox home. I didn’t realize how much time Jared and I spent together in our B.M. days — even if it was as simple as going to the gym or picking up groceries. Then a baby was added to the mix and our lives were suddenly dictated by feedings, naps and carrying a minimum of four bags everywhere we went. It was a quick realization that it wasn’t about ‘me’ or even ‘us’ anymore; we had a little guy to care for and keep alive in general.
While our lives may have been flipped upside down, having a baby still didn’t change my hobbies or the need to enjoy a glass of wine and conversation with my husband. Whether it was planning a weekend getaway or as simple as getting out for a run, maintaining a piece of my identity was important and helped me on the days when I felt like all I was good for was being a milk machine.
All your emotions multiply by 10. Happiness, impatience, pride, fear and love — especially love.
You’ll feel everything bigger than ever before. And it’s more wonderful than you could ever imagine.