I Became a Mom
The craziest thing happened to me. I became a mom and now I’m looking into the face of a tiny human who looks exactly like me. I’m about to spill some truth that every new mom feels but they don’t like to admit it. I have no idea what I’m doing. All I’m doing is pretending that I know what I’m doing and hoping that it’s the right thing, and when it’s the wrong thing, I just wing it even more to fix the mistake I just made. I’m 22 years old. I’m still a student. I just completed my Bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing and Digital Rhetoric. I’m now starting a new certificate in Web Development and Design. Basically I know how to write things, I understand words on the internet, and I know how to code in a couple different computer languages. You know what I don’t know? How to take care of a baby.
The first thing that no one ever tells you though, is how fast you learn.
I’ve been a mom for 26 days now, which means that my little girl was born on Halloween, which makes her the coolest baby in the whole world. She was born strong and healthy at 8 pound 1 ounce and 21 inches tall. 27 days ago, the thought of actually being a mom still felt like a dream to me. Now, my whole life before October 31, 2018 feels like a dream. My best friend said to me just today: I still can’t believe you’re a mom. Me neither, girl.
Here’s another thing that no one ever tells you: you’re going to be ok. Ready for this one? Being a mom is the easiest thing in the entire world. If you’re right in the head, and you’re willing to make sacrifices, and you’re willing to give your whole life to something that depends on you for its own life, then you’re going to be ok. Yes, being a mom is the easiest thing yet the hardest too. I promise you that I will never be the person to complain about it though.
I’m sure you’ve heard about all of the new parent horrors. You don’t sleep. You don’t eat. The baby cries all the time. You don’t shower. Your house is filthy. Your pets are jealous of the baby. You can’t take the baby outside or it’ll get sick and die. You’re overfeeding the baby. You’re underfeeding the baby. You spend all of your time checking for breathing. You’re paranoid. You’re anxious. You’re depressed. It burns when you pee. You can’t walk upstairs. Chances are, not all of these things are going to happen to you. If they do happen to you, you need to ask for help. Never be afraid to ask your family and friends for help. You’d be surprised how many people are willing to come to your house even for an hour just to hold that baby so you can take a shower, get some chores done, or even take a nap.
This brings us to yet another thing they don’t tell you. You’ll never actually be prepared for the moment you bring her home. I started preparing for my little girl the day after I found out I was having a little girl. By the end of the third month of pregnancy, her nursery was fully furnished. If it wasn’t for crafting every decoration by hand and adding intricate detail to every aspect of her nursery, it would have been done sooner. In the next few months, I went on countless shopping trips, maxed out a few credit cards, and made sure to bring a pack of diapers home every time I left the house. I thought that my Pinterest boards and natural organizing skills would be enough to have it all figured out. It wasn’t until I walked through the front door with my newborn baby that I realized that everything was in the most inconvenient places possible. All of a sudden, this “mom” thing just clicked. I knew how to organize a nursery, pack a diaper bag, and baby proof every room of my house.
That first week at home is exactly what you make it to be. This brings us back to the whole “don’t be afraid to ask for help” point I made. I couldn’t be more thankful for my mom and my best friend who came over that first week so that I could put my house back together after my hospital stay and make it comfortable again. I truly think that other people make this first week at home out to be a lot worse than it is. Heck, there’s a whole verse in a country song about it. Darius Rucker was right, “It Won’t Be Like This For Long”. The most important thing that you need to understand is that this is a huge transition and you’re no longer in control. That baby who has your face and your husband’s ears, she’s in control now. She’s the boss.
That nonsense that you’ll hear about babies from all of the Facebook moms about how you need to keep them on a very strict schedule, is just what I said: nonsense. That baby will make her schedule and you’re the one who will have to change yours to fit.
Speaking of, that’s the baby now, so I’ll save the rest for the next post.