I’m jealous of all the “together” moms out there.
I recently watched a reality program (think of the no-drama kind like on HGTV or DIY, not the ones on TLC, E! or Bravo) and there was a mom of a 3 year old daughter and a 4 week old son with her husband. She looked put together, rested, showered, flat-stomached and stress free – out and about with her tiny baby like it was no big deal, no worries (even though she was about to be going through the stress of moving).
It was as if she didn’t pop that baby out (which she did) – like it showed up on her doorstep one morning and she never went through a huge physical trauma or change. She somehow was able to just continue on with her life – eat what she wants, exercise like she used to, go for a walk, get sleep, read a book, hang out at the coffee shop with girlfriends, etc. – just with a new tiny bundle of joy to share it with.
She made her baby fit her life, not the other way around.
I am the opposite. I am the mom I feared I could become when I thought about life as a new mom – frazzled, losing the weight battle, hair barely combed (and usually back in a ponytail), untweezed eyebrows, not-so-recently showered, dark circles under her eyes, shirts with spit-up on them and wearing the same pair of yoga pants for the past 3 days who avoids going out in public (especially alone) because it’s such a hassle to pack and bring all the baby things and heaven forbid the baby freaks out and has a meltdown and you have to listen to her scream the whole car ride home.
Sure, this mom I watched knew she was going to be on television, but there have been times I’ve had to go out and actually be seen by people and I could barely get myself together and hell no I wouldn’t have wanted a close up. I honestly don’t think I could have managed much more even if a camera had been involved (or even fake it!).
I have to believe that this solely cannot be based on the personality of the mom. Why? Because I was a version of one of those put together moms for my first baby. I was rested, didn’t wear the same clothes 2 days in a row (even with a newborn), got showers whenever I wanted, went back to work and functioned, got alone time (I started and finished a large painting in just one day with a 10 week old), styled my hair in more than just a ponytail and although I was losing the weight battle at first, I managed to get up early and walk the treadmill for 45 minutes to one hour almost every morning and had lost 40 lbs before my baby was 6 months old.
I had an easy baby. He really was totally awesome – easy going, easily amused, slept fabulously and didn’t have any spit-up/reflux issues what-so-ever and I could eat anything I wanted while breastfeeding him.
This time around… oy… I have a spirited baby girl. It takes a miracle to make her laugh (and she doesn’t laugh at the same thing the very next day), she cries a lot, her sleeping habits have been hellacious and if I don’t cut out a ton of certain foods for her breast milk, she will be the spit-up queen and is even worse with every type of formula we ever tried (and trust me, we tried them all).
Plus she has been particularly needy lately. She achieves practically zero independent play time these days. She used to give me a solid 15-20 minutes first thing in the morning (the most all day) so I could at least manage to make myself breakfast and have some tea and now I don’t even get that. I put her down on her play mat or in her exersaucer (former places of success) and she begins to cry immediately (or is content for a few seconds, looks up and realizes I’ve walked away – but still in view of her – and immediately starts to cry… like real tears).
She’s only happy in my arms, lap or having me be within 2 feet of her. It doesn’t even have to be me, it can be ANY body… even my cats. She needs to be entertained constantly or she cries. She fights naps, cries on the changing table (used to be her more favorite place) and the only time she’s happy is when she’s in someone’s arms walking around or even standing still (but the instant you sit down to rest from exhaustion, she freaks) or occasionally (and the only reason I get ANYTHING done) she’s OK in her Bumbo while I’m right in front of her attempting to get stuff done in the kitchen.
I’m frazzled… I wear the same pants for more than a day, I wear shirts with stains on them, my hair is a wreck, I look like a zombie, I could really use 3 hours with a razor and a tweezer and I’m just a fat ass mess. I live in fear of a stranger knocking at my door and possibly witnessing my appearance.
I barely get a chance to make myself something to eat during the day let alone actually get one damn thing done these days. It doesn’t help that she only take 30-40 minute naps right now – usually on my chest while I rock her in the Lazyboy (I can at least close my own eyes for a moment and zonk out at these times). It takes me 3 days to 3 weeks longer to get certain tasks completed (like paying bills or mending a shirt). When my son and/or hubby are home I finally get some time to myself… you know, to enjoy things like doing the dishes, laundry, general clean-up, packing lunches, feeding the cats, etc… what fun for me. My only “relaxation” time I get is when I breastfeed her, but she only stays on for 10 minutes at a time nowadays.
I still have to sacrifice sleep in order to get a shower (or in this case, blog).
I’m the scary poster child for a first time new mommy even though this is not my first child and I no longer have a newborn, but a practically 6 month old baby.
My life has really not changed since she was a newborn… it still completely revolves around her, I still can’t get anything done in the day, I still fear going out but now it’s because of her moodiness, I’m still sleep deprived and in a constant state of exhaustion, I’m still fat (fatter actually)… it’s really pathetic. She’s running the roost, but with her issues, I really don’t know how to change that right now. (And in case you were wondering, I’ve tried reassuring her with my voice when I’m more than 2 feet away from her… telling her it’s OK… you’re OK… but she’s NOT OK apparently. And yes, I don’t always pick her up right away to see if she can work through it… she doesn’t).
I just keep thinking “this can’t last forever”… “this is a phase”…
I remember thinking when she was only a month old and barely letting me sleep for 2 consecutive hours that things would be better by the time she was 3 months old… we’d get in a better schedule… HA! It took until she was 5 months old. Just now she’s finally sleeping more than 5 hours during the night, but sometimes she goes back to barely only 3.5 hours in a row which absolutely kills me. THANK GOODNESS I DON’T HAVE A JOB!!!
I used to be the one that got up with my son to get him fed and stand with him at the school bus stop every morning, but since baby has come along, my husband “temporarily” covered for me because of baby’s crazy schedule (most of the time she’d be feeding or we’d finally be sleeping when the bus came). But here we are, practically 6 months later and I’ve still been unable to resume my school bus duties and my AWESOME hubby is still taking my place (he is sacrificing sleep for that).
Nothing of my life or schedule has returned to what it was. I didn’t ever expect all of it to obviously, since I have this cute baby girl in my life now (and thank goodness she’s cute!), but I thought some basics would return and certain parts of life could be “normal” again by this time… but it’s just not the case.
And I am jealous of those put together moms.