Last time I wrote, I was in the middle of Apple season. The baby was sleeping well so I had tons of energy. My husband was in one piece, so we were accomplishing lots. I was in a great mood, so life seemed like a long road of beautiful scenery for me to enjoy along the ride.
Then, in literally one night things went bad. Then to worse over the last couple weeks.
Izzy hit the 4 month monsters, which meant going back to an infant type sleep schedule. Thankfully she only takes 15- 20 minutes to feed and settle most times, but that’s 2-4 times a night. I got exhausted fast.
Then my husband had a serious of unfortunate accidents… Starting with stitches to one finger, followed by a wrenched thisclosetobroken leg ending with not one, but two, flare ups of an old back injury. This means he’s been bed ridden for most of the last three weeks. While I have been keeping house, kid, kitties and chickens up… Well the best I can. At the same time as working part time and trying to tie up the loss ends from this harvest.
Life has changed a lot for Mr. Gillis and I over the last couple years. Life changes constantly… But nothing that we’ve experienced together prepared us for parenting… Let alone parenting while one of us has been out for the count. So imma gonna blog about it…
The truth. The truth about it all.
- It is super scary. Like wake you up in the middle of the night because you HAVEN’T heard any weird noises from the bassinet/crib/side sleeper/ whatever next to the bed. Like, “is her soft spot growing together to fast?” Or “am I giving her enough to eat?” And my personal terror inducing paranoia “OHMYGOD DID I HURT HER?” . The list goes on. You learn the signs of GERD and what increases the chances of SIDS. You wonder if that’s a flat spot developing on the back of their head and if they’re getting enough tummy time or…. Well you get the point. There are a million and one things that can all go wrong. You will at some point have some of the minor things, maybe even a major thing happen to you and your kid. The only thing you can do is be prepared for anything, have a surplus of all thing first aid-y and try to maintain a sense of humor so as to avoid losing your mind.
- It is super rewarding. Even in the early days when all they can do is sleep, eat, yawn, cry, stare and make lots of dirty diapers. You look at that little gnomy face and feel so overwhelmed. Sometimes not in a good way, either. But the majority of the moments are when it’s overwhelming love… And not just for your baby. I remember when my husband looked at me and said “she’s the greatest accomplishment of my life.” I already loved the man, but holy did my heart feel close to bursting. And then your baby starts growing In leaps and bounds, because of your nurturing…. Well the satisfaction is pretty indescribable.
- You will do anything, anywhere to make your kid smile. I have found myself in the middle of the grocery store, blowing crazy loud raspberries in order to crack a smile from my very serious infant. And it works. And it’s totally worth it.
- Every baby is completely different. There is no truer statement. My little one didn’t give me her first real smile until after 8 weeks. Now she smiles all the time. She said her first word (MUMMA!) at 4 and a half months. She just discovered her toes at 21 weeks. She did rollover the first time at just 10 weeks, but we’ve been doing tummy time since day 2. But that’s not really the point. Every kid develops at a different rate and order the first couple years. I saw myself constantly comparing her to what different charts and articles about where she should be. It was just driving me crazy. And not helping her. So I quit. I talk with our pediatrician when I have concerns. I feel much better.
- It does put a bit of a crimp in spontaneous activities. We are so very lucky that our daughter enjoys going out and about. She isn’t so overjoyed about being in her car seat unless it’s in motion, but we do get to go do our grocery shopping with very little to no fussing on her part. I’ve never been so aware of other people’s children as I am now and I always feel so bad for parents that have a small child that isn’t content to get wheeled around.
- This is a more personal mommy one- it’s ok to be unsure of your new post partum body. I gained 60 lbs with my pregnancy. It doesn’t just melt off. The stretch marks don’t just disappear. Breastfeeding isn’t a magical weight loss solution for everyone. Working out for longer then ten minutes with a newborn is extremely hard, and the workouts I did were focused on healing my diastasis recti. And honestly, at 5 months post partum, I am still not working out every day. If I can I see it as a mini victory. If I can’t, I don’t let it bother me. I’m down to the last 20 lbs and as long as I keep going in this trajectory, I’ll be back to my prepregnancy weight in a few months. If I’m not, it’s ok too. What matters is the health of our baby and myself.
- Learn about growth spurts and wonder weeks. They aren’t exact, but it will give you a better understanding of your babies development. Knowing our baby is due for a sudden developmental leap helps me in a lot of ways. It makes me more empathetic to all of us… It helps me ground myself in knowing that she is just doing what all well nurtured babies go thru.
- The mothering instinct is strong. A couple weeks ago, I convinced my husband that our family needed another kitty. Not because I’m hormonal and want to smother everything in love, mind you. No, because all the shelters around here are full of kitties with no homes. It was completely altruistic. And you know what, if your instinct isnt like that, that’s good too. You have less kitty litter to deal with.
- There will be moments where you want another one RIGHTNOW. And other moments when you couldn’t imagine doing this again. Once again, this is a decision for your family. Just know, this careening back and forth is totally normal.
- There will never be enough hot coffee. You’ll get a cup and someone needs something. Welcome to the true nature of parenthood. Your needs are always second, unless you have a partner in crime. Then sometimes you get to go pee before your bladder explodes, from drinking all your old cold coffee.
- This list is not complete, nor will it ever be. Every day you learn new things, create new stories, feel all the things… It just keep going on and on. I’ve been working on this blog post for weeks. If I don’t just bite the bullet, it will never get published.
So here I am biting the bullet. I’m sorry I didn’t get to give Apple season the attention it deserved. I did get apple sauce made and frozen. My crab apple jelly only got to the juice stage. Apple butter never even got considered this year. I was so excited to do all the things and share them with the three people that read my blog (hi mom!), but that is the ultimate parenthood lesson. Do what you can, don’t beat yourself up to much, end the mommy wars, starting with yourself.
I’m going to try very hard to not let it be a month between now and my next blog. I’m not going to be upset if I end up playing with my little girl instead. She’s 5 months today and is discovering new things so fast. I really don’t want to miss out on anything.
So until next time, have a wicked good day.