Parenting, Pregnancy, Problems/Tips

Great Expectations

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When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, I was ecstatic.

Some moms-to-be are bundles of nerves…wondering what it will be like to be a mom, worrying about the best bottles for avoiding “nipple confusion,” and generally going crazy with irrational fears about becoming a parent.

Not me- I was calm, cool, and collected. After all, I had been babysitting since I was twelve, nannied throughout my college years, and even worked at a daycare. Surely I was prepared to become a mother. I secretly worried whether I would be too good, putting my other mom-friends to shame.

I pictured me and my baby on playdates. I don’t know why she’s such an amazing sleeper/eater/baby genius. We’re just lucky I guess!  I would shrug apologetically.

Somewhere in the middle of my daydreaming about my perfect mothering skills to my perfect angel baby, Lilly arrived. I had an easy labor (thanks to my new best friend, Mr. Epidural).  See? It’s starting already! I thought. A perfect labor! This is going to be a piece of cake!

Then we brought her home.

The next two months were a blur. What I do remember is that it was NOTHING like I had pictured. While Lilly thankfully took to nursing right away, it was still a challenge for me.

It seemed like my cracked, bleeding nipples would never heal. Since I was nursing her on demand, I decided, why bother to even wear a shirt? Much easier to just walk around the house topless all day.

In fact, why even get out of bed? We could just stay in bed-  Lilly could nurse and sleep on me while I watched Law and Order: SVU reruns the entire day.

In my pre-baby fantasies, I had  imagined  putting Lilly down for a nap in her crib while I got all the cooking, cleaning, and laundry done before my husband got home. I would probably even have time to do a quick workout DVD and shower before dinner. In reality, I was lucky if I changed out of my pajamas by 5:00 P.M.

So where had I gone wrong? I had set such unrealistically high expectations for my life as a new mom, it was impossible to live up to them.

I remembered having a conversation with one of my best friends, Sarah.Sarah had always said that she didn’t want kids, and I always tried to encourage her to change her mind. About a month into being a mom, I called Sarah. Forget what I said about you having kids. I was a kid expert and I’m dying here! DON’T DO IT! I told her. She laughed.

Fast forward to somewhere around month four of being a mom. Lilly started smiling and giving me the positive feedback that I so desperately needed. She was eating less frequently and sleeping longer at night. My life was falling into a bit of a routine.

I called Sarah back. Hey you know what? It gets easier. You should TOTALLY have kids! But you’ll need my help!

Recently, I have had a bunch of friends have their first babies. I have tried my best to reach out to them during what can be an emotionally-draining couple months of new motherhood. So to Cindy, Marta, Brie, Elizabeth, and Marion… you’re all doing a wonderful job and remember- it sucks for all of us at first! But it WILL get better.

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5 thoughts on “Great Expectations

  1. Thanks Linds. You’ve been truly amazing. Not a day goes by when I don’t text you a question (or complaint) and you’re always reassuring. Readers, take this Naughty Mommy’s advice. She knows what she’s talking about!

  2. Amen sister it gets sooooo much easier after month 4. It’s a real game changer. Teething is no match for this mommy, colic on the other hand nearly threw me over the edge but the good thing is I’m on the other side When people say it gets easier, it really does! Can’t wait for your wisdom on number two!

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