By Caroline, Contributing Writer
There is nothing that can prepare you for motherhood. No amount of books or your mother-in-law telling you about it will ever prepare you for the marathon that is motherhood. It’s a spit-up-covered-unshowered-messy-bun-pjs-all-day kind of marathon.
I was grossly unprepared for life with a newborn when my oldest son was born. I thought that everything went back to normal after the baby was born and that life wouldn’t change too drastically once I had an extra person with me.
After all, how much trouble can something that weighs 8 pounds be?
Fast forward to my first month postpartum after a c-section and I still didn’t feel anywhere close to “normal.” I broke down on the phone with my sister-in-law, saying that I was such a failure as a mom because I was still in my spit-up-covered shirt and the baby was in the same outfit he had worn for the past 3 days.
It was then that she said to me the most comforting sentence in the world: “every mom goes through this! You’re doing just fine!”
After that, I realized that she was right. I started noticing other moms in the stores and I felt that we all belonged to this club: The Newborn Club. We all share half-conscious, greasy-haired smiles knowing that we’re all in the same boat.
You Know You Have A Newborn When…
- Spit up is the new black…and it’s everywhere.
- You’ve had very matter of fact and detailed conversations with everyone from your husband to a stranger in the store about poop.
- You’ve googled “how much poop is normal” at least once.
- The mom bun/ pony is the only hair style for you.
- “I showered this week… maybe…”
- You know exactly who is up at 2, 4, and 6am by what is happening on Facebook and you’ll bond with other moms who are up with their newborns at that time.
- Dry shampoo is your best friend…
- …so are maternity yoga pants and an oversized t-shirt.
- When you finally DO shower, you’ll hear “phantom cries” every 5 seconds, forcing you to run around the house with shampoo in your hair making sure that baby is okay.
- If you don’t hear “phantom cries,” you’ll get REAL cries the second you get into the shower.
- It’s been so long since you’ve worn makeup that you’ve forgotten how to apply it.
- You’re so used to bouncing and rocking your baby that if you have ANYTHING in your arms, you rock and bounce it… like your cat or your laundry.
- You’ve learned to get by without having done a single load of laundry in weeks.
- You’re constantly torn between wanting to hold your baby forever and wanting to put him down and sit there alone for a minute.
- You have your favorite spot on the couch that is convenient to everything and you will get physical if someone takes it.
- You want to hit your husband to stay awake with you during night feedings.
- When your husband sleeps through the baby crying, you have to first check if he’s alive (because no one can sleep through that) and then fight back the urge to beat him with a pillow.
- Your camera roll used to be pictures of the sky or food, but now has a million pictures of your precious baby in two days.
- You understand why your mom always crosses her legs when she sneezes.
- When you finally get the baby to sleep somewhere other than your arms, you must choose between going to sleep or attacking the literal mountain of dishes and laundry. And no matter which one you choose, you hate your decision and regret it immediately.
- You understand the amazing things that your body can do; from birthing a baby to going 7 days without more than 2 hours of sleep.
- And you understand the amazing love that a mother has for her child.
There’s no easy way to say it, having a newborn is hard work. It will push you to your limits, both physically and mentally, past the point where you ever thought possible. But even after screaming inconsolably for 3 hours, once your little ones falls asleep, there is no comparison to the love and joy you have looking at them in your arms. Welcome to Motherhood!
Wear that messy bun and spit up like a badge of honor!