Here are a five things I’ve found to be true since becoming a mom. These may not be true for everyone, and they may not be true for me forever, but they’re true for me in this stage of life!
MOM TRUTHS WITH A 3 MONTH OLD…
1. You will never wake up “on your own” again. This truth is cruel. As humans, we get used to waking up on our own, practice if for years and years, and then in one day everything changes. Since I was 7 or 8, “waking up” has meant that I set my alarm clock to a time that was appropriate for me OR I chose to sleep in. Now something else always wakes me up…and it generally needs me for something RIGHT AWAY. I’m not going to lie—it feels a little brutal sometimes. If you don’t have a child, soak up the freedom to control your wakeup time and do what you want first thing in the morning. It’s something I took for granted and never will again!
2. You can feel overwhelmed with love and joy at 4 am. Zoe always gives me the biggest smile when I change her diaper and feed her at that time of night. Sometime she screeches with excitement (which does send a shiver down my spine as I wonder, “is she up?!!!” but also simultaneously fills me with complete joy!) That “up at night” time isn’t a waste. For a while, some friends and I did a “Midnight Moms” prayer group where we sent prayer requests to one another since we were all up with newborns anyway. It was precious to utilize that time in a way that connected me with others and the Lord. Now, three months of sleep deprivation have taken their toll so I’m a little less gracious about it all, but I still have my nights where it feels like a giant gift to be up at 4 am.
3. You may want to punch your former pride and joy in the face. Okay, maybe that was a little extreme, but still. I used to ADORE my dog and think she could do no wrong. Her barking in the yard? Annoying, but she’s quirky. Her inability to come in from the yard when I called her? My stubborn little angel. Probably a flaw in the way I trained her. Her love of chasing squirrels while on walks? Adorable! Now, I am filled with rage several times a day as a result of all of these quirks. I still LOVE my dog, but I’m looking at her behaviors in a whole new light now that I’m spending day after day with her and my newborn. She wakes my child up with her barking several times a day, ignores me and forces me to walk outside in the cold with said child to collect her from the yard, and I can’t walk her when I’m alone with Zoe because of her squirrel-chasing spasms (and when she doesn’t get as much exercise, her resulting high energy exacerbates all of these behaviors.)
To be fair, though, I’m also filled with love several times a day when she gently licks Zoe, gets excited to see Zoe when she wakes up from her naps, and makes Zoe smile. And I’m filled with amusement when she judges my parenting…seriously, this happens: she looks at me like I’m the biggest slacker if Zoe is crying for a millisecond and I don’t drop everything to respond. Then she sighs heavily (I’m not kidding) and walks over to Zoe like, “fine, I’ll do this job since SOMEONE around here needs to.”
My sister has started calling her “Nana” (like the dog in Peter Pan) and that’s what I try to focus on…her love for Zoe.
But seriously, if anyone wants to send over a free dog trainer, that would be fantastic.
4. Coffee=gift from God. I’ve always been a coffee fan, but man, it makes being mom just a little bit easier. I have a cup every morning (not new) and most days have another “caffeine fix” around 2 pm to get me through the rest of the day (new)—usually green tea because it’s supposed to be healthier, give you more sustained energy, be less acidic, bla bla bla and (the real reason) it’s like 25 cents per serving so it fits well into our budget. I usually drink it halfheartedly wishing it was coffee. The days that I let myself have another cup of coffee…those are the glorious days.
I can’t imagine how breastfeeding mamas put in a full day of mothering without caffeine. There aren’t many things that make me feel like “adoption is way better than giving birth” but y’all? If you adopt, you can drink all the coffee you want. I’m just saying.
5. Mom Time is different than Real Time. Packing a diaper bag, my personal items, Zoe’s carseat, Zoe’s stroller— balancing Zoe’s feeding schedule, Zoe’s naps, Zoe’s diaper and outfit change—getting both of us showered/bathed/dressed/fed and out the door—I can’t estimate with any accuracy how long these things will take to complete. I have a few friends with newborns and we chat about meeting at “10:15, Mom Time.” That might mean that we don’t get there until 10:30. It might mean that we’re early so we can feed our little one before starting our activity. It might mean that we don’t even show up because someone has a meltdown, falls asleep, or throws up (we do call in that instance.) I try my hardest to be places on time but if I’m late? Just give me some grace. I’m on Mom Time.