Tag Archives: babies

Things they don’t teach you in parenting class

When the glitter wears off of your first-born and you have had real-time to assess the situation, facing reality can be ugly. I have to say I considered myself well prepared for motherhood, I mean about as ready as anyone can be. I was 32, had hands-on experience with my sisters when they were babies since we have a 17 and 15 year age difference, I attended every recommended class and read all the damn books and articles I could get my chubby pregnant hands on.

Once the dust settled though, you realize that there are some pretty big chunks missing from those parenting classes. Maybe because some of it falls into the category of common sense and perhaps because some of it is situational. I can’t be sure. But I suspect an updating might be in order.

Maybe it’s me, but I think we could have skipped the diaper practice and perhaps skimmed over lopsided tits or how a onsie can be correctly removed when cleaning a massive blowout instead of how many men in the class can correctly put a diaper on an unrealistic doll under pressure for a fun size Snickers. I am sure a large percentage of the class, predominantly those with breast, know how to change a diaper and am positive they can teach it to their partner if for some reason they cannot figure it out on their own throughout the course of that child’s life.

Here is a quick list of things I sure wish we discussed in at least one of the classes or countless appointments I attended.

1. There is no “getting your old body back.” Once you have grown a human being in your body it is forever changed. Your hormones may go back to normal and you may even get back down to the same weight, but your body is not the same on inside after you carry a baby and it won’t look the same on the outside. I apparently sacrificed my ass and now get migraines.

2. If you breastfeed, your tits will be lopsided at some point. Well maybe I shouldn’t generalize. If your normal breast size on the smaller size, your tits will be lopsided at some point. Everyone has a champion milk producer. Mine is my right, and by the end of the day poor leftie just looks defeated. And tired. The poor thing.

3. Sex is different after kids, and I am not just referring to the fact that it is mostly hurried sex.

4. Everyone is an expert, except you. You already know you will receive an unnerving amount of unsolicited advice. And mostly you don’t mind, some you actually appreciate receiving. But mostly the tone you receive is that they are the expert because they produced life before you and no matter what you think you know or learned in school doesn’t really measure up. Once you accept this, you can move on.

5. Kids have personalities and everything you thought you knew before hand is pretty much null and void. Unless you are some sort of medium or something, you are meeting your kid for the first time in the delivery room. Sometimes your parenting plan doesn’t work out. I would dare say most of the time. At the minimum, you can expect to make some alterations to your parenting plan. Daily alterations. Sometimes hourly.

6. Sometimes pumping milk is a challenge. I can sit there for an hour with my premium grade Modela pump and get mere ounces will my friend pumps bottle full. I am quite sure there is an explanation for this phenomena but I failed to hear it in any class or follow-up doctor’s appointments, and as a new mom I was unaware that maybe I should ask.

7. Surrounding yourself with a mom village is so important in those first years. Having babies means more time home and more time at home means less time with friends and family so slipping into a depression or feeling lonely in common. It is pretty well accepted that being a mom is the hardest job you will have, so having like-minded moms you can lean on is oh so important.

8. Educating yourself is important. Times have changed, advances have been made and information is more available than ever. I am baffled by parents who do not use the tools available to them. I am most certainly not saying “google” everything, but knowledge is power in every other avenue in our life, why do we not include parenting? Go to websites, books and local groups should be included in the information packet you get during your hospital discharge.

9. Onsies fold down from the shoulders. You may know this. I did not. If you don’t, you’re welcome.

 

It’s ok to be Grateful and Miserable at the Same Time

One of the first things everyone tells you when you have your first baby is to enjoy every minute because it goes quickly. You get tired of hearing it before the baby comes and then after they are here it is the one piece of advice that you try the hardest to remember. It does go by fast, but it can also feel Groundhog’s Day. You know what I mean.

Some days it is so hard to find the energy or the patience to mother. Babies require constant around-the-clock hands-on care and on some days you can’t even muster the will power to put big girl pants on. On those days, you especially feel the pressure to enjoy all the moments, dammit.

Right now we are in the midst of teething, so when she is clinging to my leg like a dryer sheet while I try to do the dishes and I feel absolutely miserable I can’t fix it, I have to remind myself it is all a phase and will pass. For some reason her little face from that angle, all pouty, gets me in the gut every time. And she must know it, because when she is in a mood, her to go-to method is to cling to mom for dear life. Especially if I am at the sink. Or stove. Or standing, ok, more like if I am standing. You get the point. It is easy to feel miserable in the moment. You can’t help it. Those are the times the guilt of feeling miserable can get to you.

After all, what do I have to complain about? I have a healthy, happy, smart one-year old and our needs are met and then some. If you are like me, sometimes I struggle with being grateful and miserable. It breaks my heart to watch people I know well struggle with even conceiving a baby; yet, some days I can’t get out the door and away from the house fast enough.

Mothering is hard work. And I only have the one kid, so kudos the those with multiples! It is easy to get overwhelmed by it all and fall into the miserable category a time or two, we are all human. Being grateful and miserable go hand-in-hand in the world of parenting.