I was recently talking to a new, first-time mom friend and she was telling me she didn’t want to leave the house alone with her new newborn because, “what if the baby starts crying while we’re out in public?”
I laughed. Not at her, but because I so vividly remember that feeling (I actually didn’t leave the house alone for the first 10 or 12 weeks!) and then quickly remembered the day before: Jack had an epic meltdown in Target, and rather than running to the car on the verge of tears like I did when he was a newborn, I grabbed a bag of pretzels off the Target shelf, opened them, and knew I had at least another 10 minutes before needing to find a new distraction.
Don’t get it twisted, I’m not trying to paint myself as some cool, calm, and collected mom – far from it. I still get strung out about the weirdest stuff, but things are so much different now than they were 18 months ago.
Baby crying in the car
New mom me: Cried in car along with the baby and sometimes even pulled over to nurse in a random parking lot due to the belief that Jack may starve to death if I didn’t.
Current me: *turns up radio*
New mom me: Charted and documented the number of wet and dirty diapers in a day; would also change a wet diaper as soon as the indicator line turned the lightest shade of blue.
Current me: If I can’t smell the pee, I’m sure it’s fine.
New mom me: Nursed all day, every day (which is unavoidable for any new mom who breastfeeds – new or seasoned) but it was my crutch fo’ sho. When we switched over to a bottle, I obsessed over the ounces he consumed per day, and when that number was low, I again feared starvation (and cried about it more than once.)
Current me, to my toddler who can barely speak: How much milk have you had today?
New mom me: Couldn’t comprehend how I was supposed to leave my baby for 15 minutes, because he needed 24/7 care and attention FROM ME ONLY, OBVIOUSLY.
Current me: Can’t comprehend why I wasn’t able to savor those first few immobile months of Jack’s life. Hindsight, man.
New mom me: Deeply concerned about the homemade and/or organic factor.
Current me: Would love to only feed my kid homemade, organic foods, but now accepts the reality that single serve Velveeta cups are the shit.
To all my new mom friends, I promise it won’t be long before you’re opening unpurchased merchandise off the shelves to feed your child, and you will one day shower without guilt, and things will (if only for a brief moment) seem easier.
As I enter the third trimester of this pregnancy, I can’t help but wonder how things will be different with a new baby. While I won’t be a new new mom, I’ll be new to the two-under-two game, and I’m already bracing myself for impact.
But this is how parenting goes, right? As soon as you feel confident in your abilities, everything gets turned upside down and you have to adapt to something new. (And as a spoiler to you and my future self – you always figure out how to adapt.)