Holy cow! I feel like these last two weeks have been an absolute whirlwind. The time has gone by fast and slow all at the same time. It feels like it has been literally months since I got home from the hospital, but at the same time it feels like it has gone by fast. Weird, I know. Overall, mommy-hood has been amazing and overwhelming and tiring and surreal and challenging. To be completely honest, these past two weeks have gone a lot differently than I had imagined prior to giving birth. But different doesn’t mean bad. Here’s are a few of my candidly honest thoughts about motherhood, 2 weeks in.
No sleep is no joke
I think, thus far, the very hardest part about this whole mom thing is the lack of sleep. I have never done well with no sleep. Prior to having Jude, I always went to bed promptly around 9:30pm and woke up around 5:30am. I liked this sleep schedule, and always felt well rested. Now, as you can imagine, I get basically no sleep. About once or twice a day, Jude will sleep for 3 whole hours at one time and that is heaven. I now consider a full nights sleep to be three hours in a row. During the day, I never feel too tired even though I rarely get much sleep at night. But when nighttime rolls around, I have a lot harder time maintaining. I know this will get better as time goes on and Jude begins sleeping for longer stretches, and gets his nights and days figured out. But for now, no sleep is no joke.
Breastfeeding is also no joke
Another thing that has been very challenging for me is nursing, which I did not expect. I thought it was just be a super natural thing that would be easy, but I was wrong. In the first couple of days of breastfeeding in the hospital, I actually really enjoyed it and felt really bonded to Jude in the process. But after a couple of days passed, it got SO painful! I won’t go too into depth here, but I’m sure you fellow mothers know what I mean. My milk came in (cue engorgement), Jude had a hard time latching, and it was becoming overwhelming to feed 12+ times a day. Now that I am two weeks in, breastfeeding has definitely gotten much easier, and I’m sure it will only get easier with time. But it was a process to get here. I think the hardest thing about nursing is the time commitment. Jude needs to eat about every 2-3 hours, and he eats for about 40 minutes each time. I think that’s about 8 hours everyday spent literally just sitting in a chair nursing. Plus, time for burping, getting him to sleep after eating, etc. I feel like I can’t even hardly leave the house because of the feeding routine. Pretty soon, I am going to start pumping once or twice a day so my husband can share the feeding responsibility with me. 🙂 Oh also, I thought there were a lot of things I couldn’t eat during pregnancy, but now that I’m nursing there are even more food items added to the list! Ahh! (I’ve cut out dairy due to Jude’s colic/gassiness to see if it helps him).
The love I feel for Jude is unreal
I knew I would love my baby boy very much, but it is much more intense that I anticipated! Jude is very gassy and maybe a little colicky, and so once or twice a day (sometimes more) he gets REALLY fussy and just cries and cries and it is almost impossible to console him. This gives me such bad anxiety and I want nothing more than to just take his gas pain away and make him feel better. When he is sad, I am sad. On the flip side, when he is happy and content I feel so happy and content myself. I look at him sometimes while feeding him or rocking him to sleep and just can’t believe how much I love the little guy. I want his life to be perfect and I never want him to have to experience any hardship or pain, which I know is impossible. He received a blessing, and in the blessing it was said that he “shouted for joy at the chance to come to earth to this family even though he knew it would be hard,” so that brings me comfort when he is struggling with gas pain, and it will bring me comfort throughout his life as he goes through his individual trials.
My life will never be the same
Today, I got out of the house for an hour to go to the store while Jude was sleeping and my Mom babysat. I was thinking back to just two and half short weeks ago when I went to the store, and my life was so much more carefree. I had no one to think about except myself. Now, my thoughts are consumed by baby! I hardly enjoyed my time at the store because I was so worried about getting home before Jude woke up. This isn’t a bad thing, just different. My life will literally never be the same now that I have a child. I imagined maternity leave to be a lot of fun, with lots of spare time to get stuff done and take Jude on fun outings, etc. It has so far just been a lot of work. 🙂 I am still adjusting to this new normal, and trying to push aside the selfish part of myself that sometimes misses my old life. I am so happy to have Jude in my family, and am willing to lose my carefree life for him.
I respect every Mother I know SO much more now
Oh man, I had no idea how hard it was to be a Mom and now every Mother I see I look at with admiration and respect. I used to think being a stay-at-home Mom was easier than working full-time…WRONG! Mommin’ aint easy. It requires so much physical and emotional strength, it consumes your mind 24 hours a day, and you definitely don’t get a 30 minute lunch break! When I get overwhelmed and think I can’t go on, I think about all the amazing Mother’s I know and use their examples to help me power through. Plus, my own Mom has been a constant source of support these past two weeks. She has even taken a couple of night shifts so I could get some good sleep! She is a true saint and I honestly have no idea how I could have survived these two weeks without her. I don’t know how many times I have asked her, in a panic, “Is this normal?!” and she has assured me, “Yes, it is.” THANK YOU MOM, I LOVE YOU!
I hope this hasn’t come off too negative, I just wanted to document my honest thoughts about motherhood to look back on in the future. Maybe in a couple of months I’ll look back on this post and think “wow this has gotten so much easier!”…maybe not. But either way, I wouldn’t change where I’m at right now for anything. I am trying my best to not play the comparison game, because I feel like no other Mother’s around me are struggling as much as I have! Despite the trials, I am SO thankful to have the opportunity to be a Mom on this earth. It is truly God’s work that I am doing, and I do not take that lightly. When I find myself feeling down, feeling like I am not a good Mom, I immediately start praying nonstop, thanking Heavenly Father for everything He has given me and I instantly feel better. Mom life is a hard life but a GOOD life!