Things That Surprised Me About Motherhood and Babies

The crick in your neck you get from looking down to watch your sweet angel nurse (I swear it’s when they look the sweetest).

How many muslin swaddle blankets, and blankets in general, I use on a daily basis.

How spit up, at least for now, dries clear and I’ve got no problem wearing clothes around that secretly are covered in it (who has time to change??).

That putting a sleeping baby down is like setting down a highly sensitive bomb…that usually goes off mere minutes later.

That babies habituate. Meaning they sort of pretend they are asleep…tricky, tricky.

Inspecting poop color is just part of the job.

How many things you google in those first few weeks.

How important having a good book to read is considering your spend at least a quarter of every 24 hours nursing.

It’s nearly impossible to put together a semi-cohesive outfit with the scream of a newborn ringing in your ears.

How addicting clothes shopping for your little one can be.

How quickly you learn to do your hair and makeup…and how your standards of what acceptable hair and makeup are change. So do your standards of what constitutes getting dressed.

That you don’t know what to do with a newborn that is awake since they can’t really see all that well, don’t understand toys, and that awesome play gym/mat thing is of no interest to them yet. So you just try to get them to go back to sleep again.

Envying working mothers (please don’t take this as any intention to spark a debate on working vs nonworking mothers!!), because they get a little bit of a break during the day.

Also envying your husband because he not only gets a break, but life in general doesn’t change that much for him in the first few months after the baby is born.

How non-fragile your baby is.

That those fruit and veggie pouches intended for babies and toddlers, actually make great food for mamas who don’t have a spare hand to actually fix something decent to eat.

How terrified you are that your baby will have a meltdown while you are out in public…usually the grocery store.

No matter how much you want to, or how many people advise you to, it’s really hard to sleep when the baby sleeps…especially if there are things you need to get done, or simply because it’s really hard to turn off your brain on demand mid-morning, or in the afternoon.

How you sometimes long for those days when it was just you and your husband being wild and free…this usually happens along with a burden of guilt for feeling that way…and also occurs most often in the wee hours of the morning when all you want to do is sleep. But at least you can chock those feelings up to sleep deprived deliriousness.

How hard it is to stay hydrated. Somehow your water bottle is never in a convenient location.

How dry your lips get, even though you have chapstick strategically placed all over the house, but for some reason never remember to apply it when you’re near it.

How sore (and hard!) your boobs get when they are full.

That not every baby likes pacifiers.

That for it to be a completely natural process, there is so much to know and learn about breastfeeding.

The astounding amount of gas a tiny baby can have.

How good your hearing gets when there are little cries and grunts to be heard.

How many times you check your baby to make sure they are still breathing…especially if they actually nap or sleep for long period of time.

Learning that you never “wait” to use the bathroom. If you have a chance, you go!

How much babies move during sleep.

Finally understanding that you actually do have to learn how to do just about everything one handed.

How little you care about whipping a boob out no matter where you are to feed your hungry baby. After childbirth your concept of modesty is permanently altered, not to mention your baby’s needs come before any notion of someone else’s comfort…but I do still use a cover in public. True story: While we were in Germany we walked down “cardiac hill” for dinner, and at the end of dinner Aubrey  decided it was time to eat, and no, she was not waiting until we could make the 15 minute walk back up the hill. In a sort of panic I ended up frantically trying to maneuver my shirt out of the way so I could nurse her in the Boba wrap, while walking the hill, and panting and sweating. This also happened again one day when we were walking around Kaiserslautern. The nice thing is that if you have a blanket over the Boba, you can be walking around nursing your baby and no one is the wiser!

How many hangnails babies get.

How much babies skin peels once they are born.

How hard it is not to pick at baby acne.

That you actually love your baby’s breath.

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