Jill had baby Alexa back in March, and she and I have bonded over our occasional (heck, more than occasional) sleep-striking babies. Alexa is adorable and has cheeks that rival Scotty's, but Jill went through her own SwaddleGate just a few weeks ago. For me, I appreciate and admire other moms who can honestly talk about how a baby changes a person's life - both the good and bad - without a glossed-over version of the challenges. Jill, in my opinion, hits the nail on the head - staying at home, while a blessing, can be lonely. It can be overwhelming. It can be incredibly fulfilling. Regardless of the initials after your name, Motherhood is the great equalizer.
Thank you, Jill, for a great entry! And I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I did.
This is the first - and only - blog I’ve ever followed, and to be honest, I still don’t even know what the word blog stands for. Despite that fact, it is such an honor to be a guest blogger on The Bed Rest Book Club blog! I’m wondering if Kim secretly asked me to guest blog so I’d have something to do other than write her frantic behind-the-scenes emails asking her to fix my problems (how did you solve the nap protest? how do you transition the baby out of the swaddle? how do you know when you’ve found the right cabinet knobs?). Well, whatever her motivation, I’m touched.
Like Kim, I’m a newish first time mom to 4.5 month old Alexa. Prior to becoming a mom, I was a neurotic person who moved too fast, worked a ton, and figured everything out according to a nice system of checklists and systematic plans. Then enter said baby. She’s cute as all get-out and makes me happy in a way I could have never imagined, but man, life as I knew it changed. Here are some of the surprising things that happened to me since becoming a mom:
- I started to suck my thumb, literally: I’ve never needed much sleep, and have always stayed up very late and tried to keep others up late with me. I therefore thought I’d have a major leg up on other moms when dealing with a newborn. Haha - not so fast. I’ve been so desperate for sleep since Alexa was born that I’ve resorted to some strange things. For instance, lately, my husband and I have been sucking our thumbs. Why? It’s totally rational…see our little girl can’t seem to put herself back to sleep because she doesn’t know how to self-soothe yet. The pacifier worked for a while, but then we started playing the pacifier-falls-out-baby-wakes-up-mom-puts-pacifier-back-in game about 100 times each night. So Chris and I think that if we can just get Alexa to suck her thumb, the pacifier game will be over. In an effort to model good thumb-sucking behavior, Chris and I spend lots of our time walking around with our thumb in our mouth, sucking away, hoping the wee one will catch on before we both need braces.
- The soundtrack to my life has become alarming: I’ve always loved pretty mainstream music, oh, and ghetto rap. Throughout the first 29 years of my life, I walked around with lyrics from respectable groups or artists like U2, Dave Matthews, Coldplay, oh, and Jay-Z running through my head.During Alexa’s first couple of months, I would try to sing to her as entertainment; however, I sadly realized I had forgotten the words to most children’s songs…but somehow remembered every single church camp song ever written despite the fact that I stopped practicing any type of religion years ago (cognitive-dissonance, take center stage). Another bad musical moment: after Kim broke motherhood down into 3 simple phases on her blog a few weeks back (i.e., 0-3 mo. = hell, 4-6 mo. = a bit of normalcy returns, 6+ mo = many rewards await), I eagerly anticipated the 4 month mark. Once Alexa’s 4 month birthday arrived, I felt so excited to have made it to the “bit of normalcy returns” phase that for some reason, the song “Coming Out of the Dark” kept bursting into my head!! AHH! Make it stop! Who sings that crappy song anyway?!! (for the record, I just googled it and it’s Gloria freakin’ Estefan).
- I stalk people: But don’t call the cops! It’s not in the scary way! See, I have had the good fortune of having an almost 6 month paid maternity leave. I value my time at home with Alexa SOOO much, but I’vegotta tell you, sometimes the days drag on a bit. Therefore, I often find myself glancing out my home’s windows to see if anyone else in the neighborhood is outside. If I see someone, I scoop up the baby and quickly pop out there for a little adult conversation. On Tuesday and Thursday mornings, I often just happen, by pure coincidence and no prior planning of course, to be walking past Mrs. Schefler’s driveway as she and her kids pull into their driveway after swimming lessons. And each afternoon, right when neighbor Marla gets home from work at approximately 4:05pm (but who’s counting?), I serendipitously wander outside to water the plants, and oh, just happen to run into her for a nice little visit. And my mail-lady, Ms. Jackie, well, let’s just say I know her daily route, so Alexa and I are like those elderly people who do nothing but wait for the mail to come each day. If we time it just right, we can chat with the mail-lady for a minute or two before she starts darting to the next house.