1. Using the restroom - But seriously, the day where you could take your time in the restroom... you can kiss that goodbye. Your new normal will be either holding it, holding your bundle of joy while you go, or going so quickly that you don't get to finish. Who knew that restroom time would be something we take for granted.
2. A "quick" errand. - These don't exist anymore. A quick stop into the Walgreen's for tampons is no longer a quick errand. You need to get the stroller out, get the carseat out... it all becomes a big production. It's best to just wait until you've got someone with you.
3. Grocery shopping - Yup, you will hope that your little one is sleeping the entire trip, but you will find yourself rushing around the store in hopes that you can grab everything on your list before little wakes up. Everything is a race against time. That's for sure.
4. Showering - It has gotten to the point where I genuinely think that taking a shower is selfish. Yes, showering = selfish. I always try to snag a shower when Amelia is sleeping, but sometimes she wakes up halfway through and that means I need to hurry up which normally leaves me with half washed hair.
5. Sleeping in- This one might seem obvious, but even if your baby is a rockstar sleeper you probably won't sleep in past 7:00am for a while. Those lazy Sunday's morning are long gone. For at least a couple years.
But, at the end of the day... we all love our littles more than using the restroom, running errands, grocery shopping, showering or sleeping. I wouldn't change a thing.
When my husband and I met, I was only 20 and he was 26. We met at a bar via some friends and the rest is history. This post isn't about my husband though. It's about the packaged deal he came with. That packaged deal was an ex-wife and a 2 year old. Ya'll I was 20... I was eating frozen pizza every night, sleeping in until 2:00pm and laundry wasn't a word in my vocabulary. All of a sudden there was a 2 year old in my life. Like, what? Well, let my tell you guys... I had to learn a lot.
They say that your 'person' helps you grow and be a better version of yourself (which my husband totally does) but, my step-son really was the one to do that. All of a sudden my life was more about Ethan than myself. Welcome to motherhood, right?
I quit my job bartending, stopped sleeping in until 2:00pm, learned (slowly) how to cook, figured out how to do the laundry, quit smoking... and Wreck It Ralph was my new favorite movie. Side note: PIXAR is life you guys.
Being a step-mom has been an amazing and life changing challenge. Yes, a challenge. It's hard to love someone like your own and then be reminded that your just the step-mom. When I say "be reminded" I'm not talking about the "your not my real mom." line you see in the movies. It's the little things. Like picking him up from school, and not being on the pick-up list... or a trip to the doctor and the front desk staff reiterates (a dozen times) that I'm not his legal guardian or parent. Like I didn't know?
My step-son is a gift from God. He is so mature for his age, he is smart as can be, he has such a kind soul. I could go on and on. I swear I hit the lottery with this one. I am incredibly blessed. Did I mention he is hilarious and delivers his jokes like a really good stand up comedian?
I know that a lot of ya'll moms aren't so lucky. You struggle with the ex-wives, your step kids can be difficult.... I know. I just wanted to remind you ladies that anyone who takes on someone else child to call their own, is an amazing human being. Keep doing what your doing. When the kids are old enough to understand and see your love and sacrifices (that you didn't have to give or make) they will appreciate you. Be the bigger person. You are strong and you are brilliant. I admire you.
Getting a bit personal. sorry, not sorry. I am not the kind of mom that has an "all natural, no medications, water-birth bound" approach to pregnancy, labor and delivery. In fact, I strongly support every mama and all the decisions that one might make for herself, her little and her family. To each their own. Being a mama is hard, and I don't judge any of you for the decisions you make and the routes you take in this adventure. Breast feed? Cool! Pump? Awesome! Formula? Super. Water Birth? How neat! No Meds? More power to you! I, myself, wanted to labor, wanted an epidural if and when appropriate and I wanted to experience a vaginal birth. I wanted to go into labor naturally. I wanted to feel what woman have felt since the beginning of time. That birth plan wasn't anything crazy. Just another labor and delivery. You know that they say... "Man plans and God laughs." This couldn't be anymore true for my birthing story.
What the hell was a contraction? Firstly, I am a first time mama. All of these feelings and emotions and processes are new to me. I literally had (and have) no idea what a contraction feels like. All I knew is that "I would know when I was having them." When I went to the doctor on Tuesday for my 39 week check-up, my OB informed me that I wasn't dilated and still barely effaced. He said that I will most likely go past my due-date and that I would probably have to be medially induced. That wasn't ideal for me, but I was fine with it because I had posted an eviction notice on my uterus about two weeks prior. I was done being pregnant. The rest of the day was normal, I was a bit irritated I wasn't dilated, but oh well. Off to sleep. Uh, no. At about 11:00pm I got the worst heartburn. Ya'll, I had been straddling with terrible heartburn my entire third trimester. But this.... WAS TERRIBLE. I took some Mylanta (couldn't take Tums because I had been suffering from Kidney Stones... which by the way is excruciating). I fell asleep for about an hour and woke up with the most painful tightening pains in my lower back. I couldn't breathe. I thought, "this is it! Contractions!" I started to time this pain because thats what your supposed to do when you are having contractions. That is when i realized that this pain couldn't be times, because It didn't stop. It was consistent and it was getting worse. Now, I was feeling it in my abdomen and specifically in my right rib cage right under my tata. Now, I couldn't walk, breathe or talk. I stayed this way for about an hour and then decided to wake up my husband and call the doctor. At 1:00am we went to Labor & Delivery to be monitored.
What the hell is going on in there? The nurse checked my cervix... still no dilation. She then but the monitor on my stomach to track babies heartbeat and my contractions. She couldn't find the heartbeat. She had me flip over every which way and put the monitor all over my stomach as a cried and winced in pain, but also from fear. My husband didn't really realize what was going on, but I knew. I could feel my little girl's movements, but they were infrequent and weak. I knew something was wrong, but didn't say a word to anyone. The next thing I know, the nurse said I was about to feel drunk. Thanks pain meds, and I fell asleep for about 4 hours. While I was asleep, they took some images of my gallbladder and discovered my gallstones and sludge. This was the pain I was experiencing. at about 5am my OB came in and woke me and my husband up. He told us that when I first got to L&D the nurse struggled to find my girls heartbeat because her heart rate had dropped significantly for about 2 minutes. This means that when I was in pain, my baby girl was in danger. He said that laboring on top of my stones would put me at high risk for a still-birth and that a c-section was necessary for my safety and more importantly the safety of my little girl. What a change in less than 24 hours form my doctors appointment. I agreed, then I cried. A LOT.
When i didn't care. At 4:20pm on May 9th, my little girl arrived via c-section as healthy as can be. Weighing 8lb 2oz and measuring 20.5 inches. I realized at that moment, that I did get to experience what mother's have been experiencing since the beginning of time. I prayed with my eyes closed until the second I heard my baby girl cry for the first time. Then I touched her, saw her, and the nurse laid her on my chest. At that second it didn't matter how my girl was brought into this world, it mattered that she was here and alive and healthy. I didn't feel the pains of labor and a vaginal delivery, but I had my own pains. The pain of fear, the pain of kidney stones, the pain of gallbladder stones, the pain of coping, the pain of my incision, the pain of not latching, the pains that come with a c-section. I'm okay with my c-section. I have my baby girl. My healthy, beautiful amazing baby girl.
Ya'll, I always said I wanted to have one baby. I only wanted to go through pregnancy once and be done with it. Man OH man, did that change. I was so lucky during my pregnancy. Other than occasional heartburn and mood swings (which my husband suffered from more than me), I was in the clear. I didn't have nausea or bad acne or crazy weight gain. Don't kill me, I had my fair share of "awful" in my last trimester (read my birth story). In fact, I loved being pregnant. I loved that my little was in my belly and I was never alone. Feeling her kicks was a reminder that my best friend was with me. I learned so much about myself and didn't only grow physically, but mentally as well.
I am also a step-mom to an amazing 8 year old. I have been part of Ethan's life since he was 2. He is so mature and smart and handsome and it blows my mind that I was blessed with two awesome kids. Part of the reason I thought I only wanted one kiddo of my own, was because of Ethan. I don't want to alienate or ostracize him. Does that even make sense? I feel like the bigger the age gap, the less he will feel 'part of the family.' I know that my husband and I are very cautious in making sure that he never feels that way, but still. I'm worries that if I have another, the age gap would instantly make him feel like he has been put on the back burner.
Not trying to toot my own horn, but I'm also a pretty good mom. I only say this, because I never thought I would be. I'm incredibly surprised at myself to be honest. I'm also very lucky that Amelia sleeps well at night and is a pretty easy baby. Now I find myself trying to decide If I want another baby. Ask anyone that knows me... I was NOT planning on another kiddo. It was not on my agenda, that was for sure. Things change though right? I've learned that I live for this. I was literally born to be a mom. My life has a whole new meaning and purpose and I freaking love it.
So ladies, How many kids do you have? How did you decide on a number? Do you really need a good reason to have another baby other than you want to?
Do ya'll remember being younger? Do you remember how mean kids were? Maybe you were even the mean kid? I know that I was both on the giving and receiving side of bullying. It's hard to admit that, but I think most of us can relate. When I learned that I was having a girl, I had a little bit of an emotional breakdown. I knew how rude girls could be.
When I was in elementary school, I went to a Jewish religious day school where our school uniform was skirts below our knees. During P.E we were able to switch into our shorts, but immediately had to switch back into our skirt after class. During P.E one day the 'mean girls' actually flushed my skirt down the toilet... like, wtf? I think we were like 9. What in the world, right?
Now, that I am a mom, I am starting to see where this behavior comes from. Where bullying originates and how kids develop such habits. It's us ya'll. It's the parents. When our kids see us talking poorly about someone, making fun of someone, degrading someone, yelling at someone etc... they mimic these behaviors. Not only that, but if you don't ever discipline your child, if you praise them like they are god's gift to earth, that is how they are going to act. It starts in the home you guys.
Last year, my step-son had a kid in his class that was picked on. I felt for the kid. I really did. Ethan would tell us all kinds of stories about him and how the kids, even the teacher weren't very nice to him. That's when I took the opportunity to talk to Ethan about bullying. How not only should we be nice to everyone, but we also need to stand up for the kids that are being bullied. I told him that he didn't need to be his friend, but he did need to be nice to him.
It's important to talk to our kids about disabilities, inclusion and acceptance. It's also important, that we ourselves implement positive behavior so that our children can mimic the good. I know it's a difficult topics, but it needs to be addressed. As a parent, we don't ever want our children to feel hurt. We don't want our kids to feel the pain of bullying. We don't want them to suffer from the affects of it. My point is that if we don't want our kids to experience this, we shouldn't want other kids to feel it either. Just remember that our kids are more aware of what is going on than we think they are. Use that to your advantage and set a good example.
Kids are the future. If we want them to live in a better world, we need to help them create it.
Where do I even begin with this one? I kind of gave ya'll a quick snapshot about me in the "About Me" portion of this blog, but I guess let's dig in a bit deeper. I have ALWAYS been a quitter. I quit everything that got hard or boring. The only thing I can say that I completed was High School. Yay me. When Amelia was born I instantly knew that I could not quit. I knew that being a mom was something that you can't take a break from, you can't press the pause button on and you definitely can't quit. Amelia is making me a finisher, not a quitter.
On the topic of finisher. I am finishing my BS degree. Finally. After lots of starts, lots of different majors and even lots of different colleges... I've decided that I want Amelia to be able to say that her mom is a _________ (fill in the blank). I want Amelia to know that her mom has a degree and that she can get one to. I am finally committed to finishing. I am confident in that I absolutely can finish.
Speaking of confidence, No more body shaming! I cant say that I'm confident in my body but I am definitely going to fake it until I make it. I am nourishing my body with healthy whole foods and getting in small exercises when I can. I am NOT starving myself or killing myself at the gym. I want Amelia to be confident in her own skin and have a positive body image. She is going to be exposed to a lot of unrealistic expectations of what she "should" look like and I want her to have a positive role model.
I have become a bit of a neat freak. I never was this way. Now, whenever I see Amelia near clutter.... I get Anxiety! I know it sounds crazy, but It's like the nesting period never subsided. Thanks Amelia, your daddy loves this new found characteristic.
I don't sleep. Well, I do... but always with one ear open. I don't think this will ever change. I constantly find myself listening for Amelia. I used to be such a heavy sleeper. Literally, a tornado couldn't wake me. Fast forward to now; I hear absolutely everything.
Shopping for myself is no longer a thing. For Christmas, I normally get a nice big gift card to Nordstrom from my in-laws. I usually would make it last a couple months at Nordstrom Rack (like I said, It's normally a LARGE amount). Nope, not anymore. I take any and all shopping sprees and buy my daughter clothes and accessories. Oh motherhood.
Lastly, I can no longer watch any type of show on murder, kidnapping, rape or anything involving harm to children. I used to LOVE Law & Order, Criminal Minds and the like... now, I literally can't take it. I immediately think of that happening to Amelia and can't shake it. No more shows like that. Seriously.
How have ya'll changed after having kiddos?