I’ve been a mom for a month. Owen has grown so much. All those clichés about one minute they’re coming home from the hospital and the next they’re off to college? True, true. Owen’s gained almost two pounds, he’s much more alert, he’s tracking objects with his eyes and he’s generally the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. A few things I know after just four weeks:
- I love being a Mom. It just feels normal to me. It was a major adjustment, but the day-to-day feels right… as a little girl, I didn’t dream about my wedding, I dreamed about my children and my jobs. Getting married felt weird to me. Homemaking doesn’t come naturally. But I started working the minute I was eligible for a worker’s permit. And this? This just feels like me.
- Babies = $$$$$. First, breastfeeding is not free. Pumps ($100-300), parts ($20-50), lactation consultants ($150/hour), feeding pillows ($50, and trust me, you need the My Brest Friend, not the Boppy), bras ($50. Those $20 ones don’t work for the chesty), bottles, freezer storage, etc. Formula is expensive, too. We bought 5 brands of pacifiers before finding one he liked. We’re on our fourth brand of bottle (and luckily are sticking with this one). Third type of formula. Gripe water for tummy troubles, gas drops for poots (my new favorite word. It might be Owen’s first as much as I say it to him while he’s working one out)… oh, and speaking of poots… DIAPERS. Anyone know a women’s shelter that wants the two packs of newborn diapers I bought before realizing they leak on him (all babies are different)? The downside to tracking your expenses is realizing how much money you spend. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
- The body is an amazing thing. Not just the whole “I pushed a human out of my uterus into this world!” thing, but in its ability to repress the straight-up awfulness of that first week home from the hospital and run on 2 hours of sleep (that you got in 20 minute increments). Our first week home, I thought I was going to go nuts. My brain was all “YOU HAVE TO DO THIS FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE?!” panicked, hormones coursing through like crazy, breastfeeding insanity, just lots of crying. And then I started feeling better. Now? Now I’ve forgotten what contractions felt like, I’ve forgotten how distraught I was that first week, and I’m happier than I’ve ever been. Mother nature continues the human race by repressing these types of memories. Sneaky bitch.
- This isn’t necessarily universal, but most of us can be ready for a totally different body post-baby. My cute belly button? Stretched. My flat, mostly toned stomach (compared to the rest of me)? Stretched and marked. I spent $60 on 2 oz of Strivectin (and that was the sale price). It better frickin’ work. I have a second chin for the first time since 7th grade and my boobs are just plain sad. It’s not likely I’ll ever shop for another two-piece bathing suit and I have a long battle in the gym and the kitchen ahead of me (though I’ve lost 28 lbs so far!). And it doesn’t really matter that much. I mean, I want my body back, but look what I made! Worth it, eh?
- Little Owen, curled up and dreaming on my chest, is so beautiful he’s not really real. When I was pregnant I never dreamed of what he looked like and I was a little disappointed that I hadn’t been able to picture him… and now I realize I couldn’t have even imagined someone this amazing.
- That whole “my mom is crazy!” phase everyone goes through in high school? You’re damn right I’m crazy. I plan to be straight up crazy over this kid til they scatter my ashes on Booth Road. In other words… I never really appreciated the psychic burden of being a mom. Now that I’ve begun to, I still think moms are crazy, but now I get it. Women are amazing, amazing creatures. Sorry dudes. The penis may get all the glory, but we ladies are the miracle-working, baby-growing, ass-kicking, hormone-handling, world-running superheros.