Holy Poseidon on a stick!
Has it really been one month since my daughter was born? One whole month? Only one month?
I’ve lived two lifetimes in one month. I’ve barely managed to shower more than twice in one month. I’ve learned an indescribable amount about myself, my family, my priorities, and my little bread-box-sized masterpiece in one month.
My daughter was born July 23rd, and everything since then has been a blur with occasional moments of absolute clarity. The trade-off is that one moment of clarity at 2 am costs you an entire day of, shall we say absolute minimal mental functioning. There are days when I’ve had the mental capacity of a D-battery and the emotional capacity of Honey Boo Boo. (<– 27 seconds into the clip is me in the mornings)
This is definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done- but totally worth it.
I have run straight into several prominent Mommy Cliches:
1) Facebook photos- all my updates have been her. If she smiles, I put it on facebook. If she makes a funny face, ditto. My status updates all have to do with her.
2) Letting myself go- well, not really, but at 4 weeks postpartum, there’s only so much I’m prepared to do to look presentable outside of the house.
3) You ask how I’m doing, the topic will be one of three things: Eva, Eva, or how much I slept last night…because of Eva.
I’m sure there will be others to come, but I have to leave the house for more than an hour at a time in order to find out what they are. Someone very wise (name rhymes with Barrie) once told me that new moms only start to feel like themselves again at about the 6 week mark. I hope it’s true, because I sure don’t feel like myself now. Most days I feel like I’ve done a Freaky Friday switch with a temperamental bag lady who is off her meds and lives next to an All-You-Can-Eat Steakhouse Buffet.
You know how there are some pieces of advice in life so obvious, so rational, and so well known that nobody follows it? Even after being told over and over and over? It’s like the advice is too practical- you just can’t take it.
Here is that advice for me: Sleep when the baby sleeps.
Literally every mom I’ve talked to in the last year has given this as their first or second piece of advice. It’s like the first rule of Mommy Club. I think it’s also the second rule. And no matter how many times I’ve heard it (“Don’t try and clean or do other stuff, just lay down and nap. No, don’t do laundry. Quit cleaning up bottles. Lay. Down.”), what did I still try to do the first two weeks I was home? Yea. I’m an idiot.
I’m proud to say that I’m finally at the point where if her eyes are shut, mine probably are too. Except for right now. (…sigh…) Seriously, this simple piece of advice should be a tattoo that they give you in the Recovery Room. Put it backwards on your forehead, so you see it every time you look in the mirror. Just kidding- new moms don’t have time for mirrors! I’ll just write myself a note.
Other reflections on this month? My favorite musical is Wicked. And some of the lyrics from this fantabulous play goes like this:
(these lyrics are sung by Glenda, after she’s gotten everything that she thinks she ever wanted, and is trying to convince herself that she’s completely happy about it)
No, I couldn’t be happier
Though it is, I admit
The tiniest bit
Unlike I anticipated
But I couldn’t be happier
Simply couldn’t be happier
(spoken) Well – not “simply”:
(sung) ‘Cause getting your dreams
It’s strange, but it seems
A little – well – complicated
There’s a kind of a sort of : cost
There’s a couple of things get: lost
There are bridges you cross
You didn’t know you crossed
Until you’ve crossed
That’s me right now. Discovering all the little (and not so little) things that I’ve now left behind. It’s going to take a while to adjust to this new life, and I’m fine with that. But, like most hard things worth doing, there is a loss to adjust to. And that’s hard in its own way.
So, just thought I’d put that out there.
That’s my reflections on this first month, which has been simultaneously the longest and shortest month of my life. I’m adjusting, and looking forward to being able to take the baby out a bit more. She’s worth everything we’ve had to change and do, and I can’t wait to see more of her personality come out as she gets older.
Having said all that, I could really use a drink.