While I was pregnant I would often get comments from people letting me know that I will morph into a sleep zombie, my hygiene will resemble one of a teenage boy, my relationship with my partner will be flipped upside down and I can wave social activities bye-bye. So I mentally prepared myself for this new life I was about to embark on, while secretly wondering why humans aren’t more resentful towards their children.
Well I am not sure if it is because I never had rose coloured glasses on when it came to parenthood, if we have a really easy baby, or as my mom suggested I was given a shot of endorphins, dopamine or serotonin before I left the hospital, but motherhood has been fantastic. Now I am not writing this entry to brag about my awesome life and how much better I am at adjusting to being a mom than everyone else, instead like my doula said, if you have something positive to say about parenthood you should share it, because there is enough negative comments.
I have had my challenges, like breastfeeding and Cillian had gas issues. The first week after Cillian came home from the hospital I was really grateful for my party years and the training it provided in being able to function with little to no sleep, and also being thrown-up on. I was lucky that while the baby weight hasn’t fallen off as fast as I would like, my body did heal really quickly and I never had postpartum depression or baby blues. It was summer when Cillian was born and therefore I had a tan to coverup the fact that I hadn’t quite figured out how to manage putting on my face and get out of the house all in one day. My partner was home for the first three weeks which is a luxury not all can afford, once he was back at work my parents flew out to be with me for a month. My family support helped in the transition, but I think a huge part of the credit goes to Cillian.
From day one Cillian has been a very happy and easy-going baby. I do remember the nurses warning me that this might go away once the shock of being born wears-off, but 182.5 days later and I am constantly asked by people if he is always this happy, 95% of the time he is, unless he has the hangrys – but those are genetic.
What has that meant for the dirty, bitter, anti-social zombie I was meant to turn into? Well I am able to take my daily shower, even if it is with the door open and I am doing my part against global warming by significantly decreasing the length of my showers. I am back to doing my hair (I got bangs, you really only have to make sure those are good to convince everyone you put in effort) and even started to learn how to do daytime contouring. Sometimes Cillian sits with me and watches me do my make-up, but hey the kid loves a mirror – it’s a win win. My partner and I never really missed a beat; the first couple of days I was jealous of his ability to go to the grocery store while I sat on the couch boobs out and there might be a disagreement or two on parenting styles, which can usually be boiled down to miscommunication. What about our passion of restaurants and never being home? Cillian has had a few meltdowns when we took advantage of his laid-back temperament and there was a poo blowout or two while trying to eat a nice meal, or at a wedding brunch. My parents helped, there was no way they were going to stay in for four weeks, this meant Cillian and I started road-tripping and going to restaurants since week two. Lastly, how is my sleep deprivation coming along? Well Cillian started sleeping through the night at five and half months and before that he only woke up once a night since about month two – I am getting better sleep now than I did when I was working.
Looking back on the last six months I can’t believe what a little human our not so tiny creature is becoming. His mischievous and adventurous personality shining through, the fact that he now knows how to do things to get a laugh and that nothing will put a bigger smile on his face than a compliment on how beautiful he is, how he loves to discover the world around him, at times in pure frustration because he can’t move yet like he wants to. I am also surprised at who I have become. I actually think my kid is hilarious, I sing songs to him – which might be more of a form of punishment than playtime, I embrace my childhood spirit, and at night after he has been tucked into bed, I genuinely miss hanging out with him.
I know I am a rookie at this parenting thing and there are plenty of curveballs still ahead. Some people like to comment that the work is yet to come, however as a friend once told me, you don’t have to know everything to being a parent the second your child is born, your abilities as a parent grow as your child does.
I tell nervous moms-to-be that all the time- you don’t have to know ALL the parenting things right out of the gate. You can learn a little at a time! And yes, no one ever told me parenting was going to actually be FUN sometimes. Enjoying those little stinkers is what makes it all worth it!
Thank you very much for this note, sorry I just saw it in my notifications. It’s funny how you prepare yourself for what “parenthood” will be and it’s actually something fun – like you said. It makes sense if we have been doing it for so many years.