I’ve been reflecting lately about how motherhood has changed my life completely. Among all the joy and high notes, there are some really hard parts. Listed below are what I consider to be the ten most difficult aspects of motherhood.
10. A shower? Hum, doesn’t ring a bell.
I wouldn’t swear it on my son’s head, but I’m pretty sure I’ve had less showers in the past five weeks (gosh, time flies!) than my son has had baths. Where showering used to be a necessity, it has now become a luxury. But it’s ok, my baby doesn’t mind a stinky milk-covered mommy.
9. Diaper bag? Check. Car seat? Check.
It used to be that going out of the house was as easy as getting dressed and getting out. Nowadays, I have to remember to get the diaper bag (and remember to check it is stocked up), grab the car seat, strap my son in, dress him and cover him up (it’s winter here, folks!), get dressed quickly so he doesn’t get too hot and lug him out the door as I fish the keys out of my pocket and juggle with everything while crossing my fingers that I haven’t forgotten anything.
8. “Sleep when he sleeps” is good advice, in theory…
What about the sanity-keeping “me time”? What about the meals (because my partner and I definitely do not live on breast milk)? What about the dishes? And the laundry? And the… (you get the picture!).
7. Oh s***, it all over his back!
Who knew putting a diaper correctly was such a challenging affair? I’ve stopped counting the number of times we’ve had to change the clothes with the diaper because it wasn’t attached snugly enough and my son’s #2 ended up everywhere except his diaper.
6. Didn’t I just wash that?
It’s amazing how much laundry the little guy can produce. I swear, he’s worse than a teenaged girl on boosted hormones (there was a time where my little sister could change four times in a day and obviously, she would place her hardly dirty clothes in the laundry basket). Of course, throw in some washable diapers (because they’re eco. friendly, less costly in the long run and just dang cute) and you get even more laundry!
5. The first week: where pain meets motherhood
Besides being completely exhausted from the actual delivery, from being up seemingly constantly to nurse (or feed) your baby and (let’s be honest here) from spending the time your newborn actually sleeps by fondly looking at him and marveling at the fact that he came out of you, your southern parts are probably rather tender. When going to the washroom seems like a near-impossible feat because the word “stool” sounds like the scariest word in the world and you’re swollen and tender from the (likely) sutures that make sitting down and getting out of bed seem like activities worthy of the Olympics, it’s a hard time to be a mother.
4. The three-hour window
Three hours may seem like a long time, but when this laps of time represents the window of time between your baby’s initial feeding and the next time he’ll be hungry, it’s short. Timing is everything when you have to go out or take care of some housework. But you get used to it after a while.
3. You’ve met Dr. Jeckyl, now meet Mr. Hyde
I’ve talked about this in another post before, but it seems that just as you think you’ve got a handle on your baby’s needs and can predict how he will be during the day, he throws a curve ball at you and you have to relearn what makes him tick.
2. Ok so he said… But now she says…
In the world wide web is tangled a sea of information on child rearing and baby care. Of course, everyone is entitled to their (professional or personal) opinion, but the perfectionist in me finds it almost unbearably frustrating that one specialist/parent always seems to contradict the next. “Let him sleep, he’ll wake on his own if he’s hungry”, “Make sure you feed him every three hours even if it means waking him”, “At one month of age, your newborn becomes an infant”, “Actually it’s at six weeks”, “A newborn becomes an infant at three months”… So confusing!
1. Baby translator broken
Sometimes, when my son’s crying his heart out and I can’t seem to do anything about it, I look at him and ask him where he put the instruction manual. Though he rarely (read: never) laughs at the bad joke, asking him out loud helps to remind me that babies just don’t come with a user’s guide.
I did, however come across a blogger that talked about a woman who had learned to understand the universal language (5 “words”) babies spoke. Now, I know that “Neh” means hunger, “Eh” means “I need to burp” and “Eairh” means “my tummy hurts” (we hear these three a lot) and that “Heh” means I’m uncomfortable and “Ow” means “I’m tired”. Though the first three are easy enough to hear and distinguish on their own (ie. when you baby isn’t crying his heart out), the cries unfortunately don’t typically come in neat little packages. I mean, what’s a mother to do when he baby is mixing up a few “words” together (think: EairhEairhNehEhEairhNehNeh!).
How about you, what would be in your top ten?