A List of Thoughts from my Fifth Month of Motherhood
A list of thoughts, from my fifth month of being a mother.
I yelled at Leo for the first time this month. This past month has been SO stressful for lots of reasons. Every time we had a house showing (we had 15+ in 7 days) I had to get her and the dogs out of the house for at least an hour. One of these particularly stressful times Leo screamed the entire hour we were in the car. Screamed. The entire hour. I have lots of thoughts on this event:
I felt really bad for yelling at her (but not as bad as I probably should have).
I'm glad she's only 5 months old and won't remember.
Afterward I found it really funny because, what was I expecting to happen? She's a tiny baby. She has no idea what I'm saying, me yelling certainly won't make her yell less. It was not a well thought out parenting maneuver.
I'm sure this will happen again.
Breastfeeding doesn't hurt as much as it did. It only took 4.5 months! Hooray!
I think working outside the house makes me a much better mom. Every mom is obviously different, but for me, I think I would go insane if I was at home with her 24/7. Having an external outlet, conversations with adults, and days where I have to put on pants makes me much more happy, present, and engaged when I'm with Leo (I know I've said this before but it's still very, very true).
I'm dreading the day where I can't watch whatever I want on TV anymore when she's around.
I'm trying to be more aware of how I talk about myself around Leo (and NEVER saying I feel fat- that's a hard one). I don't want her growing up talking to herself the way that I do. But it's especially hard because I weigh 30+ pounds more than I'd like to and none of my clothes fit and I want to complain about it. I think learning to talk more kindly to myself will probably be better for me than her in the long run.
How am I supposed to remember to bathe her and give her probiotics and Vitamin D and do enough tummy time and read her all the books and do "enriching activities"? It's too many things. I'm lucky if we do one of those things every day. Last week I realized I hadn't give her a bath in 2+ weeks. I don't feel as bad about that as I probably should.
I really like hanging out with Leo. It's hard (obviously) lots of times, but she's really funny. I feel like if I was a baby when she was a baby, we'd hang out.
Cutting her nails is terrifying. Every time. We have a fun cycle where I put it off and put it off, then she scratches her face so bad she bleeds, then I feel terrible, so I cut them while freaking out inside, then the cycle starts over.
I still really hate spit up.
Having a baby has made me a terrible friend. I mean, I don't think I was any great shakes to begin with, but I do not understand how people find time to be a good friend while also keeping a tiny human alive and working and all the other things. IT'S TOO MANY THINGS.
Facebook mom groups. I don't even have the words.
I feel much better having plans and strategies when it comes to Leo's schedule. I know some people are good with "on demand" whatever, but I need to know when she's going to sleep so I know when I get to lay on the couch for 20 minutes. I very much look forward to that 20 minutes.
Finding ways to make Leo laugh is a fun. You never know what she'll think is funny and what she won't (and it changes daily) so you have to constantly be mixing it up and trying new things and getting creative. It's a fun game that rewards you in baby giggles.
People expect much different things from moms than dads. If I do something for Leo everyone says "Yeah you should she's your baby. But really you should've done it like this..." If Ben does something for Leo everyone says "OH MY GOSH WHAT AN AMAZING DAD AREN'T YOU SO LUCKY!!!! HE'S THE BEST! WHAT AN AMAZING PERSON!" They're not wrong, but I am also amazing (VERY AMAZING! CAPS ARE IMPORTANT WHEN YELLING AFFIRMATIONS!), so please acknowledge me accordingly.
Having a baby that sleeps changes your life. Having a baby that doesn't sleep makes you want to murder all the people.
I am eternally grateful for grandparents and aunts and friends that watch Leo for us. Knowing she's with someone I trust makes me enjoy my time away from her so much more.
The amount of irrational hatred you have for your spouse when it's their night to wake up with her and she sleeps through the night for the first time so he doesn't have to experience the 4am hell I had to experience is, well, irrational. But also very real.
All diapers are the same. I don't understand brand preferences. None of them seem better than others to me. She still has a massive blowout ever 3-4 days no matter what type of diaper she's in. Maybe I should try Depends...
Did I mention I really hate spit up?