April 25, 2017

Mom thoughts.

I recently had a moment of clarity that was almost like a punch in the gut. Molly is the sweetest little thing, but she hasn't been the easiest baby. I've been beating myself up with all the things she doesn't do that Parker did at her age, mostly regarding sleep. If you didn't already know this, parents with infants obsess over their sleep like some people obsess over sports stats. With Parker we hibernated for the first year of his life and it was most beautiful of times. We did very little and practically all he did was nap in his crib while I kept a tidy house and did puzzles. It was freaking magical.

Molly just isn't Parker. She's more difficult. She's delicate. The nurse and doctor both bantered around the word colic, but I don't think it's fair to parents of colicky children to apply it to Molly. The thing is, once I really truly realized that she isn't as easy a baby as her brother through no fault or shortcoming of my own it was like a big old burden came off my shoulders. Mom guilt is so real, and we are our own worst critics. Usually.

Right now I'm focusing on baby steps with her and it's doing wonders for my sanity. Those first 2 1/2 - 3 months as a mom of two were the absolute hardest. Now, I'm just focused on what we are getting done. Molly goes to bed around the same time as Parker. Yes. Thank you, Jesus. She's starting to put herself down to sleep while she's swaddled. Hallelujah. She's not co-sleeping as much. Glory be to God. She is only napping for 45 minute stretches at a time. Well, you can't win them all. Baby steps. I figure that by the time she's 7 months old we'll have her on a spotty morning nap (second child problems) and a killer afternoon one like her brother. And that's really all you can hope for. At least we'll always have bedtime.

But enough about my daughter's sleep, let's talk about my jeans. There's this beautiful time right after you give birth where you feel like a sexy, slim beast. Your body is amazing, it just ejected a homegrown human, and DANG where did your jumbo belly go? That lasts a couple weeks, then you feel fat and milky and overtired and like you'd like to burn every reflective surface you see because your body is disgusting. Then that goes away, too, and eventually you just accept the fact that you need to do some work to fit your pants and that the body you once had is nothing more than a memory. For me that happened right around the time my belly band started to wear out. I tried and, magically, succeeded in buttoning up my pants. It was a big, fist-pumping moment for me. Then I ate something and they didn't fit anymore.

My weight has always fluctuated, but I'm currently in that stage of life where if I eat just a little too much junk my pants are too uncomfortable to do up. I'm really looking forward to the elastic waist shorts days of summer, but until then I'm in this weird limbo of wanting to do my pants up and wanting to eat cookies. I'm really glad my kids are too young to see this side of me. I don't want them to ever worry about their bodies, as long as they're healthy, and I certainly don't want them to complain about their or another woman's thighs. But right now,  their mommy just needs to lay off the doughnuts and she's got clothes to fit into.

While Parker and I enjoyed our time together when he was little, he now needs to socialize far more often. The weather still isn't fabulous and I'm not really interested in braving it with a newborn but Parker needs more stimulation than just me to facilitate epic naps. Last week we had four play dates, and tomorrow morning I'm having five moms and their kids over. I know one of them, but the other four moms are complete unknowns.

You know you've been momming for a while when you start just accepting a certain level of messy for having strangers over. Sure, I tidied and swept the floor, but I didn't do a real clean. I reserve that for visiting family members I need to impress. If everyone wears socks they might not even notice. I will, however, make muffins and coffee. That's all moms really need anyway. And hugs.

Speaking of affection, Parker has re-entered a sweet stage. When he hurts himself he instinctively knows that kisses make it better. I have no idea where he figured that out, but one day he just started asking. I am more than happy to provide as many as he'd like. It's pretty stinking cute. He also puts himself in a time out when I tell him to. It makes me want to laugh and cry all at once.

Oh, motherhood. It wrecks you and builds you back up all the time.


  1. That blissful "my body is wonderful" stage is fantastic...until you try to get out of your sweatpants. :)

    Sometimes I wonder if I should be ashamed of how okay I am with people seeing my house less than spotless now. Then I look at the little, squirmy, cooing baby in my lap and decide that the laundry can stay in the basket and be folded another time.

  2. Sleep is something I've never stressed over too much. I know that I do fairly fine on a limited amount of sleep. It's when the baby doesn't want to be happy on their own during the day that gets to me.

    Right now at four weeks post-partum, I can do up my pants easily, but it comes with the most delicious muffin top. I need higher waisted jeans.
    I'm not looking forward to the first day i am longer breast feeding and/or pregnant since July 2011. My metabolism is gonna slow down and i am surely going to have to adjust my serving sizes.

    I love having people over. More than going to somebody else's place. And I love cleaning up for it. It helps me enjoy the time and it also makes it easier to clean up the mess people leave behind.

    There's this magical time right before a child turns two when they are cuter than puppies and can do (almost) no wrong. Patrick is there right now too and he just the most adorable thing ever. He's like a little bulldog puppy crossed with a cheeky kitten.

    1. One of my friends swears her body holds the weight until she's done breastfeeding. Let's count on that instead.

      I would happily have people over 5 days a week. Hosting is my jam. It's also that little extra kick to not take a night off from tidying.

      I love that description of Patrick so much. I totally see it.

  3. The phases of the pants are so accurate. I remember looking at myself about a week postpartum and thinking "damn. I look so good." That lasted only a few more weeks until my MIL insisted on taking me shopping and I was weeping in the dressing room over a stack of pants.

    I could never do that many play dates in one week. Good for you. Gracie's made a few little friends at the playground recently (not really--if they get close to her she yells at them to stay away from her crackers--I kind of understand her panic), and we did the zoo today with another friend. I'm good on social activities for the year.

    I hope Molly's sleep gets better soon. You're making amazing progress! I used to stress so much over Gracie's sleep when she was little. Getting her to bed by 7 when she was around 4 months old felt like I suddenly had my life back.

  4. Ugh yes to the stages of pants!

  5. I'm sure it's hard not to compare your second baby to your first in terms of how they act and things they did. It's so comforting to know R now and feel like I can guess her moods and what she'll like/not like, but now I have to start all over and remember that each baby is different! Sounds like you're doing a great job :)

  6. I should add...Calvin constantly comes up to me, rubs my belly and says "your tummy is so flat now, mommy!" Bless your heart, son.

  7. I don't know how you manage that many play dates and stay sane...this coming from a mega introvert who, when even just my cousins would come over when my sister and I were little, would hide in her room reading while the rest of them played together. Socialization schmocialization.

    I've been in that "eat a cookie, gain five pounds" stage for a few years now, hence why I am so strict on myself with diet and exercise. I hate to tell you but it doesn't get better when you hit 30. I love my 30s so much more than my 20s save for that one fact. My metabolism is my best worst enemy.

  8. Kids absolutely have their own personalities. I have had babies that I just couldn't believe because they would lie there happily on a blanket on the floor watching me do the dishes, practically from birth, and others that I don't know were put down once without screaming their lungs out until they were 6 months old. I did the same thing with all of them, and it's just how they came.


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