Saturday, December 3, 2011

Your Life Changes

Having a baby changes your life. That's the truth, simply stated. To believe or to think otherwise and try to hold onto your previous, child-free lifestyle, will only drive you to insanity and misery. I admit that I get sad when I hear or read about people trying to hold onto the lifestyle of their child-less days. Instead of welcoming the wonderful changes and blessings that come from adding a little one to the family, they miss out on them by fighting against the inevitable and necessary changes that happen when a baby makes three. Instead, I say we should focus on nurturing the bond with our babies--on creating a strong foundation that is the beginning of our relationship together.

Alright, so what are these changes..? Well here are a few {this is by no means an all-encompassing list, just the major ones--at least in our experience}.

Once your little bundle of joy arrives you can forget about:

Sleeping--never again will sleep be the same. You will sleep, but it won't be the blissful sleep of your child-free days. Even when your kiddo is old enough and sleeping through the night, you will still wake up early or during the night--and even on days when you can sleep in till whenever, your body is now used to getting little sleep that you just can't sleep past 8am. Go figure. Accept that you will no longer sleep for long stretches at a time, at least until you are an empty-nester {because I'm sure even when your kiddos are older--say, teenagers--you will be awake wondering if they are being safe at that party they went to}.

Having uninterrupted or extended time to do things you previously had all the time in the world to do...such as reading, having baths and/or showers, surfing the web, writing, blogging, practicing yoga, exercising, cooking, baking, watching TV, going to movies...etc. get the point. You will be able to do these things you enjoy, but they will never be at the ideal times or you will be interrupted or will have to postpone {till further notice}. And you just have to be OK with that, because you now have a baby! And you modify your life to include your baby, and you begin to do things {and get to like new things} that you can do with your baby.

Having intimate time with your partner {and not necessarily just sex, but also just spending those nice, peaceful moments together, snuggled up and talking about whatever}. You will be able to spend time together--but it will not be in the ideal place or the ideal time--and maybe not as often as you'd ideally want. But you make it work and you should try to make it work {for your and your partner's sanity!}. But that's OK, because you now have a baby that will bring so much happiness and laughter to your life and will bring you and your partner closer together. You are now a team {even more so than you were before}. Trust me, those cute little toes and those huge baby smiles are a sure-fire way to make you love your partner more {especially in the middle of the night and your groggy partner offers to change the diaper and you hear him saying to your baby, "Oh look at your cute little toes!!!"}.

Having a tidy house. It's pointless to keep things organized. Sure you can start off with a specific place for this toy or that puzzle. And all your baby books may be neatly organized on a shelf. But as soon as your kiddo starts doing things on their own, the perfect-looking playroom is gone. Trying to fight against the organized chaos of children will only make you feel overwhelmed and frustrated. I'm still working on this one. I want my kiddos to know about organizing and keeping things tidy, but there's a time and place for everything. For now we have designated baskets and bins and it's up to them {mostly} where their toys go. After all, when they are looking for a toy to play with, they have to be able to know where they put it last. As for the rest of your house, well, do your best to keep it in a state you are happy with {notice I didn't say "try to keep it as clean as possible"?}. It's your house, so do what you have to do to make it a place you are happy in. If mess doesn't bother you, great, you have more time to play with your kiddos and/or go read that book you want to or surf the web. If you like it to be clean and tidy, then spend the time you'd otherwise be reading or surfing to scrub a toilet or vacuum the floor {keep in mind that babywearing is awesome because you can spend time with baby AND clean, if that's you're cup of tea--like it is mine--remember I'm a bit of a clean-freak}. Also, enlist the help of your partner and/or family, it's OK to ask for help to do a load of laundry or wash dishes or even clean the floors. Remember you're a team. And if you are overwhelmed with children and their stuff and their mess and would rather spend your time otherwise, hire cleaners. It's so worth it.

Having peaceful, quiet meals. Long-gone are the days when you can sit and have an adult conversation over dinner. Your table is now shared with kiddos and things will need to get silly to be fun! They will cry, babble or talk and interrupt incessantly. They will require help eating and sometimes have tantrums at the table. So be it. It's all part of the deal, but I would advice to not give up on the family meal. Instead of throwing sitting-at-the-table-for-a meal out the window, persist, and use it as an opportunity to teach your kiddos by example. Soon enough things will calm down and you'll reap the rewards from the time you put into teaching the importance of the family meal.

Wearing your trendy, sexy clothes. Well, this isn't all true. You can find clothes that still look fab and allow you to chase after kiddos, or breastfeed. But it can be tricky to find mama-friendly fashions. So be prepared to give them up {for a while} and be OK with it. Definitely be OK to give up your high-heeled shoes. They will no longer be comfy for you and you certainly can't have real fun at the playground in them.

But the thing that changes the most is you. And that's exactly how it should be. Having a baby is an enlightening experience, if you let it be. It challenges you to be a better person and is the ultimate journey of personal development. Loving a little person so unconditionally opens your heart--it floods forward the empathy within you, it awakens an inner wisdom and if you let it, lets you experience life through new eyes--through the innocent-life-loving eyes of your child. However, I am not saying that you have to give-up who you are or the things you love. It's still important for you to maintain your Self-Care and to make sure you do what's necessary to prevent getting burnt-out. But there is a way to do this, while still enjoying parenthood and building the bond with your baby.

So, welcome the many life changes that occur and relish your new place in the world of parenting!


  1. This was a spot on post!!!!! Seriously...the part that is killing me right now is the interruptions. Oh lord! I cannot even pee without a "mama, mama." Ha! Love this post...sharing it everywhere!

  2. Thanks HRM! I too know all to well what peeing with an audience is like! Oh the joys of parenting :-)


Thanks for letting me know you stopped by!