I am proud to say that I have happily made the transition from being pregnant to being a mom. It’s been several months that I have been able to call myself a parent, and, just like I felt after I got married, it was surreal to label myself with such a big title at first. Now, I am much more used to calling myself “a mom,” perhaps mainly because I brainwash my baby with the word “mama” day in and day out. (Dada – disregard this comment.) Over the past few months, I’ve learned a lot about parenthood, most of which was completely unanticipated, and none of which I would trade for anything.
Expect the Unexpected
It’s not uncommon for me to have a tiny finger in my mouth and another one in my nose at the same time. I’m pretty sure I don’t even flinch when this happens. Never thought I would ever say that! Also, who knew that younger babies’ poos sound like massive farts? Not me, so they used to crack me up every time. I’m likely raising a nose picking child who will enjoy bathroom humor because of my encouragement…whoopsie!
Sure, breastfeeding is fantastic for your baby, provided you’re able to eat a diet similar to how you ate when you were pregnant and a lot of other nuances fall into place. It can be healthy and natural in a comparable way to growing your own fruits and veggies to feed your family – it comes with a lot of work. Except that the mother is the only one who can do this work. And the “harvesting” needs to be done several times a day for as long as you’re doing it. And you have to be super conscious about who can see you while you’re doing the “harvesting” because it’s socially awkward to nurse in public. And you have no idea how much your baby actually ate during a feeding. So please refrain from judging a mom for the way she meets her infant’s nutritional needs. Natural does not equate to easy.
I get overwhelmed with pride over the littlest details – how much my baby weighs at a check-up, the smiles my baby gives to friendly strangers when we’re out, even the size of the prize left in a diaper. I know that humans have been around for some time, and, despite that, I know that I am the mother of THE cutest, most clever, most charming child that has ever drooled on this planet. (Sorry, other babies!) Really trivial and/or bizarre things can bring the biggest rush of happiness that makes me know my kid is simply amazing.
Leaving the hospital was apparently a very emotional experience for my child, I suppose because it was all incredibly new, so there were a lot of tears. While we were waiting for the elevator to head home, a stranger said, “Oh. you think that’s bad? You just wait!” That comment was crass, although I struggle to imagine that this man was intending to unsettle me. I believe that he was trying to tell me to enjoy the gentle cries of my newborn rather than to point to the inevitable tantrums to come, regardless of his clunky execution. He was far from being the only person to make me do a double take during small talk. I try to tell myself that these people are, in an odd way, trying to talk to their past selves when their kids were my baby’s age, providing info that would’ve been helpful to them.
Did you know you can add a Pandora station for the song, B-I-N-G-O? I do!! My new favorite song that they play on this station is There’s a Carp in the Tub. We jam out to that song very passionately! We are so passionate about that song, in fact, that my husband and I were curious about the odd lyrics (why a carp? etc.), so we googled the background to it. If you have a minute, I’d recommend doing the same – it’s pretty interesting. I also like to make up my own Weird Al style remixes that babies can relate to, changing the words of Lowrider to “All my friends eat from a boobie” and creating other tunes destined to be classics. In the unlikely event that my music career takes off, I intend to call my group Baby Boogers.
It’s well known that it is great for kids to talk with them. It helps them to better understand the language, their self esteem is boosted, and you can connect with them. However, I didn’t realize for a little while that it’s even better to talk at them like you’re a character on a children’s show. So that was a strange transition. One reason why it’s odd to do is because you’re essentially giving an overly enthusiastic monologue until your child can talk back. Because of this dynamic, I now admittedly find it comfortable chatting excitedly with myself, which can be very embarrassing when you realize you’re doing it.
Well, I don’t talk to myself that much, do I?
I suppose you have a point there. Really, I just chat with the baby…mostly, anyways?
Yeah, then that’s not TOO bad…
…a-hem, sorry, do you mind?