A Disappointing Surprise for My Husband

The moment had arrived. It happens once every two or three years, but when it hits me, something must be done fast.

You see, I’m pretty cheap when it comes to caring for myself. I make my own shampoo, conditioner, lotion, face wash, etc. partly because I like being as natural as possible, but the main driver is saving money. That’s the same reason I never get my haircut. (There might be some laziness in there too.) I see my sister-in-law twice a year and each time she gives me a little trim. It doesn’t help that my hair grows super fast, especially with these prenatal vitamins I’ve been taking for the last year. Although I love my long hair and saving money by avoiding cuts, there always comes a time once every two or three years that I can no longer stand the length and frantically start trying to schedule a chop.

I’m not sure if it was from Silas constantly clamping on to my hair, his spit up in it, or just the additional time it takes to wash and dry when time is more precious than ever, but two weeks ago I knew the time was now. I reached out to my friend, Annie, who had expressed interest in chopping her hair recently. She was in! After a few recommendations, we had back-to-back appointments scheduled with an affordable stylist in town. Sneakily, we both decided to keep our plans to ourselves, not even telling our husbands.

So last Tuesday we packed everything but the kitchen sink, and headed to the salon, babies in tow. I would watch Silas and her 9 month old while she got her haircut, and then she would watch the babes. If cutting 9 inches of hair wasn’t enough of an adventure, watching those two kids in a salon lobby was. Details aside, we both went through with the cut and were pretty pleased with the overall experience, although next time we will opt for babysitters for sure.

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Knowing I had kept my plans a secret from Casey, I was anticipating the big reveal. I knew he was getting sick of my long hair being in the way and was going to love my new ‘do. Let me tell you, being a new mom doesn’t leave you with many opportunities to feel pretty, but this styled cut had me feeling that way. Now all I needed was a plan to surprise Casey, and capture his excitement.

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I knew he would be coming home soon so I positioned my phone just right to be able to capture the moment when he walked through the door. I touched up my look in the bathroom, hit record, and rushed into position as I heard the garage door open.

Casey walked through the door and expressed his shock. “You got a haircut!”

I began walking toward him, expressing a warm embrace with a “You look amazing. I love it!”

This is what I got instead…

He turned toward the fridge, away from me, and questioned “From who? Did you cut it?!”

What? Did I cut it? Are you kidding? I couldn’t help, but wear the disappointment and hurt right on my sleeve. It had been almost 3 years since I had my haircut. It was 9 inches shorter. I actually PAID to get this ‘do. I look good! Or at least I thought I did. I just knew he was going to think I did. And maybe he did, but his lack of enthusiasm or maybe his confusion, left me feeling ugly and unloved.

Stupid. I know, but that’s what expectations can do to us. Clearly hurt, I told Casey what I had expected and how I was feeling. He did his best to sincerely apologize, but the moment was gone. There’s no recovering from that. He can’t erase it, go back in time, and rush in the door with a warm embrace and compliment. The moment was now covered with the image of him walking away while pondering if I had actually cut my own hair.

So although I accept his apology, and totally understand how he just had his mind on something completely different when I caught him off guard, I’m still disappointed that the much anticipated moment was such a #fail.

Have you ever had a disappointing moment like this in your life?

10 Secret Facts for New Moms

We all know that being the mom of a newborn is a special time, especially when it’s your first baby. Everyone talks about the precious coos and the gummy grins. You may even hear about the lack of sleep and crying, but there’s a lot of facts about becoming a new mom that you may not hear. Don’t worry. I’m hear to fill you in :)

Disclaimer: Do not read the below if you are on the fence about becoming a mom unless you have a solid sense of humor. Just read this. Motherhood is incredibly amazing and a truly joyful time. It’s so worth it, and you should start working on having that baby or adopting. Now close this page and get back to looking at cute baby photos on Facebook.

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10 Secret Facts for New Moms

1.  The moment your head hits the couch or the pillow for a nap, baby wakes up, and you suddenly feel 10x more tired than before you tried to nap.
2.  An open diaper means you will get peed on, and that’s if you’re lucky. The not-so-lucky get a little more.
3.  A fresh diaper means baby will poop, not matter how long you waited to change it. See my side note below.
4.  No matter how hard you try to avoid it, someone will sneak a paci or a thumb in your baby’s mouth and there will be no going back.

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5.  When hot food hits your plate, baby will become desperate for milk, even if you strategically timed your last feeding to be right before dinner.
6.  You will forget your nursing cover when you need it the most, and find yourself improvising with a blanket or even a burp cloth.
7. The moment you brag about you’re baby sleeping a long stretch at night, they will immediately stop and go back to getting up every 2 hours.
8.  When you put on your last clean outfit that still fits, you will inevitably get pooped on right before you leave the house. That leaves you the options of staying home or going out in your PJs. (Sorry, Charlotte. I just couldn’t wear PJs to your shower.)

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Yup. That totally happened on my last clean skirt just as I was about to leave.

9.  At some point, you will end up sleeping on a towel over your sheets or just on the comforter because you’re too exhausted to change the sheets in the middle of the night after a pee or puke accident.
10.  Even if your little boy is in all blue or baby girl is wearing the cutest bow, someone will repeatedly call him and her and her a him.

BONUS FACT:
Driving as a new mom may be more dangerous than driving drunk. Lack of sleep + cute baby in rearview mirror = extrememly reckless driver!

Side Note: I stopped in the middle of this blog post to go change Silas who had been unsuccessfully trying to poo for the last hour. The moment the clean diaper hit his bottom… before I could even get it closed, you guessed it, he had a blow out. Fact #3 in action right there.

I’m sure there are lots of facts that I’ve left off the list. I’d love for you to share yours in the comments!

The Loneliness & Isolation of First-Time Motherhood

Being a new mom is a brave new world and no matter how much advice and help you have, it still feels like you’re facing it alone. You alone bear the title of  “Mom.” You are your baby’s source of life, his source of comfort. And it’s overwhelming.

You’ve anticipated the arrival of this little bundle of joy, but nothing prepares you for your new reality. Your needs and desires are sitting on a shelf for a while. You have one priority and one priority only, and that’s taking care of baby. We’re talking survival mode.

A good day consists of making sure you get to eat at least two meals, don’t pass out from exhaustion, and as far as you know, baby is well fed and has been changed a few times. Answering emails? Responding to phone calls? There’s no time. You barely have time for your spouse, much less anyone else. Your capacity for emotional connection is drained, likely every 2 hours or so, by the most precious life you’ve ever seen.

Ironically, this loneliness may be a time when you’re around more people than you have been in a while. But even though family is in town, they’re likely in survival mode too. You’re new 24/7 job means you have little time, if any, for laundry, cooking, cleaning, shopping or anything else that doesn’t directly contribute to baby’s survival. That’s where their energy goes. They offer practical support and may even attempt emotional support, but it’s just not connecting.

Friends stop by to drop off food and cuddle your little one. You smile and try your best to find your way out of the fog so you can carry on a decent conversation. It’s sad really. You’ve looked forward to a new face walking into your cave of a home all day long, but once they arrive, you realize how exhausting it is just having company. If baby’s asleep, you’re missing time to sleep, shower, or get something else accomplished. If baby’s awake, you’re likely struggling to figure out that nursing cover or hiding in another room altogether. You crave the company, but your mind and body aren’t prepared to handle it.

Even those that have been through this phase before, those that know it well, even they aren’t able to meet you there. Not now. They’ve seen the other side. They know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. They’ve felt the warmth of it on their skin. You haven’t. For all you know, that light has been permanently squelched.

So we hold out hope that the light isn’t squelched. Although deep down we know our reality will never be the same, we will never be the same, we pray there’s a chance that one day soon we will rise from this strangely dark, yet delightful place to reenter and reconnect with the world around us. And hopefully, we’ll have had a chance to shower by then.  ;-)

Praying with you.

Shana

Motherhood: A New Perspective on Productivity

You’re a new mom. You live under a new schedule, one you can’t control. Make whatever plans you like for your day or even the next hour, but beware that your baby’s hunger supersedes any of your plans. All it takes is one hungry squeal from his lips for my body to go into feeding mode, pulling me away from whatever I might be trying to accomplish. It’s like babies have productivity radar. The moment you sit down to fold that load of laundry or write that quick work email, baby awakes from his deep slumber like he hasn’t eaten in days. Even if you wanted to ignore his cry for a moment so you could mark one teeny thing of your list, the ache in your body caused by his precious cry grabs all of your attention.

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Say what? Not me, Mom!

Your to do list grows and grows, and if you’re like me, the lack of checks at the end of the day leaves you feeling disappointed. But if I’m honest with myself, I should realize I’m not going to get that report done for my client when I can’t even finish a load of laundry in a day. Sure, I make plans for when he is sleeping, but I’ll get distracted with things not on my list like, I don’t know, eating. I tend to forget to do that unless my husband brings a plate and sits it in front of me. Oh yeah. That is another feeding queue for baby. Anytime hot food hits a plate my little one decides he’s hungry, no matter how I try to strategically plan feeding times. I’ve tried feeding at the table during dinner, but I still can’t get settled and eat fast enough to enjoy a hot meal.

And then there’s sleep. I’m not sure when that’s supposed to happen. I never plan for it, but always end up there at some point in the day. I suppose I just push it off, focusing on that joke of a to do list, until my head is quite literally too heavy to hold up. They say sleep when the baby sleeps, but if you do that, you’d never get anything done. When do you eat? Go to the bathroom? Take a shower? Shower. One of those sure would be nice. You know you’re a new mom when you can’t remember how many days it’s been since you last showered, but you know exactly how many wet diapers your baby has had and how long they last fed on which boob. Priority shift.

Even though I’m not quite adjusted to this new world order, I’m slowly learning, with the help of my husband, that my new job is being a mom to baby. My new to do list is feeding 10-12 times a day, making sure he burps, rocking him to sleep, comforting his cries, and somewhere in there, feeding myself. My new measure of success is my son’s weight gain which, by the way, has been quite impressive!

Even though God is slowly giving me a new perspective on productivity, I’m still struggling to truly embrace this new job description and the success metrics that come with it. I mean, how many jobs can one have? It’s clear that baby is my #1 job, but what about all those other roles I play? Mom, wife, aunt, friend, daughter, writer, and the big one, company owner :-/

How do I be everything to baby right now, and still have something left for myself, my family and my job, the one that pays the bills? It’s overwhelming and quite frankly, it seems impossible. No, it is impossible. I’m just going to have to accept the fact that lots of to dos will not get done. My house will be dirty. I will eat cereal more than I like. My husband will be neglected. Birthday parties will be missed. New clients will have to wait. And the list goes on. But this season is only temporary and order will be restored soon. Or at least that’s what I’m going to tell myself.

My Initiation into Motherhood

The first few days as parents were quite a joy and even more humorous.  It didn’t take long for me to be initiated into the world of being a mommy  to a little boy.

The first night at home we decided Casey would do nighttime diapers since I was covering feedings (that ultimately didn’t work by the way). In the middle of the night Silas started to spit up while Casey was changing him. Casey panicked and quickly passed him to me like a hot potato. I don’t know if Silas got scared or if the open air got to him, but he started peeing mid-handoff.  Our sheets and comforter were soaked. We changed his clothes and our sheets then found blankets to replace our comforter… all at 3am.

That was just the beginning of our initiation.

The weather was more than pleasant so we spent a lot of time on the back deck in the fresh air. While we were outside, momma brilliantly decided Silas was due for a bath. It was just going to be a quick wipe-down with a wet washcloth. Not quick enough. That was the first time he peed all over me, and himself for that matter. So far, Casey was in the clear, but that night he pooed while daddy was changing him. Luckily daddy had a wipe in his hand and was able to catch it. Close, but again, daddy stayed dry.

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Right before he peed on me

The next night I changed his diaper and clothes 3 times in 15 minutes, seriously. He kept peeing and pooing as I changed him, messing his clothes and the fresh diaper. That was also the night I thought he had peed through his diaper when I discovered his pajamas were soaked near the top of his diaper. However, I soon realized it was milk leakage from my other boob from when he was nursing. Didn’t know THAT was possible. Awkward.

If the poo and pee episodes weren’t initiation enough, the next night I experienced volcano-like vomit for the first time. I was surprised his tiny belly could hold all that spewed from his nose and mouth. Well, I guess it really couldn’t.

Since these initial episodes he’s peed through his  diaper onto my lap, peed on me multiple times during changing, and yes, the other day he pooed on me while I was changing him. For some reason I decided to change him quickly on my lap instead of his changing pad. He must have known. It was the first time I had done that so of course he decided to have projectile poo the moment I removed his diaper. Poo on my shirt. Yuck.


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I know you’re wondering, “so when did Casey get his initiation?” That’s just it. So far he’s uninitiated! How unfair is that? I like to think that Silas is just saving up a big one for him. We shall see.

Despite all the messiness, it’s been pretty fun. Sounds weird, but it’s partly because we are doing it together. We’re tackling it as a team which makes it easier and draws us closer together as a couple. Plus, pees and poos are exciting because that means he is feeding well which is super important with how low his birth weight was.

So when I’m holding him and suddenly feel a hot liquid in my lap, or when I’m changing him and quickly duck and cover to avoid the flood, I can’t help but smile because all this reminds me that I’m officially momma to a healthy, beautiful little boy.

Did I just say getting peed on is fun? Oh brother. Yup. I’m officially a momma.