Friday, February 28, 2014

7 Quick Takes: Entering Motherhood

Some honest reflections on first time motherhood.
You don't have time to do anything. At least in the beginning. If you do, I consider you superwoman. I'm starting this post on Wednesday and typing with one hand while holding the sleeping infant in the other. I consider this a great feat in the world of multitasking. However, the amount of time it took to type this paragraph probably disqualifies my post from being a "quick take".

If my beautiful girl ever becomes a terrifying teen, who says I don't love her after not letting her wear a mini skirt in public, I'll retort, "Oh darling, of course I love you. I breastfed you." You definitely don't breastfeed people you don't love...Oh, and I'd love to throw "The Baby Book", which is larger than the Bible, at the author who stated that breastfeeding is relaxing. Ok, I've heard it gets easier.
Enough cynicism (which really wasn't my intention). I really love being a mom. Even the sleep deprivation is worth every tiny, sleepy smile (I keep telling myself it's not gas- she's really just content), every little finger grab, and each stretch, coo, and gurgle. Even the crying really isn't that bad- because she stops when I pick her up, feed her, or snuggle on the couch, and I feel like she looks at me with such adoration.

Naptimes are worth a million dollars. However, you  have to choose to use them wisely. Best move is probably to go down for a nap yourself. Although, if all you're doing is lying there and thinking about the million other things you need to do, I've found it's better to just get them done. Or feed yourself. Food is good too.
I thought I'd have a lot of prayer time, but sometimes I find it hard to finish even a single Hail Mary before she poops, wants to be fed, or I just fall asleep. My sister told me it's ok, that just saying "help" is enough. God will still hear me and know what I need. I've since cried "help" frequently and urgently. It really is effective. 
A quick story about baby lotion. I first got some Aveeno Baby lotion because I was conned by the word "natural" on the bottle. Elena got a glob on her hand and instantly went for her mouth. I wiped it off in the nick of time before she started smacking her lips. Curious, I checked the bottle and was horrified by a big warning to call poison control if ingested. Isn't this stuff for a baby's BODY? They suck on everything, including themselves. I then got a Burts Bees lotion, which did not have fatal warnings all over, but found it didn't absorb very well. Finally decided to try coconut oil since everyone raves about it. They do for a reason! It's amazing and even works on cradle cap.
My final confession: I've had a ton of help through all this. Not only has my husband been amazing, but my mom stayed here for the first two weeks and now my sister is still with me. I'm a big wimp that I'm still finding adjusting kind of, well, difficult. I know it's all stemming from the lack of sleep, but gosh, I was able to deliver her without a bit of medication and I have cried more since being home than I did in the hospital. Actually I didn't even cry in the hospital... I just screamed. No screaming at home yet. I know it will all get easier, but I'm feeling a little daunted by being left alone. How do I feed myself? Will I ever take a shower again? These are the silly questions I ask myself when I've had two hours of sleep and feeling panicked. However, after receiving so many delicious meals from friends who almost each have at least two kids, my sister smiles and says, "See Rachel, there's hope!"

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. That first picture is the sweetest ever!
    Yes, being a mother does get easier. And it doesn't. Motherhood is like life (well, it IS life) in that there are stages, each with its own difficulties and rewards. I guess anything worth doing is supposed to be hard--but the key is to trust God through every minute of it, because that's what will make it joyous...even when you have a mouthy teenager who wants to wear miniskirts--or, in my case, a two-year-old who wants to wear a tutu. I mean, ONLY a tutu. Outside. ;)
    The breastfeeding and typing with one hand, though--only gets easier. :)
    Finally, that's so cool about the coconut oil! I'm going to have to try it!

    1. Thanks for the reminder Faith! I guess I should have added an 8th take, so this didn't sound quite so negative. I have already found motherhood the most rewarding experience despite the difficulties, and I certainly wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. Maybe some of the hard parts make it more rewarding? I mean, nothing about being gifted by God stewardship of a tiny soul should probably be easy. I found a great blog post that really humbled me after posting all my gripes- there shall be a follow up reflection later today :)

      I assume said 2 year old knows there's still currently a couple feet of snow outside her door? Love you all and miss you!

  2. As Faith put it, it all gets easier and it also doesn't. But trust me while I am holding my 3 weeks old and run after my 22 months old, I feel like having more strength than I had with only one baby.
    You are a sweet first time mum and doing fine. Your girl is lovely.

  3. Oh, Rachel! Don't feel bad about the crying; you are not alone in that regard. If you ever feel like you can't handle it, that you must be the only one whose ever had such a difficult time, call me. You're not, it's nothing to be ashamed of, and I'm more than willing to be a listening ear/sounding board/whatever it is you need.