I’m somebody’s mom.
I’m somebody’s mom??
It still blows my mind a little bit that Nick and I created a person and he’s been in our lives for eight whole months (as of yesterday). I’ve always had this feeling that I’m an “imposter” adult — I just don’t feel like a grownup most days and I still have trouble accepting the fact that I’ve been out of college for 11 years — so there are often moments when I’m out and about with Graham and I have to remind myself that I’m a mother and he’s MINE.
I love being a mom, but it is not a role that came very naturally to me. Don’t get me wrong: the loving-my-child-like-crazy part came naturally, yes, but the changing-and-feeding-and-multitasking-and-not-freaking-out-every-time-he-cried part did NOT. Nick is much more of a natural at this whole parenting gig, and I followed his lead quite a bit at the beginning. While we both had our moments, he was a lot less frazzled when our helpless little being was screaming, whereas I would often immediately feel panicked and overwhelmed. It helped a lot to have a partner who was much more calm, cool and collected when Graham needed something, and it certainly taught me a lot in those early, terrifying days when my hormones also weren’t helping me out at all. I am so thankful to have a partner who has been such a huge help as I learned the ropes. I had a lot of ropes to learn.
I wanted to feel comfortable going out and about with Graham somewhat early on, but that’s just not how it worked out for us. When he was nine days old, he wasn’t acting like himself and we found that he had a bit of a fever; we decided to take him to the ER (it was a Sunday night, of course, so the doctor’s office wasn’t open), and he ended up being admitted to the hospital for three long and torturous days. We know now that anytime a baby that little is sick they admit them in order to take every precaution, but at the time we feared the worst and were a complete mess. Hearing your baby scream while they give him a spinal tap (so they can rule out meningitis) is beyond heartbreaking. Fortunately, though, it was viral and not bacterial so we were able to take our healthy-again little guy home after a few long days of never leaving his side in the hospital. BUT… it meant that I was no longer very eager to get out of the house with him. What was already a scary idea became downright terrifying after the hospital ordeal, so we spent most of our time at home in those early months. It was just as well, though: Graham nursed about every two hours at the beginning, and he was a slow eater, which meant that sometimes there was only 30-45 minutes between feedings for me to get anything else accomplished. That made it very difficult to get ready to leave the house with everything we needed, let alone ACTUALLY leave the house for any amount of time.
I work from home (I took 10 weeks off from work when Graham was first born) and we have in-home childcare about 25 hours a week, so it was very easy even once I was back to work to not have to leave the house every day. We also live in a walkable town, which is amazing, but it made car trips that much more overwhelming for me when they were necessary because they weren’t frequent enough for me to ever get a great routine down. I’ll be honest: it took until Graham was about five months old for me to not feel like a complete mess every time we left the house, and for me to want to go out alone with him. But at five months was also when he magically became much less needy and much more independent, so it felt like my world shifted a bit and we could finally rejoin society. Some babies are happy as can be without much entertainment; Graham is not one of those babies. He has always been particularly needy so the amount of time he remained happy in his stroller was very limited.
Now that he is eight months old, motherhood feels so much less chaotic and frazzled and so much more FUN. I’ve loved my kid to pieces all along, but I feel like only in the last few months have I come out of that newborn-induced fog and been able to really embrace motherhood with more confidence. I’m sure the beautiful spring weather has something to do with it, but going out and about no longer feels like such a huge undertaking and I don’t let myself get so worked up anymore if I have to wrangle a crying baby into the car seat or stroller.
The best part about life with a not-so-little-anymore baby is the personality on this kid. Honestly, we just have such a blast with our little guy. Over time, smiles slowly led to giggles, which led to absolute uncontrollable laughter, which led to waving and clapping and bouncing and singing and so much more. It is amazing and incredibly entertaining to see his unique little personality come to life.
This post is all over the place… but then again, so is motherhood. I’m sure I’ll have much more to say as time goes on because it truly feels like something changes nearly every day. As comfortable as I continue to feel with my new title, I’m sure I’ll still wake up tomorrow just the tiniest bit surprised that I am actually someone’s mom. I’m not so sure that will ever cease to amaze me; actually, I hope it never does.