We are rapidly approaching the four month mark over here, and my son is growing like a weed. I want to say I’m loving every moment of it, but that would be a lie. Any mom could easily call me out on that, because there are always moments where we want to tear our hair out at the roots on any given day. So before my son starts crawling – which honestly seems like it could happen any day now, if he doesn’t skip straight to walking – I wanted to compile a list of the best and worst things about motherhood so far.
5. Never being able to leave the room without preparing for the worst possible scenario.
My son has begun to roll over. This means I can’t just leave him on the bed or the couch while I run to the trashcan to throw out his dirty diapers. Or run upstairs because I forgot to grab my coffee mug from my office. Or any sort of task that requires me leaving him in the room by himself.
4. Sore arms and back.
No matter how strong I am, how many weights I’ve lifted, I feel exhausted after holding my 16 pound son for more than five minutes. Now why is that?
3. Constant nagging.
Sincerely, there is nothing more annoying as of late than dealing with relatives who “know best” because they’ve “been there”. Yes, I know you raised me, or my husband, or [insert other relative or friend here]. But I am raising my son, and I’d like to do that on my terms, okay?
2. Finding a babysitter.
I don’t live close to family. And even if I did, I wouldn’t want to take advantage of them. I have a friend down here where I live who also recently had a baby. My friend never says no to me if I ask her to do something. So I don’t often ask. My anxiety is so terrible that I feel guilty for asking someone else to watch my child so I can do something simple like go to a doctor’s appointment or maybe get my hair done or see a movie. I’m working on it.
1. Crying for no reason.
My son will sometimes cry. And not the “whiny” cry, but an ear-piercing horror movie-esque shrieking. He’s been fed, changed, burped, and had a nap. I try removing clothes, or adding clothes. I try toys, I try snuggles. I try the rock’n’walk. I exhaust every option I can but sometimes he just keeps crying – so I put him down (nowhere he can roll off of now!) and walk away. My sanity is worth preserving if I’m going to keep giving him the best of me, and sometimes, they just need to cry. They’re happy until they’re not, and sometimes they don’t have a reason.
5. Everyone tells me how cute my child is.
As someone with anxiety, I don’t take compliments well about myself. Being out with a child, people focus mostly on him. They tell me how cute, and well behaved, and calm, etc. he is. I am more than happy to agree with them and coo over him myself.
4. Watching him grow and learn.
There is something so magical about watching him discover things for the first time. Also, nothing really matches the look on his face when he does something on his own for the first time. It is so precious and just as exciting to me as it seems to be to him.
3. His smiles.
I know it kind of ties into the last one, but there is nothing that can move my heart the way it does when my child smiles at me. Similarly, nothing tugs at my heart more than when he is upset and reaches for me. That feeling of being needed and wanted to make it all better makes me feel so humbled and loved in a way I’d never imagined.
2. Watching how he changes my husband.
My husband is a very carefree, funny, laid-back guy. Thankfully, that hasn’t changed in fatherhood. However, my husband never really seemed comfortable around other people’s kids. Watching him with our son, I realized that he doesn’t dislike kids at all. In fact, he’s so good with our son, that I’m ashamed I ever thought he didn’t like kids. Watching them together – my two favorite people laughing and playing – warms my heart.
1. How he changed me.
Having a baby has changed me in so many different ways. While those changes seemed to come as a balance struggle at first, my life is so full now. I have grown infinitely more patient, I’m not as quick to anger, and I like to think I laugh easier. You kind of have to, with the messes motherhood brings. But my son has eased my anxiety, as well, something I never thought was possible. He helps me to challenge myself and grow as a person in ways I thought I was stuck, like I’d hit a wall. And he challenges my anxiety and forces me to see that my worries aren’t always founded in reality. It’s absolutely amazing to me, and I am awestruck thinking about it.
How has motherhood changed you? What are your best and worst experiences? Moms with more than one child, how did that change things for you? Think about it. Feel free to share with me in the comments, I’d love to hear other people’s experiences!
– Monster Mama