The Transition to Motherhood

I just read a birth announcement that had me a bit nostalgic! Now that Jackson is 1.5, he is the best thing ever! Even when he drives me crazy, I still think he is cutest, most lovable little creature in this entire world. I love all the little words he says and all of his screeches. His little smile melts my heart and his little face is so squishy and I could snuggle up with him forever.

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But he wasn’t always like that! I know a lot of you were around for my early days with a baby and even though I loved Jackson to bits and pieces, even back then, I didn’t want to snuggle forever! I wanted to put him down and get on with my life. YOLO!

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I warned Kassie before she had a baby that the transition to motherhood was the most challenging thing I’ve ever done in my life. Her other best friend had PPD and she never knew it at the time! So she appreciated all of the input, but motherhood was a pretty smooth transition for her. It took a few weeks, but she has really taken on this Mom thing without all of the doubt that I had!

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Another fellow blog mom had a baby and I thought her transition appeared to be going really smoothly, but then she came out and admitted she had PPD and that she cried all the time! I had no idea! It’s the New Mom facade, where I think people are embarrassed or ashamed to admit that their lives just kind of suck with their new little human around.

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I remember when Jackson would wake up, I just had no idea what to do with him to keep him awake for 40 minutes. Change him, feed him, and then….???? He couldn’t DO anything. Walk around outside for a few minutes. Maybe do some tummy time. The time would drag on until I could just put him back down for a nap and get back to my schoolwork or TV shows (or pumping- let’s be real, I was spending about 6 hours a day pumping back then). The days just seemed to take forever and I couldn’t wait for bedtime at 7pm- at least once he started sleeping all night. The monotony of waking up to feed him and pump and then give him solid foods… Life literally revolved around feeding a child for months.

I actually remember the first time I left the house alone after having a baby! I went to Bookanalia (our book club) at Jessica’s house and I sat in traffic for so long to get there. I cried on the way because I missed my freedom and my old life and wished I could just leave whenever I wanted to! I was even so happy to be sitting in traffic and listening to music without a baby! And then when I got to Jessica’s, I immediately had to pump or I risked decreasing my milk supply.

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Running errands with a baby was such a production too! Especially when I was exclusively pumping! I had to take my pump, bottles, coolers with ice packs, diapers, bibs, clothes- the list goes on! And don’t get my started on pumping… Giving up pumping (which I hung onto until 11 months and ended up donating 3,500oz to the cutest adopted baby!) and getting back to working out (I had a stress fracture so spent a lot of my postpartum time in a boot) was KEY in returning to feeling like myself!

I thought maybe we made a mistake and we would have been better off with kids. What if I always just kind of wished we didn’t have him? I knew my love for him would grow, but I had no idea what that even meant back then.

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There are still plenty of times where I think about how easy life would be with no kids! How much more I could be working and how I could travel more and we could buy a boat and I wouldn’t feel guilty at all for wanting to work full time!

But now I look forward to getting up with Jackson. He eats his own breakfast while I get my breakfast together. He feeds himself dinner while I eat next to him. He holds my hand (*melts*) when we walk into the store. He keeps me company while he rides in the cart. I get to play outside with him and watch him learn and grow! Before I dropped him off at daycare this morning, I sat with him in my lap and we watched 30 minutes of the Minions. He pointed to the TV and laughed and danced and snuggled me. Even though I can’t wait to explore a new country next week (FRANCE HERE WE COME!!!!!) and nothing fills my soul like leaving the country, I think my sweet, slow, snuggly mornings with my gingery toddler are getting up there with getting off the plane in a new country.

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Sorry about the poor photo quality- these are downloaded and resized from FB! Jon is bringing my external hard drive this weekend with all of the original images.

2 thoughts on “The Transition to Motherhood

  1. There are some people who are natural born moms from the start, to the moment their babies are born to ones who are not and learn to love their child. There’s no easy way to transition into it. I think there’s less of the natural born mothers lol. I was always afraid of loosing myself after having kids and not having time to myself because I get cranky if I dont have space to myself, but now I just stay in on Friday nights so it doesnt even matter lol.

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    1. Um, I was DEFINITELY concerned about the “me time” part of having kids. I need a lot of solo time and I also was set on not losing myself. I think compared to other moms, I still have high needs for me time, but Jon is good about it. I do better than I thought I would though- it takes a lot for me to really lose my shit. And I think while that identity shift was a little overwhelming at first, I feel like myself still. Even my friends tell me they forget I have a kid all the time because I still act like the exact same person, but now I just talk about my kid sometimes, haha.

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