sweet little experiment

I was not prepared for motherhood.

Now don’t get me wrong, I did read a decent amount of books on pregnancy and whole birth. I attended prenatal classes and breastfeeding classes. But all in all I think it’s pretty safe to say that nothing can really prepare you for motherhood besides motherhood itself. Yep, you gotta be in it to know it. In it to win it. Or in it to navigate through a system of trial and error, ups and downs, jubilation and frustration, invigoration and exhaustion- the list goes on and on.

I think most parents experience some ineptitude when it comes to the reality of raising children. At the hospital, I remember feeling apprehensive to the fact that they were allowing Nick and I to take our 6lb. 12oz, baby girl home. Handing us this precious little angel and saying: She’s beautiful. Good luck and goodbye.

The first thing I thought was: Oh, Holy Lord. I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing.

Let me better explain myself. You see, when Ella was inside me I had everything figured out. Her schedule, my schedule, sleep time, feed time, playtime, potty time. If I remember correctly, I think I even had a list of do’s and don’ts plastered on our kitchen wall. I was extremely organized and the house was really freaking clean. Nesting sure got the best of me in my ninth month! The nursery was stunning, but practical. We did every thing in neutral since we chose not to find out her sex. Tiny clothes were all neatly folded and put in their proper place. Piles of baby booties and teeny hats aligned perfectly on the shelf. I had every thingamabob baby item you could think of. Most of which I would come to find out would never get opened, let alone used. That’s okay though because they were a piece of the pregnancy puzzle and my puzzle was almost complete. I reveled in the thought of perfection.

Then I had her. She was the most beautiful, innocent, precious soul. My heart was overflowing with love. Best of all, she was mine! Then we took her home. And within an instant, all of my scheduling and planning and organizing pretty much went to hell.

Schedule? What schedule? This baby eats when she wants, sleeps when she wants, and poops all of the time.

I was introduced to “poop up the back.” Um hello, no one ever told me about that. Surprise! It’s disgusting.

Laundry piled up.

Diapers everywhere.

My breasts hanging out all day long.

Nursing. Nursing. Nursing. And nursing.

Pumping. Storing. Pumping. Storing.

Glass of wine.

Pumping. Dumping.

Changing. Rocking. Changing. Rocking.

I was in a constant fog. We were up all hours of the night for days and weeks and months on end.

Our first trip to the pediatrician’s office and we left her diaper bag at home. Yeah, you heard that right. Not in the waiting room, not in the car. AT HOME. Who does that? The nurse was looking at us like we were two brainless idiots. I was looking at Nick thinking:

How the hell could you forget the diaper bag??!! I had the baby. I remembered her. 

Oh motherhood. With its winding roads. You never really know what’s around the corner or behind door number one..or two..or three for that matter. You never really know what to expect or what you’ll forget. What kind of baby you’ll have or what kind of mother you’ll be.

And thus begins our lifelong…

sweet little BIG experiment.

12 thoughts on “sweet little experiment

  1. I was probably a bigger mess than anyone when starting out! I thought my 15 year career as a nanny had prepared me for the entirety of motherhood. HAHAHAHA Oh how different it is when you don’t get to start the day with a full night’s sleep, you’re breastfeeding/pumping, you’re paying for all the supplies yourself, when you don’t get “off” at the end of the day, when you’re the one who has to make ALL the decisions AND carry them out, and let’s not forget, there’s no monetary compensation to being a mother. Oh boy!!
    The last two years have been a trial in letting go of my pride and admitting that while I do know some things and am very comfortable with some things, there’s an awful lot that I need to learn along the way, just like everyone else! At the time, I thought it was odd that mothers didn’t seem to discuss these things. At least, they don’t discuss these things with single/newly married women. I felt like such a failure… So, thanks for sharing this post. Maybe it’ll let another new mom know that she’s not alone. We all go through it to some extent.

    • ((hugs)) Annette!! You are SOO not alone!! The transition from caretaker-as-a-dayjob to motherhood is HUGE and I think those of us who work(ed) with kids are the most shocked by it. Good luck hon. You sound like a great mom. 🙂

      • Thanks Mary! It sounds like you know from personal experience too! 🙂 I just keep trying to take it one day at a time, remembering that I won’t do it perfectly, but I will give it my best shot! That’s all I can do. God takes care of the rest!

      • OOoooh yes, I’ve “been there and done that”.
        I’m the youngest of 14. My next-oldest sib is 10 years older… by the time I came along my sisters and brothers’ wives were having babies… I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t around kids.
        Fast forward… I ran a day care for nearly seven years, caring for ages 6 weeks and up. Figured I had this baby thing handled…

        And then my own came along… And the world as I knew it fell apart. lol

        When my daughter was two, I went to work and put her in daycare out of fear. I could not handle her temper tantrums and constant curious busy-ness, and I was seriously concerned about the effects of my own temper on her growing mind. So I put myself in “time out” for a year.
        Got pregnant with our son… quit working, and took parenting classes. And more parenting classes. Read some really incredible books about parenting…

        Here I am, 15 years later. My daughter is growing into a beautiful, intelligent young woman who drives me just as nuts now as she did at 2. My son is a scary-smart, handsome young man who I’ve been told by one of his teachers will likely “either find the cure for cancer or become a mad scientist type who ends up blowing up the earth” LOL

        I am still learning. There are days I think I’m going to lose my mind. There are days I know I’ve made great decisions, and there are days I”m convinced I’ve screwed my kids up for life.

        I love this blog because I so wish I had found it back when Jessi was 2. Thankfully I found amazing friends, both online and off, and great community resources. I am a firm believer in supporting one another, and Dr. Lisa is doing an awesome job of getting those encouraging words out. 🙂

    • I was the same way! I still am. I’m just a bit better at understanding that I can’t do it all! I admit when I need help now. Far cry from when I was a brand new mother and I tried to take on the world! At least my definition of perfection has changed. Perfection no longer means everything in its place and neatly organized and clean. I’ve learned to let that go a bit, which is good when you have kids. My kids teach me something new every day! Today’s lesson: patience. lol

  2. “I remembered the baby”
    LOL!! Who among us hasn’t done that at least once?? And some of us have forgotten the actual baby…

    Once, when my nephew was tiny, we put him in the back seat of my car and drove home… and never realized until we rounded a corner and the car seat FLIPPED OVER that no one had buckled him in. o.o
    It was one of those infant seats with a handle. His mom and I were both near hysterics, but he never even woke up. The handle kept him from flipping all the way over, and thankfully he was fine.

    Motherhood is a rollercoaster ride, and it’s a different ride every time. I did daycare for seven years before having my own kids. I am the youngest of 14, and my sisters were having kids my entire childhood. I’ve been holding babies since I was three, and babysitting since I was eleven. I thought I knew all there was to know… and then I had my own and the world skipped a step. lol

    My younger friends sometimes ask me for advice as the “experienced” mom of our group. All I can say is, “Good luck, Mom. You’re gonna need it.”

    • Mary! You are hysterical! I’ve done something similar with the car seat! My son was in the front-facing car seat and he was buckled in. Little did I know that when my husband transfered his seat back to my car he didn’t secure it with the belt. So here I am driving along and my son is sleeping peacefully. I come up to red light and press the brake, all of a sudden the car seat tips forward and hits the front seat. I’m undecided whether to laugh or cry. My son didn’t even flinch. Sound asleep with his face smashed against the passenger seat. Off to the store we go!

      • Holy wow… Isn’t it funny how the things that haunt our dreams don’t even register on the kids’ radar? God made kids resilient for a reason- He knew they’d have to deal with “only human” parents! 😉

  3. awe…i remember the nursery BEFORE the child….so neat and tidy and perfect….so organized and untouched by poop, spit up, urine, pee, spilled breast milk, toys, and sleepless nights. Rydell’s 1st pediatricia visit we decided to change her diaper while waiting for the doc. so she would be nice and fresh for the doc while he examined her & mid diaper she shot out a nice loose breast milk poop across the exam room & the doc ended up stepping in poop…whoops guess that plan backfired.

    • Too funny. Ethen was the worst to change. He peed everytime and he had those exploding poops that would literally hit the wall. So a five minute change turned into a 30 minute debacle which included a bath and new outfit.

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