I am my 4-month-old’s favorite person. This is just as it should be and it’s so very sweet, but of course it’s also exhausting. He rarely wants to be held by anybody else, and if he does, he doesn’t last long before looking around for me and protesting until I return.
You ask me to read to you, and I have to pause every few minutes to soothe the tired baby.
You gasp in excitement as I come downstairs with him in the morning, barely able to contain yourself as you hug and kiss him.
The other day my partner and I were on a long drive with our daughter. We were trying to keep her happy in the car. She asked for a snack and demanded I give her the whole bag of crackers. My initial response was, “no, I don’t want a mess all over the car.” My partner suggested just giving her the bag in order to avoid a melt down. I relented and gave her the bag and it was fine – no huge mess in the car. It brought up a pretty big issue for me, though. Not so much my partner disagreeing with a limit that I tried to set, though that is annoying, but how our current parenting approach requires a lot of change on my part.
What comes to mind when you think of the postpartum period? I think of roughly the first month to three months after the baby is born. I think about my body healing and my baby adjusting to life outside the womb. When I think about adjusting to motherhood though, the timeline is much longer.
I can’t go back in time, so I’ll never know if things would have been better if I knew then what I know now. I am hopeful that my awareness going into my second postpartum period will help ease that transition just a bit. It’s like the difference between starting my very first job and my tenth job. I know it will still be challenging, but I also know that it will get easier. I’ve also learned a few more strategies to cope with the ups and downs of the postpartum period.
Here are10 things I wish I knew before having my first baby.