In my pre-pregnancy brain I was quite sure that stay-at-home moms lived the dream. I mean, infants just eat, sleep and poop right? How long or intensive could that be? Why did so many of them not lose the pregnancy weight? Wear sweats all the time? Not shower on a regular basis?
It seems that there would be endless hours of leisurely activity to catch on like reading, doing exercise DVDs, getting beautified, dressed for the day, etc… I mean when you think about it, I was used to commuting about an hour a day and then putting in 8 hours of work…staying home with baby would require no commute, maybe about an hour of baby work (change diaper, feed, swaddle, nap, repeat) and then I would have 7 hours of “me” time until the hubby got home.
Every day, my husband would be met with a fresh cooked, healthy meal and one put together wife and smiley baby…HA! Last night, just as my husband was pulling in the driveway from a 12 hour day, I asked him if he picked up some dinner and he said no but we could certainly ﬁgure something out in the freezer.
As he greeted me at the door he asked if I had a chance to look at myself in the mirror. No, why? I could tell he felt terrible about saying this but he continued any way,”Ummm, it looks like there might be poo stained down the front of your sweatshirt”…I couldnʼt help but giggle with tears streaming down my non- makeupʼed face back to what I thought having a baby would be like versus reality:
1) Preggers Thought: Breastfeeding sheds Baby Weight Like Wildﬁre
My Reality: Now this may be true for many women out there, but certainly not for me. I held on to this hope for almost a year. I ate healthy, exercised about 4 to 5 times a week doing everything from yoga to 60 minutes of Zumba to Baby Boot Camp and breastfed exclusively and the weight had some separation anxiety. It has taken almost 2 years to drop the last of the 60 pounds…WOOHOO! But between me and you…I am still getting used to my postpartum body…another blog post about that
2) Preggers Thought: All Babies Like the Car
My Reality: I always imagined my husband or I driving our kiddo around town for hours on end or in the middle of the night to get the little guy back down with the plus side being some really fabulous weekend trips because we spent so much time in the car. Ummm, yeah…since the kid popped out of the womb, the car has been our arch nemesis. On a rare occasion we have been able to go about 1.5 hours away from our house, but on most days we began screaming upon entry to the car and end the drama when we arrive at our destination 10 minutes away.
3) Preggers Thought: Completely Adorable Nursery Setup
My Reality: Co-sleeper next to my bed.
4) Preggers Thought: All babies/kids love Strollers
My reality: We own an arsenal or strollers from the highly recommended active parent stroller, the BOB to the ultra chic Orbit Baby to the everyday umbrella stroller by Maclaren and many more. Every now again my little guy will tolerate a stroller ride but his preferred form of transportation as a baby was the Cybex Baby Carrier and now walking or hanging from my arm.
5) Preggers Thought: The First Time you see your baby you fall madly in love
My Reality: Well, my hubby and I feel really guilty about this one…but I had a really long labor (stuck at 9 for about 11 hours) and then had an emergency c-section. So when the little dude came out he was a weird shade of blue, had a long cone head and his face was all smushed on one side. The nurse yelled out, “Isnʼt he beautiful?” My hubby and I looked at each other and said “uhhhhh…” He was ours and we knew we would love him forever but it didnʼt happen in an instant.
So the moral of this blog post…no matter how many “how to” and “what to expect” books you read, you will quickly learn that every book you read was about someone else. Your story WILL end up different and so will your friend to whom you share your motherhood tales with. It is a vicious and wonderful cycle!
Mamas please share your experiences…
What did other moms tell you while you were expecting and what was your reality?