[Read Part I]
[Read Part II]
Not only did I move and said goodbye to my carefree fun city life, I was also saying goodbye to my friends. I was the only one married, and now the only one with a baby in my group. I figured I wouldn’t see them as much but I didn’t expect to feel so different from them.
They can’t relate to what I was (am) going through, and even though they listen at times to news about the baby, it’s like we’re speaking two different languages.
I was told my life was going to change, but I didn’t know exactly how it would change.
Things were changing quickly, and it was more than I thought they would.
It was the little things that I noticed first.
Taking out and not being able to wear my earrings (I have 12 piercings in my ear) because they were fun for my son to pull on. Same thing with my hair. I now understood why so many new moms chop off all their hair or wear it high enough out of tiny hands way.
Since I was breastfeeding, I was ravenous. I have never felt so hungry in my life. With the amount of food I was eating, I felt like I was training for an eating competition. I needed something every few hours.
Breastfeeding also made me part ways with a lot of my clothes and cute bras. I needed to wear something that was nursing friendly (hello button downs and wrap shirts!) that would have easy access to my boobs every few hours. I also was not losing weight so my sizing was off. Trying to find new clothes that I felt confident in was a battle. I was constantly reminded of where my body wasn’t, and for me it was (and still is) difficult to accept.
When I gain weight, I gain it everywhere. My face looks fuller. My arms look like an NFL linebackers’, my tummy and hips get wider, and my now after a baby, my stomach had not only a belly, but a soft pooch.
Nothing looks decent on me when I am heavy. I tried buying a couple pieces of clothing to wear out but it never looked right. Every time I would try on clothes, it ended up with me crying in the bathroom and throwing on a t-shirt and sweats.
We live in a social media frenzy society where filters and heavy makeup give new standards to beauty; and the constant upload of pictures and stories of trim bodies in skintight clothing, workout videos, weight loss journeys, and certain celebs shedding baby weight relatively fast makes it easy to set unrealistic goals and make digs on the lack of progress someone is making.
It’s easy for even the strongest, most put together person to doubt their self-worth and attractiveness at times. I was the latest victim. I follow tons mommy bloggers on Instagram, some that had due dates around the same time as me, or some moms that already had a baby and other fitness accounts. Every time I would open and scroll through my feed, I found myself feeling worse and getting angry at myself.
I got caught up in comparing weight loss, how put together they looked versus how I looked, how much energy they had, how perfect their life seemed.
Why I needed to cut myself some slack.
After I gave birth, I barely had time to shower, go to the bathroom, brush my teeth or my hair… and these other moms were fully clothed, lost all the baby weight, had blowouts and a full face of makeup.
How are they doing this? Is there something wrong with me? Why don’t I look like that? Am I not trying enough?
I know I should never compare myself to someone else, but it was hard not to since it was in my face constantly.
After giving birth I was at my most vulnerable, with every emotion possible flowing through me. I felt this pressure to have it all together, all the time. I was worried of being gossiped about at family parties if I grabbed a piece of dessert, a second slice of pizza or that I was heavier than usual and was struggling to lose the baby weight. I was afraid of being judged by strangers when I would leave the house looking a hot mess with my hair wildly bunched on top of my head like a bird’s nest, baggy and wrinkled clothes with heavy bags under my eyes.
I had to learn to cut myself a lot of slack.. I had to constantly reinforce there wasn’t anything wrong with me, that I just grew a human inside of me and my son as a fussy baby requires all of my focus and energy.
I wasn’t prepared to have a colicky and overly fussy newborn.
When Benny was a newborn and in the early months of his life, he was extremely fussy. Ear piercing screams with no end in sight. I had no idea something so small could make such a loud noise.
My patience is tested constantly.
Benny was a colicky baby and it lasted for months. Not the average four months like most doctors will tell you, but until about eight or nine months, He was constantly crying and nothing would settle him down. We later discovered he had reflux, and since he was premature and had a strong family history of it, a couple medicine dosage changes, it was taking him a little longer to outgrow it.
In those moments of trying absolutely anything to get Benny to calm down and stop crying, I wanted to slam my head into the wall. I could never imagine hurting him, but there were times I had to set him somewhere safe and walk away into another room to take deep breaths.
It’s easy to lose your patience and when you (instead of your partner) are experiencing the brunt of it, it can be even more frustrating.
However, it’s part of what motherhood entails. I never thought I would have a fussy baby. I think a lot of motherhood is learning to roll with it as much as you can, especially when patience is involved.
Benny will eventually be able to talk and tell me what’s wrong, communicate in general, be able to go to the bathroom alone, change into his own clothes, etc. I’m sure with age comes a new level of patience with boundaries, testing limits, etc. It’s also normal to lose my patience, but it’s up to me to decide how to handle those frustrations when I’m getting ready to explode.
Continue with Part IV...