10 Things I Learned Since Becoming A Mother

The Children’s Songs You Thought You Knew. You don’t know them. Basically, I spend a majority of my time at home with Peyton, trying to remember the words to the songs I knew as a kid. My mother wouldn’t let us sing “Rock-a-bye Baby” so I couldn’t sing that song if you paid me a million dollars. Also, I find myself humming “Go to Sleep” though I don’t know the words, only the tune. And someone mentioned the game BINGO and I started singing the song. With clapping included for good measure.

I Can Talk To Myself In Public … IF I have Peyton With Me. Literally, if I am going down the aisles of Walmart – will simply talk to myself about what I have to do and go over my list. However, as long as I am looking at her, it not only keeps her entertained, it keeps me from looking like a schizophrenic.

Sleep When The Baby Sleeps? What a joke. I mean seriously. How does one sleep when the baby sleeps? When you have a million other things you need to do when the baby sleeps. You should probably get some food in your belly, take a shower, and do a load of laundry. When exactly would you have time to sleep when the baby sleeps. Whoever made up this rule, didn’t actually have kids. The mothers doling out this advice to new mothers, I am sure never actually followed it and its just a tradition passed down from mother to mother.

This is the first week. I forced myself to nap.

Burp Cloths are Ridiculous. You don’t need a burp cloth. In fact, I would suggest never using one. Instead, I have a plethora of receiving blankets. The problem with a burp cloth is that whoever made them didn’t think about the amount of vomit that MY kid would be producing. This means, that every time that Peyton pukes, while I am using a tiny replica of a burp cloth, I get rotten, regurgitated milk formula all down my back and in my shirt. Use a receiving blanket. To be honest, I am not sure what its real purpose is, but the receiving blanket is used for multiple tasks and is a staple in my house.

Babies are Engineered to Survive Their Annoyances. Simply put, there are days when I just want to pinch my kid. Like, literally, I want to grip her tiny little rolls on her thighs and pinch them. Just a little. However, no matter how much I want to do this, she doesn’t allow me. She has these big hazel eyes that look up at me with sparkles in them. She gives me that over the top uber cute smile and I just melt. Can’t be mad at that face. Can’t be annoyed at the smile. Can only shake my head in wonder.

How do you pinch this?!

You Think You Know What You Will Do. Then you have a baby of your own and realize, you just had no idea what you were talking about. I had very clear cut ideas on what kind of mom I was going to be. So did my partner. Our ideas may not have matched all the time, but we had similar views. She talked me into allowing Peyton to self soothe and I said that she didn’t need 17 outfits in a day. She would just grow out of them too fast to waste the money on them. Mind you, these were clear cut and dry intentions while I was pregnant. All that went out the window when Peyton was born. My partner can’t let Peyton cry for more than ten minutes without rocking her to sleep. I have bought the child more outfits than she can possibly wear in her lifetime. These are just SOME of the changes in my philosophy and she’s only 4 months old. Of course, I had ideas on toddler rearing too. Its coming up more quickly than I would like to think about.

That Myth About Newborns Not Getting Dirty… That’s bull. BS. A bold-faced lie. My little Peyton is the dirtiest kid I know. Not really. She’s not like .. covered in mud or anything, but she is pretty grimey. When I was pregnant, I read up on how often to bathe  newborn. Peyton isn’t really a newborn anymore, but when she was, we bathed her every other day if we could muster up the energy. Do you know why? Because she has rolls on rolls. On ROLLS. She has three chins and little bitty sausage toes that keeps stuff caked in there. Stuff that I can’t see unless I lift the folds and check. Take it from me, newborns DO get dirty and frankly, I don’t like to be lied to.

Her Bathrobe is Ridiculously Cute.

You Will Memorize That Book. Whether you want to or not. I had never read Dr. Suess’ ABC Book or Goodnight Moon before I started reading them to Peyton at night before bed. Now, I can recite both books cover to cover without looking at the book. Without the stupid board book even in the same room as me. Its weird. Its crazy. These are her two favorite books and yet, I don’t need to turn the pages, because I already know what’s coming next. Instead, I just let her chew on the corners while I recite the words.

The Piano Play Thing is God’s Gift To Parents. And I got mine at a garage sale. Look, I can’t say that your kid will FOR SURE love it. Peyton does though. Especially now that she is getting old enough to entertain herself. I can put her in this contraption, which by the way, my partner was oh so no thrilled that I filled our entire living room with the thing. She sits in it and it makes music on the top with her hands and on the bottom with her feet. She just dances and sings and has a good ol time. I highly recommend this toy above all other toys I have gotten Peyton. This includes the Bumbo everyone is so impressed with. I have personally used it for a week. Maybe I can use it when the solid foods kick in.

Coolest Toy EVER.

I Just Read Something About 4 Month Sleep Regression?! So, Peyton just turned 4 months a few days ago and low and behold, she is sticking true to this new thing I have learned about. Jeez. It certainly hasn’t been much fun. She refuses to go to sleep. When she does sleep, its not for very long. Apparently, when babies hit about 4 months, they start to sleep by human beings and not tiny people. This means that they cycle through light sleep and deep sleep instead of simply staying in deep sleep. This means that instead of putting themselves back to sleep on their own, since they don’t really know how to yet, when light sleep hits, they may decide its time to get up when it really isn’t. Not so awesome for me. In fact, so far that is my least favorite part of being a mommy. Peyton refuses to sleep. Literally. I have tried to let her cry it out. I have rocked her to sleep. I have fed her to sleep. No matter what, as soon as I lay her down, she’s awake again.

I sure wish she still slept like this.

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Did I mention that she rolls now? So she just rolls right over and wakes herself up if she’s not awake by the time she is laid into her crib.

So this is what we are dealing with right now. I am sure things will get easier, but good gracious, right now, Peyton is wearing me out. Who would have thought someone to tiny and so cute could be the conqueror of your life.

Motherhood Is Not What I Expected

I feel like we have come a long way from the post I published when we brought Peyton home. That last post was our week 1 round-up and I had good intentions to do a weekly round-up. Really I did. I fail. However, I have several things I can say about the last three months. Being a mom is not at all what I expected. Being a mother is something I didn’t expect to struggle with.

I hope that is the feeling from all new moms though. I’m sure the next comments I make will have some people hate me because I voice my discontent. Rest assured, I love my baby girl and I would never trade her in for anything in this world. She really is the very air I breathe.

She is kicking my butt!

The sleepless nights, the long days at work, the double amounts of laundry with no washer or dryer in the apartment, the crying for no reason, the trial and error, the pumping breast milk and then not using it, the WIC journey, the FoodStamps rejection after two full trips to the office when they told me all I needed was a phone interview, and the endless amounts of throw up that I endure is just the tip of the iceberg.

This is what she looks like when she thinks 3AM is play time.

I don’t want anyone to think that I was naive when we decided to get pregnant. I knew that babies cried. I knew that babies puked. I knew that babies were difficult. I just didn’t expect to … not love every second of it. Let’s be realistic. There are moments when I want to pull my hair out. There are moments when I want to abandon my apartment for a week and leave my baby with someone else. There are moments when all I want to do is curl up in a ball on my bed and disappear.

But, for the most part, I just want to convince myself that I am NOT a terrible mother. Why would I feel that way? I can tell you why. I am impatient. I am irritable. I am annoyed. I am snappy. I am frustrated. I am exhausted. Basically, I am not super mom. I am not loving every minute of it.

BUT. I love my daughter. I am grateful for my daughter. I couldn’t imagine my life without her. She is my little joy and ball of sunshine. When I wake up to her in the morning, I may not want to get up that early, but her smile lights up my day. When I get home at night from work, I may be exhausted and I may not want to play, but how can I say no to her precious little giggle?

She is the child I dreamed about. She’s the child I imagined in my head when I was pregnant, hell, before I was pregnant. It took a lot out of me and Kim to get here, emotionally and physically. We are far from finished, we have 18 more years of this, and frankly, I feel like I love her more and more as each day goes by.

My love for my daughter has grown since this picture by leaps and bounds.

I may not feel like motherhood turned out the way that I envisioned, but whose ideal of perfect motherhood really does turn out? It doesn’t matter, I still love my daughter and I love having her. I don’t care for throw up and crying, but I love her and I will endure.

So in the meantime, I will wake up every hour on the hour in the middle of the night and cuddle … just to cuddle. Because she needs it and I enjoy that part of motherhood. Its the little things. Reading her a bedtime story, kissing her toes and watching her smile in her sleep that make up for all the stuff I am not so passionate about.

I may be overwhelmed, I may be exhausted, but I have more love than I can ever express overflowing for that tiny pint-sized little girl I call my daughter, Peyton Shea Fields.

❤ Take Care,
Rachael