A Summer of Learning


Alternate title: How to live with a third roommate who can't feed himself, control his bowels, or talk

I know summer isn't officially over yet, but as I go back to work tomorrow it might as well be (although I'd appreciate it if we could get a little cooler, temperature-wise). This time of year always leaves me feeling a little reflective- last summer I had an awesomely busy, fabulous break (Florida! The Caribbean! Riding the bike trail! Yoga! Pool time! Happy hours! Friends!), while this one has been a lot slower paced. What I've learned:

To be more flexible
I'm a pretty disciplined, structured person (just ask my students) and I am a huge fan of schedules and routines. If I say I'm going to read for thirty minutes and hit the treadmill for forty, that's what I do. I thought that would neatly carry over into motherhood- feedings, sleeping, activity time, etc... And it has to a point- we have a loose schedule we follow each day. But I'm not quite as uptight in terms of timing- if I'm changing his diaper and he's having a great time being naked I let him hang for a few extra minutes. If he and his dad are having one of their lengthy "conversations" I hold off on nap time or bed time until they're done. If the kid is hungry after two hours instead of three hours, then he gets to eat. We're all happy with this- he's a happy baby, he's gaining weight, and we're pretty well- rested (minus those few bad nights I had earlier this week... ouch).

Good friends stick around
I'm used to seeing my friends often, whether meeting up at someone's house, going to happy hours, or going out. I was a little apprehensive about how things would work with a baby in the mix, especially with those that don't have kids. Luckily everyone, for the most part, has been really understanding and accommodating. I don't see them as often by any means, but that's okay.  We've had friends offer to babysit, make us food, drop by to visit, and send texts to check in when they get the vibe that things are tough.

My mom friends are awesome
I have several friends, that are moms, who are a wealth of information. They have been so helpful at either validating what I'm doing or offering gentle suggestions. Once Sawyer screamed himself hoarse during bath time (which he now loves), a friend assured me that one of her kids had done the same during a crying fit of her own. My own mom has also been incredibly useful. 

To make nap times count
For the most part nap times are productive- exercise, house cleaning, laundry, or planning for the up-coming year. But sometimes you need to sleep. 

To make sound effects for everything and toys out of anything
Sawyer is at the age where he's starting to distract pretty easy- bad for feeding times, great when he's crying. Diaper changes are made fun by flailing around diapers in his face (sooooo funny, apparently). Stubborn onesies that won't fit over his head are accompanied by weird noises from me. 

Bad habits can be broken fairly easily
Sleeping in the swing became sleeping in the Pack-n-Play. Naps in my arms became naps alone (for him... not me). Swaddling both arms became swaddled with one arm (and neither in the next month or two). Rocking/nursing/walking to sleep became him falling asleep on his own. And so on and so forth. I used to beat myself up over things (and probably will continue to do so in the future), but now that I know with some determination things can always be changed.

To stick to my guns
You will nap- even if we have to repeat the "laying down" process a few times. You will get in 40-60 minutes of tummy time a day, whether in five minute spurts or twenty minute blocks. You will stay in the Ergo in Target, even if you're pissed. We will take baths at least every other night. 

That having a boy is totally fine
I really wanted a girl when I found out I was pregnant. When I learned I was having a boy I was a little bummed- a feeling that at least partially carried over up until Sawyer was born (not like depressed, just like "aw that little dress is so cute I wish I could buy it" sort of bummed). But now, I can't imagine anything else! Little preppy boy's clothes are the cutest (onesie polos are the best).

That I'm still me
I've obviously changed because I've had a kid- my Instagram feed is now comprised of 90% baby pictures, as opposed to dogs, alcoholic beverages, and pictures of hikes/bike rides. I talk about him all the time, and the five(ish) pounds still attached to me ass are a constant reminder. But I still get out with my friends, still partake in the hobbies I enjoy, and talk to my husband about things that don't concern the kid (we've even managed to go out, alone, once a month or so, too).

Things I'm still learning:
To stop comparing
This comes to me in terms of my time-management, post-pregnancy body (those last few pounds require so much effort to shed...), and baby's development (he'll do things when he gets there!).

To put away my phone
I've gotten a lot better about this when I'm with him- when I'm playing with Sawyer the phone goes away unless I'm taking pictures of him or texting occasionally. Web browsing, blog reading, and Pinterest pinning is for later, while breastfeeding or when he's napping.

To accept breastfeeding/pumping
I know, probably TMI for some, but I really don't enjoy this aspect of motherhood. I like spending time with him when he's calm and content, but this whole thing is such a commitment. I don't want him to get older, but I do fantasize about him turning one and being able to send him downstairs with my husband in the morning so that I can sleep (to like 8 or- gasp!- 9!) and he can drink a bottle of good old cow's milk. But right now it's so much cheaper and better for him- I hope it all works when going back to work.

So, here we are. Last summer I learned to love the Moscow Mule, this year I learned how to live with a baby. In my house. Using my stuff. Spending my money. 


1 comment:

  1. I can agree with pretty much all of this except for me, I've had to learn how to be on more of a schedule. I've always been a more "go with the flow" type of person and I'm also a night owl. Neither have been working well for getting the the baby to be on a schedule. So I'm starting to suck it up and be more rigid with bedtimes, etc.