I'm fairly sure that I've posted on this topic before, but i recently had a discussion with my sister (who is a new mom) about this idea and I thought we'd revisit it.
If you have seen any ads for nursing products, baby shampoo, or any other product a new parent might buy, you probably saw a vision of a mother snuggling with her soft, warm child. They hold each other in a tender embrace as the baby softly sleeps. This does happen on a rare period, but as new moms know and understand, this plays out in stark reality to a mom covered in drool, vomit, or some other bodily fluid, holding her child in tears, begging him or her to sleep for just 30 minutes so she can take a shower or nap for the first time in 2 or 3 days.
If you've browsed the magazines while waiting in line at the grocery store, you might have seen a new celebrity mom showing off their baby. The postpartumly svelte mom has every hair in place, and is all smiles while posing for the camera. The baby is well dressed, and usually sleeping, or smiling. This is also a break from the norm, which is a greasy hair, blurry eyed woman who has lost the belly bump but retains the stretched skin, stretch marks, and extra jiggle bestowed on her by the child, (your baby might possibly be well dressed but neither of you are probably sleeping or smiling).
This all culminates into what i like to call... the mom blob. Just after having a baby (for maybe 4 to six months) most women feel as though they are a walking, talking, shell whose only purpose on earth is to provide sustanence and comfort for someone else. You lose your body, you lose your mind, you lose your sense of self. Added to these physical changes, are all the little stressers that come along. Questions like "why isn't he/she eating every two hours like the book said" or more likely "why is he/she wanting to eat every 10 minutes". "why hasn't he/she pooped since Tuesday?"
Tips to cope with the Mom Blob
Get out and exercise (after your DR. clears it)
You may not lose all the weight right away, but I promise you will feel better about who you are.
Sleep when the baby sleeps
Avoid going into your closet for your pre pregnancy clothes
You are avoiding a meltdown of epic perportions here.
Do not expect the baby to do any of the things in any of the books you read
Babies are unpredictable and dangerous.
Treat Your Hubby like a king
Huh? After what I just went through, shouldn't he be kissing my unshaven ankles?
No. You are going to have wild moodswings (hey, it's not for sure, but trust me). If you treat him really well, he'll be better at handling them. And you should probably let him know that they are a'comin.
Side Note: He's going to want to fix everything when the baby cries and you feel bad and he'll be extremely frustrated when he can't. He will take it hard. Be nice to him.
Now, I'm not dissing motherhood. I love being a mom. Motherhood is an awesome wonder. I'm just providing reality. It's not all teddy bears, and baby bottoms. It's a tough, hard, ugly business some days. But, If you can lower your expectations, and find the little joys mixed in with all the drool, poo, and snot, it really is quite wonderful. If you are a new mom, or are about to be a new mom, here's a phrase to remember: Just hang in there. :)
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