Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Ainsley is my buddy
I'm starting to feel a little more me but it's still been hard. I've probably said this before too but the whole mothering thing comes totally natural. I love my baby and I love taking care of her. The whole lifestyle adjustment is still making me feel a little bit like a fish out of water. That's really the best way I can describe it. Like a fish trying to swim on the ground. Not only am I adjusting to a completely different body (although I won't complain about the increased size of my chestal region), almost everything about my life is different. A few weeks ago when my sister was in town we were shopping at H&M. It's a pretty trendy store, as I'm sure you know, but two months post baby I was not feeling very trendy. I'm sure I was wearing one of the few outfits I have that barely fits me and almost looks presentable. I was hot and sweaty. [What is it about having a baby that makes you hot all the dang time?!] I was trying to push around her stroller in aisles made for no bigger than a size 2. I was on my way back to the dressing room with a few boring t-shirts in hand when I ran the stroller into a rack of clothes a girl was standing next to. She gave me a dirty look, raised eyebrows and all. I had an out of body experience. It was like, who IS this person?! I'm still the cool, fashionable college girl with a lot of friends- not a frumpy, overweight mom who doesn't even know what pattern mixing is, right? I hate to share experiences like this at the risk of giving the impression it's always like this. Ainsley is my little buddy and we're working at fitting into our new life together. It gets a little better (almost) every day. My fish is working to adapt ;)
Sorry if I've said this before but I feel like the hardest part of motherhood is making your child the priority while still finding room to be you. Having a baby changes everything right down to the clothing you can wear! Trying to dress a post baby body AND dress for nursing seems like it's impossible. One thing, as silly as it seems, that has helped me is pumping milk for when I go out. Going out is something I need to feel normal but with everything that comes with a baby, it can get stressful. A little human requires a lot of gear. Being able to give her a bottle whenever she needs it, like in the grocery story checkout line, eases so much stress for me versus having to set aside 30 minutes to nurse on an uncomfortable bench with a giant bib with a buncha weirdies staring at me. I don't think there's anything wrong with nursing in public and I still do it a lot, but giving her a bottle sometimes really helps me. I'm in the habit of pumping every morning after her first feeding which has also been great to have milk when I need it and build a supply. I'm also pretty sure occasionally giving her a bottle of breastmilk in public not going to cause her long term damage ;)
I also don't have her on a schedule which in most ways is great. I tried Babywise for about two weeks and went insane. Ainsley didn't like it, I hated it, and it didn't seem to improve the amount of sleep she got. I have her mostly on a feed-wake-sleep schedule but as far as set times, they're pretty flexible. We put her to bed between 7:30 and 9:30 and she's usually up around 6 for a few hours then goes back to sleep for a few hours. Part of the reason I didn't like Babywise was because I felt like somedays Ainsley needed more sleep than others. I didn't like the idea of waking her up at certain times just to keep her on a schedule. Also, she's not much of a sleeper (never has been) and there were often nap times she'd completely miss because I couldn't get her to sleep, leaving us both frustrated. I feel like she's so little and her needs are always changing. She is the best at telling me what she needs, not a book. She's put herself on a loose schedule without me even having to do anything! Once she gets older and she's not eating and napping as often I think a schedule will be a lot less stressful and we'll work to establish one then. It was hard before when I knew I could only run errands during her wake time and had to be back to feed her at a certain time. It just didn't work for us. Another thing I've learned is something can work for 100 of your closest friends but that doesn't mean it'll work for you. Since I haven't been trying to fit Ainsley into the Babywise mold we've both been happier. I've learned to just let her be her and to be more relaxed if she's not sleeping through the night like my friend's 6-week old. She will only be this little for such a short amount of time. I guess what I'm saying is the experts know what's best for the masses, but they don't know what's best for your individual baby. Ainsley is my best teacher when it comes to learning how I need to parent. She tells me what she needs. I'm not letting "doing it the right way" get in the way of enjoying every little moment. I wish I could stay on the couch all day and soak up every smile and snuggle. I really do love being a mom. And I know before I know it the babies will be gone and it'll be back to Clint and I telling stupid jokes and laughing til we cry.