Heads up for Adjusting to Life with a Newborn Baby
Recently, a couple of different people asked me what it was like adjusting to life with a newborn baby. It caused me to reflect back to almost a year ago when my very first child was born. In some ways there has been a lot of adjusting and other ways it didn’t seem that big of a switch. Pregnancy itself was quite an adjustment!
1. One of the most prominent things that stands out to me, in adjusting to life with a newborn baby, was waving my husband off to work while I stayed home with our newest addition to the family.
For the past six years (ten if you include a grueling college schedule with part time work on the side), I had worked a full time job in some form or fashion. I even worked my then current job up to the day I went in to labor, trying to finish out a project while keeping track of the minutes in between contractions – I’ll admit, I wasn’t too productive that day!
With making plans to add a young child to our family, together we decided it would be best that I stay home with her and take care of her needs. Fortunately, we were in a position to make that possible. I was all for it, of course, but there was some adjusting involved.
Saying bye to my husband instead of leaving with him took a couple of months before it didn’t feel completely weird.
2. I get hungry often, it seems like I am always dehydrated (I’m still nursing), and I lose my energy faster. My husband reminds me from time to time, “take care of yourself”. Yes, that is a good idea … as soon as I am finished with this diaper. I finally made a decision I would eat every time she ate. Now that she is older though, I even snack in between.
3. As I plan errands and trips in the day, I have to schedule around her naps and plan for when she is going to need to eat and need a diaper change.
4. One other thing on that note, do you know how hard it is to use a public restroom when you are by yourself and you’re carrying a child who cannot walk? It is a little bit easier if I have a stroller in tote. But then that makes for getting in and out of the bathroom door the first challenge. Then what do I do? Leave the stroller outside the stall and hope that people leave her alone? In that case I hope for a handicap stall that is big enough.
But what about those days I don’t have the stroller … ? Ahh!
Or wanting to wash my hands after changing her diaper in the public restroom. I can’t leave her unattended. I also can’t hold her while rubbing soap on my hands. It just doesn’t work. If you ever walk in to a bathroom and see a mother with a baby doing some funny things, please be understanding and don’t judge. You may be there someday. Even better, you could offer some help.
5. Mealtimes themselves are a bit of an adjustment. Or should I say, being completely responsible for another individual, that can’t even tell you what she needs. I will admit that there have been a few days where I get doing my thing- our thing- and realize I forgot to feed her a few hours ago. Oops! Sorry for that one, dear baby.
That wasn’t an issue in the first few months, but as she reached 6, 8 and then 10 months, she can go a little while without eating. But then it catches up. She fusses and I try to figure out why and then it dawns on me … oh, hello! You’re hungry, aren’t you?
6. Adjusting to life with a newborn baby means that I cannot leave the house whenever I please. I have been an extremely capable individual for many, many years. Now, all the sudden, I cannot go as I please. I can’t even leave for a quick run around the block by myself. They have laws against that kind of thing.
The other day I was in the middle of a cake recipe while my little one was taking a nap and realized I had forgotten an ingredient at the store. There is a grocery store less than a mile down the road. It would be so quick to run and get it. But my baby is sleeping.
In Conclusion to Adjusting to Life with a Newborn Baby
As any mother will attest, life is still busy- if not busier- with an infant. But life is also quite sweet. Even though adjusting to life with a newborn baby takes some practice, it has allowed me a new challenge in life and the opportunity to become a better, more rounded me. And the benefits are wonderful!