Two Months of Motherhood! An Update on Life with Lucy
Two months of motherhood! I can’t even believe I’m writing that. You know how they say “the days are long but the years are short?”….it is so true, though I think right now I’m more in the phase of “the days are long but the weeks are short” - ha! I could cry just thinking about Lucy turning one - our time with her is passing way too quickly.
Much like her birth story, I’m going to write these little monthly/bi-monthly updates for my own memory, but I hope that it also gives you a little peek into what life is like with a baby in case you’re curious or think it could be helpful either for yourself or for a friend. Blair and I are both the first of our friends and siblings to have a baby (most of our friends aren’t even married yet and none of our siblings have babies yet - hoping for cousins someday soon!) so I can honestly say that we knew nothing about having a baby prior to this experience. I had definitely never held a newborn or changed a diaper before Lucy so this is all very new to me. In some ways, that has been really hard (nobody told me breastfeeding can be really challenging, for example!), but I actually think that for the most part it has been really nice - we don’t have anyone or any babies to compare ourselves to, we don’t have people telling us what we should or shouldn’t do, etc. so instead we are going off of intuition and lots of conversation with each other about what feels right when it comes to parenting.
I thought it would be nice to share some of my current thoughts and feelings on motherhood so far and also share some of my favorite memories and moments with her!
you forget about the hard stuff.
Lucy has only been with us for nine weeks, but I would say that in that short amount of time we have been through some of our hardest moments. There were the first few nights home from the hospital when I sat in her nursery sobbing from exhaustion and pain. The days when my mom would call to check in and I would have a complete meltdown about how hard this felt. The day that we had to get Lucy’s lip and tongue ties lasered and heard her scream for the first time. The realization that “me” time was out the window for a long time (bye bye, long showers and aimlessly wandering around the grocery store). It’s so easy to get discouraged when you’re in the thick of it, but somehow I wake up every morning and seem to have forgotten about the moments that have challenged us. There have been a few instances where I’ve called my mom because of something hard we were going through and said “do you remember going through this with us? do you have any advice” and she’ll say “nope!” and then a few days later tell me that she sort of remembers it now that I ask - it’s like “oh yeah, I think you guys did get painful diaper rashes but I had totally forgotten about it until you brought it up!”. This has reminded me of a big lesson that applies to everything in life, not just parenthood: this too shall pass! Had a hard day? It will pass. Feeling discouraged? It will pass - it always does. I’m so glad I learned this lesson early on, because it has helped me to enjoy my time with Lucy so much more. I know that she won’t be this little for long, and the days where she will only sleep on me are fleeting, so I’m soaking it up while I can and learning to appreciate all of the good stuff.
sleep doesn’t have to suck!
I would say that one of the most common questions I get asked when we’re out and about or when people call or text me to check in is about sleep. For some reason, it is also the one thing that people love to scare you about - “oh man, you’ll never sleep again!” was one of the most common comments we got when I was pregnant. Honestly? It’s not that bad. If it were so terrible, why would so many people continue to have more children? Yes, there have been quite a few days where I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck, but we are made to do this! The first month, I took at least one nap a day with Lucy on the couch and then the moment that she went down for her longer stretch at night (we call it ‘the big sleep’), we immediately climbed into bed at the same time - even if that meant we were going to sleep at 8pm. I plan on writing a longer post on what has worked for us so far, but we took the Taking Cara Babies Newborn Class when Lucy was 3 weeks old and it has been a complete game changer for us. Not only did it help us learn more about healthy sleep habits in general, but it also taught us the importance of a sleep routine. At two months old, I can proudly say that I sleep a solid 7-10 hours every single night (with one feeding in between). I handle all of the nights with her and let Blair sleep because it makes no sense for both of us to be up with her. I learned early on that if he is well rested, he is much more equipped to take care of us during the day - not to mention, he has to work a full day (he was back to work just a couple of days after we got home from the hospital), so it’s important he is well-rested.
self-care makes a huge difference
I have always had the same philosophy on the importance of self-care and it rings even more true these days: If I’m taking care of myself, I’m a much better mama to Lucy and a much better wife to Blair. It’s as simple as that. I make time every day to make the bed (makes me feel so good!), take a shower, get outside for a walk, and eat healthy foods. Some days are better than others, but it works! I’m still not back to a regular exercise routine (not sure if that will even happen anytime soon honestly), and I’m definitely not making adaptogenic lattes and intricate dinners like I used to (ha!), but I’m eating whole foods, drinking a lot of water, and doing things that make me feel like me and I can honestly say it has made all the difference.
we should all get maternity and paternity leave
It blows my mind that the United States doesn’t have a standard policy for maternity and paternity leave! I am so lucky to work for myself and to have the ablity to take time off from my job to be 100% mama right now, but I know it’s not the case for most and that makes my heart hurt. The standard time to go back to work is somewhere between 8-12 weeks and now that I’m in that time period, I really can’t imagine having to leave Lucy for an entire work day right now. Blair didn’t really get time off, but he works from home so he is always available to help me with something when I need it (which was so important the first few weeks when I could barely walk and wasn’t allowed to lift anything other than Lucy due to surgery recovery). It blows my mind that America hasn’t caught up to the rest of the world when it comes to recognizing the importance of allowing parents (and especially mamas) to spend time at home after welcoming a baby. I’m not political by nature, but I really hope that as a nation, we see change ASAP when it comes to maternity and paternity leave. We need it and, more importantly, our babies need us to be there for them.
babies don’t need much
Blair and I are minimalists when it comes to stuff in our home - we make it a point to consistently clean out the home and donate or sell items we no longer use, and we were both so afraid of turning into the people with neon baby stuff everywhere (my worst nightmare!). I know that as Lucy gets older and develops hobbies and wants to play with things this will change, but I have been super relieved so far by the lack of stuff that she needs. At the beginning it’s pretty simple: clothes, diapers, boobs, baby carriers, a stroller and lots of snuggles do the trick! Yes, there are plenty of products and things we have been loving, too, but for the most part we haven’t needed all of the things we thought we would.
you join the “parent” club
when you enter parenthood, you immediately join the club. I see another mom with a crying baby and can totally relate. We sit next to another family at dinner and I think “oh my gosh that’s going to be us soon.” I walk into a coffee shop with Lucy and immediately strike up conversation with other parents because we all understand each other on a fundamental level. It’s sort of like joining a sorority, only with way more people and on a much more universal scale. Parenthood has felt like a right of passage in so many ways, and it’s been fun to realize that what we’re going through is a very human experience that virtually everyone else will experience at some point, too.
Some of my favorite memories from these past two months!
(You can also read Lucy’s birth story and see some photos from her first few days of life here)
Lucy’s first time meeting her great-grandparents. So special!
feeling Lucy’s little grip around my fingers
so many walks! soaking up the sunshine and fresh air in those first few weeks
one of the first times she looked right into my eyes! babies basically sleep through the first couple of weeks so this was a fun moment!