Motherhood brings me so much joy and love! I am amazed at how much I love our baby. I want to take care of her and protect her. I worry about her and her well-being daily. That’s motherhood, everybody told me it would be like this. She has come to make our lives more complete and happier! There are several things we have adjusted to since having our baby. Many are very positive, some are small and others are major adjustments.
One of the things I’ve had to adjust to is the ease to leave the house I (we) used to have. I used to leave on a whim. Now, I have to plan our outings. Even to run errands or go for a walk. I have always been a planner, but now, more than ever before I have to plan for outings. It is a good thing I like to prepare things ahead of time and already had that habit. I am also methodical, which some may think is boring, but I love routines. Planning and preparing things ahead of time gives me a sense of calm and readiness, perhaps a sense of more control.
Even though with kids, we know there is no longer control over plans. Before having our baby, to leave the house, I only needed to worry about myself. I usually keep a bottle of water in the car, but occasionally, that would be what I would grab before I left and a sweater or light jacket. That’s about it! During my pregnancy, I started to leave the house with a few snacks. Now, before I leave the house, I need to make sure the diaper bag is ready, have a weather and location appropriate back-up outfit for Alessandra, in addition to my stuff. I like to put her down for her morning nap in her pajamas because it seems she will sleep more comfortably. If she is napping, I don’t want to wake her, so sometimes I change her right before we leave the house. Which means adding an additional five to ten minutes before we leave. For morning events (outings), I change her first thing in the morning, this way she is ready to go as soon as I am done getting myself ready. Before we leave, I have to breastfeed her. Even if we will only be gone for a few hours, she eats every two hours or ninety minutes, so I have to make sure to feed her before we leave. This means sitting down for at least thirty minutes to feed her. I am looking forward to the day I can give her a snack or sandwich to eat in the car (when we are in a rush to leave), haha!
Lastly, I always check her diaper before we leave the house. And, of course, it never fails, she has a dirty diaper or poops right before we leave the house. On a few occasions, she has pooped right as we are going down the stairs on our way out. I try to look at the positive side and think, well, better to get a dirty diaper now, when I can change her on the changing table, than during the drive or to have to change her when we arrive at our destination. She’s baby, I know she has no control over these things. And, I know in time it will get easier. Right now, she depends completely on us.
What I am doing, to give myself that cherished peace of mind and try to get a head start on some of our outings, is plan ahead of time. I told you I was a planner and methodical. So, I set her clothes out a day ahead of time, with everything, down to the socks and bow. I always keep lots of wipes and diapers in the diaper bag, and a generic back-up outfit (with onesie, socks, and hat). Plus, the things which are always in there, a light blanket, burp cloth, bibs, and changing pad. I leave the diaper bag in the car. I have the diaper bag items compartmentalized by large Ziploc bags. I know, perhaps a bit excessive, but it works for me. My sister thinks I am weird about this, but I don’t care, it works for me! This way, it is easier to replenish each compartment as necessary. Since the bags are clear, it is easy to see what is inside each one, and grab what I need when we are away from home. I replenish the diaper bag ahead of time. I don’t wait until I am rushing out the door. I replenish it after each outing or as items run low (usually only diapers and wipes). It gives me one last thing to worry about before we leave.
If we are going to a birthday party or special occasion, I put gifts and things in the car ahead of time. When Alessandra is napping, I will rush to put the things we are taking with us in the car. If the outing is early in the morning, I will try to put as many things as possible in the car the night before or leave them ready to go right by the door. And, even then, when we are out the door, there is still the car seat which takes another few minutes.
I know this is what motherhood is like. My friends and sister had told me about it. I don’t mind, it is part of having a baby, but I must admit, when I am trying to leave the house in rush to avoid being late, I do sometimes miss those days when it was easier to just leave the house. Such a basic thing, yet not so quick and easy anymore. I know she will never be this little again or dependent on us, so I try to be patient with myself and my tendency to want everything to be organized and planned ahead of time. At the end of the day, all these adjustments are worth it. The love I receive and feel for our baby outweighs any adjustments I have to make to my life.
Can you relate to this? What was a major or minor adjustment for you when you had a baby?
PS – In case you missed it, What I Miss Most Since Becoming a Mom: First Month.
At a graduation party. It rained that morning and it was unusually cold for summer, so I packed gloves, a sweater, and hat for Alessandra. She was bundled up the entire time.