I can't remember the number of times people "warned" us that our lives were going to change once we had a baby. It's like people feel that they must make sure you are aware of just how your life will differ once you have kids. "Say goodbye to sleeping in." "You better enjoy the peace and quiet while you can before that baby gets here." "You'll never have privacy again." "Once they start talking they never shut up." To say that my life has changed since the birth of J would be a total understatement! The funny thing is I don't think everyone sees those changes the same way G and I do.
Everyone knows that once you bring a new baby into your home the possibility of getting more than a few hours sleep at a time during the first months is slim to none. It's a gimme that you could be an extra on The Walking Dead from the shear lack of sleep. The waste line that expanded even more than the usual fluff you had prior to conception now comes with wider hips, saggy boobs and extra rolls and wiggles where your beautiful baby once lived for nine months. There are the ever fluctuating hormones that can induce waterfalls of tears for no reason that we come to expect after giving birth. We all have at least some minute concept of changes to expect after having a child. For me, I think it's the little things that we take for granted that surprised me most; like showering. My life before having a child consisted of a long peaceful shower every day; if not two on days I worked out. Now I'm lucky to get a five minute shower before G walks out the door for work or trying to squeeze a quick one in between getting chores done around the house while J naps. Hot meal...what's that? My meal time routine now consists of preparing meals while singing, dancing, clapping or making funny faces long enough to keep my eight month old entertained and not burn dinner. Once we sit down and get him fed we then have to play keep away to prevent our ever moving child from taking something off our plates or table while picking up whatever item he thinks is funny to drop on the floor for mommy to get. My wardrobe has been severely downsized. Not just because I don't have the same body that I did prior to becoming pregnant, but my daytime and night time attire now consists of pretty much the same ensemble... yoga pants and one of G's old t-shirts; likely covered in spit-up or some other food product put there by J. I am What Not To Wear's worst nightmare. Going to the grocery store is no longer a quick outing. I have to pack the diaper bag for any event that may occur, change his diaper, make sure he's been fed and get him loaded into the carseat all at the exact right moment to get to the store and back before he falls asleep in the car.
Yes, I think it is safe to say that my life has been changed since having J. Yes, those 4:30am feedings followed by a 6:00am wake up call are exhausting. Yes, it would be nice to have some more "me" time, but I can honestly say none of that matters to me. I see all those changes and things that we "gave up" as blessings. When I'm tired and feeling a little put out with the chores, errands and every day life I just have to take one look at that toothy grin from J and none of it matters. Maybe it's all the struggles we went through to have a child that make those things so unimportant to me. Maybe I've just learned more patience. Who knows. All I know is that I wouldn't give up one sleepless night of my life right now!