Eileen Fisher org. cotton blend pants (purchased secondhand)
Vince tank top | super old
Ilana Kohn shirt (purchased secondhand)
After a bath – his hair stays SO greasy. where is dry shampoo for babies??
Most days I’m able to take a shower.
I just painted my nails.
I get at least 6 hours of sleep every night. Last night it was uninterrupted, most nights it’s broken up by a feeding.
I packed and shipped 16 of the 22 orders that came into Slowre yesterday.
I’m doing okay. But I cry almost every day. I feel overwhelmed, and not myself.
We’ve had a couple of ill-timed outings recently that have traumatized me against going out much. If I don’t time it right, we end up driving home with Hawk screaming and me just trying to concentrate on driving. It’s so hot here still I can’t even think about spending 30 minutes breastfeeding in the car. So I just don’t go anywhere except for super-short trips that I can do just after feeding Hawk and within an hour or so.
I’m working on dealing with this. When my mom was here, we went out everyday without incident. Yesterday we went to the post office and Whole Foods, also without incident. Although grocery shopping by myself with an infant is challenging.
I just want to get back to some sense of normalcy. I miss having lunch out. I miss my friends.
By October I hope to get back to Pure Barre in the evenings when Leo comes home. That should help me A LOT, physically and mentally.
I know. It’s only been 5 weeks, so I should give myself a break. I am. But I am also impatient. I haven’t lost all of myself, after all LOL
How long did it take you before you went out or got somewhat “back to normal” after having a baby?
First — he is adorable. Second — you are doing awesome!! I know it doesn’t feel that way. It took me a good few months after baby to go out and about comfortably. I once forgot the diaper bag in a shopping cart and realized half way home and I freaked out. I ended up sobbing uncontrollably in the car. It’s all normal what you are feeling. Be patient with yourself – easier said than done 🙂
Wow, Grechen. I don’t even have kid, so what do I know? But I’m an “active aunt” and realize no one is perfect and no one can create a perfect human being. Some of them cry a lot, and they all poop – on their own schedule! We all have our needs! It’s part of being human on the Planet Earth. Thank you for your continual updates. I enjoy reading them and learning from them.
I don’t know why the grocery store is so hard with an infant but it is. It does get better, I promise. Sleeping and showering are all good things. Can you get out and walk before it gets too hot? Hang in there, you both look great!
A good 6 months until I felt some semblance of “normal” – take it easy!
My baby is 15 weeks old today so I feel you! It does get easier. For me, the shift happened around 6-8 weeks in. (Coincidentally that’s also when I stopped crying all of the time) Now, he’s pretty interested in the world around him so that plus a pacifier plus me making funny faces helps us make it through the grocery or target. Some things that have helped me: nursing immediately before leaving the house, taking a bottle and some powdered formula with me so I can mix an emergency bottle (breastfeeding in a hot car sucks—we supplement with formula anyway and I’ve found that this really alleviates stress…even if we don’t need to use it), and keeping the errands relatively short unless he happens to fall asleep. I make lists and stick to them while in the store. No dawdling! Be kind to yourself…you’ll get there and as your baby gets older you’ll have ways to soothe him other than nursing or holding him.
I remember a moment after having my first kid when another friend of mine mentioned how she was going to an outdoor antique fair with her toddler. It was a glimmer of hope! The thought that I might be able to do things in the real world again! You will get there! Even though each of the stages feels like it is going to last an eternity, in reality, it’s just a couple of months and then you are in a new stage. I think when you go back to Barre class, you will love it! I don’t enjoy working out at all…but I remember going to a class when I had an infant at home and it was just a magical hour where I didn’t have to worry about anyone but myself!
i think i felt normal at about 12 months post-partum. there was a sense of relief–like whoohooo we made it!! but, it’s still hard. my kid is only 2, after all. with getting out of the house, i found that walking with my baby in a carrier and having a goal of down the block the first day, then around the block, and then farther and farther as time went on made it easier. as for getting out of the house for actual errands like groceries or other things– definitely tough. we would plan like 2 hours in advance and go from there. this made it so that we went to appointments on time, at least! the first time we walked into a grocery store, i was wearing the baby in an ergo and she started screaming like a banshee when i stopped by a deli case. i was so embarrassed that i left! you are deserving of grace. never forget that.
I have read you blog for a few years. This is hard. It is going to be hard. when you figure it out schedules change and you have to figure it out again. Take heart that this too shall pass. When looking at baby Hawks long life and yours this is a blip. Go out! Even if he cries. Unless I missed something he will be fine. I had a colicky baby that cried for almost 4 months. When the doctor said it usually stops at 3 months I almost punched him. Now she is a wonderful daughter and successful law student. When you are a parent there are sacrifices . I hope the joys soon out weigh the downs for you. It is good to express your feelings. Please feel supported.
Truly there is no one else who will look at you with same love as your child . Hang in there!
You are doing awesome! The first is so hard! I can’t recall when it gets easier but it does. A couple things that helped make the grocery store/outings easier for me…a nursing cover (practically worn as a cape) and the Lalabu nursing shirt…having your carrier on at all times- genius!! I lived in that thing (I had 3)…I had this with baby 5 and I wish I’d had it with all the kids.
First 6 weeks is a boot camp. Around 12 weeks babies become “alive”, as in start noticing things around them and interacting with you. But feeling normal never really happened for me until well after their first year… there is a new normal which takes a while to get used to. Their brains go through crazy leaps during the first year, so I felt like we could never truly develop our normal. One thing that helped with my second was to just be aware they go through stages all the time. Most of them you ride it out. My best advice is to do what keeps you sane. Plan outings around naps (that comes later), go walk outside, go to a coffee shop, go walk around the mall, etc. Hang in there!
First baby – didn’t feel normal until maybe 6 months. I tore very badly and then it healed sort of wonky (but thankfully my amazing OB/GYN took care of that easily), so physically I was in a lot of pain for a while. Also, as a first time mom, I was on HIGH ALERT and very anxious. My daughter was also very much a comfort nurser and nursed CONSTANTLY, even after the milk came in. We finally got into more of a routine by about 6 months, and she was much more independent, and I wasn’t so much worried about her.
Second baby – didn’t feel normal until about 3-4 months. Physically I did a lot better because the birth was easier and she slept better than my first. This being my second, I wasn’t so anxious, and we had our parenting routines down. But we all got the Daycare Plague when I went back to work (my first child was cared for by family/friends), so for the entire winter we were all sick. That didn’t let up until spring.
Outings? I don’t think I dared go out with my first until I went back to work, even then I was extremely reluctant to go anywhere after work because I was so tired. I’m still reluctant, because going out with 2 kids is just a hassle. I did experience much more “mourning” for my previous life with my first than I did with my second. It’s just such a huge change, having a child…everything is shifted. Everything! The dynamic shifts as well when you have a second, but not quite as drastically. And at 5 weeks…I remember those being very tough days because that’s when my daughter was doing her evening scream-a-thons. Outings back then were very limited. You’re not alone in these feelings!
I am unusual in that I never returned to the person I had been before I had my children, I was never “normal” again. On the other hand, I didn’t want to be.
But in terms of being able to manage normally, it got better in step function. I couldn’t even leave the house for the first 6 weeks, breastfeeding was so hard for me and I was so chafed. After that it started bit by bit to get easier. I think it was at about 7 months that I felt I had become a new fully competent me, when I could take my daughter to a counter restaurant, sit in her in a hooked on babyseat, and let her be amused by the waiters:).
I was an outlier, I’m sure. Many people seemed much more able sooner. I didn’t want to get out, to leave her, really. I was odd. Seems like you might be the kind of person who’d love to hire a pre-teen to just come with you and do whatever you told her to do. And I mean that in a good way. Being able to get help is a key skill.
You are doing great! The first 6-8 weeks is truly arduous, and then around 12 weeks things get better as baby is sleeping better and is more settled. I don’t think getting “back to normal” is the way to think of it. I think it is finding a “new normal.” Right now walks with a stroller and some YouTube exercise videos–short ones–might make you feel better physically and spiritually. I had one evening a week (eventually) that was all mine after 6-8 months. I used that for movies, dinners with friends, etc. It kept me sane and in touch with the outside world. As for that hair–omg, so much baby hair! Try a different shampoo, and give that little sweet face a gentle scrub with a gentle washcloth. You got this…it will all work.
Yes to all that and no you were not an outlier. I also had kids that I did not want to leave or leave with people that much, I had such strong feelings of unease separated from them. I also did not want my old self back, even though I was pretty happy, I felt like motherhood walked me through a door I never could pass back through. It was a good feeling.
Life just changed. In all ways. We had fun! Sure there were rough times, but it was forgotten.
A friend of mine who is from South India was amazed I had no family member there as a doula to help me through the early dyas. We just dont do that here in America. I hired a teenage girl across the street to do exactly as you suggest….get me this… get me that….not so much for babycare….but to care for me. I learned alot from that. Especially what tastes good with choco cocoa puffs…….Her name was Tiffany. She was a human baby monitor! She saved me!!
Grechen, Hawk is such an adorable baby! It’s hard, but be patient with yourself and this whole journey. It’s definitely a major life change and you’re doing an amazing job! There’s no time limit to when you should be going out and doing things. It’s really up to you and what you feel comfortable doing. Drive-thru places and curbside pick-up might be good options if he’s super fussy and you still want to get out. I did that a lot when my boys were little, especially since they fell asleep in the car. Let Leo do the grocery shopping or pick things up on his way home. Or, go on your own when he has Hawk in the evenings. and take some time for yourself.
One of my favorite things to do when my boys were little was to get a coffee from a local shop and drive around downtown, looking at the old houses.
Nothing lasts forever and this new season will pass before you know it. Once Hawk can sit up and stay awake for longer, you might find that he enjoys outings. Hang in there!
Yes to all this! This is my fourth baby but the first to get formula supplements, and holy cow does it make life easier knowing I am not the sole source of nutrition, especially when running errands with or without the baby.
I don’t think there is such a thing as normalcy for the first three months after a new baby arrives. These cute little beings rule our lives because their survival depends on it! But, as others have said, hang on…it gets better. And a little creative thinking is called for; friends that come over with treats or dinner, grocery shopping through a delivery service, short jaunts out of the house when you feel up to it. Dressing rooms at malls became the best place to breastfeed, although now they have special rooms set aside for it. What about pulling the car over for a shady spot in a park? Better than a hot car!
Oh yes, I had breakdowns! I remember the first night we were home at my parents with our eldest daughter. She hardly cried in the hospital, but man, she made up for it! My mom calmly took her and walked with her so I could get some sleep. And again when I had my last one, a consummate baby-birthing, breastfeeding pro with #3 at age 38, right? NOPE. We went for an ice cream and I left her with mom only to return to a screaming baby. I bawled, convinced that I was the worst mother in the world. It’s hormones, trust us on this.
You’re doing a great job, and he’s a cute, happy baby!
Moms are superheroes, so they deserve capes! 😉
I have one kid and it took about 10 weeks for me to feel like I would ever function again. My cousin is 42, but my aunt told me she vividly remembers nursing him while crying in a rocking chair thinking “I know I planned this but…”. It’s a very, very tough time, but you’re getting through it. Agree with earlier commentator who said the first few weeks are baby bootcamp. Humans have high start up costs. My kid is ~ 1 year older than Hawk and she’s so much fun now!
I remember a mama friend texted me when I was losing my -ish, and she just said simply “you are IN IT.” And then, “it’ll pass.” And it’s so annoyingly cliche, but it is so damn true. I felt like the first month was a new normal; then 3 months when she wasn’t underweight any more; then 6 months when she hit solids… and then the milestones and your sense of normalcy build from there. I really liked an app called The Wonder Weeks–based on the book, so we could all anticipate the leaps in development and kind of brace ourselves. I also signed up for Baby Center where it also talks about leaps and what you can do with your baby at all the months and stages. I still get the e-mail newsletter since you input the baby’s birthday. Finally, the app Sprout Baby was really good in the beginning, to track sleep, diaper, breastfeeding…
My best advice is to get out there. Like others have said–getting a coffee down the street, trying to get some groceries, maybe try seeing what baby and me classes are at the local library or at the yoga studio even (I’m in SF where baby + mommy yoga is EVERYWHERE). Find your thing, meet some mom friends on your outings, get support. I wish I hadn’t poo-poohed that latter part. Like you I own my own business and am an entrepreneur so it’s normal to go through all kinds of identity crisis post-baby. Hang in there, one day at a time. Sometimes one freakin’ hour at a time! xo
I’m with Lisa. Things never went back to “normal” for me, and I don’t think her experience is unusual whatsoever.
After my daughter was born I did not even leave the house for the first six weeks. First, I had had a Caesarian and the doctors had terrified me into not driving, and second, I just did not even feel capable.
I love all the suggestions above. But I have one other: does your local health region have a baby group for new mothers? I don’t know how it works where you are, but in Canada the government offers “new mom” groups where you go once a week and learn about infant health, child development, etc. It is also a wonderful place to meet other new mothers in your area and, most importantly, to understand that all of this is normal and you are not alone. It is worth it just to go somewhere where everyone else is also nursing and dealing with crying babies and changing diapers on the floor while the speaker tells you about immunizations, and it is all OK. See if you can find a group like that – it will make all the difference.
Yes to the Wonder Weeks app. It helped me so much with understanding my daughter’s development and why, all of a sudden, she wasn’t sleeping AGAIN. I remember actually planning events based on the upcoming Wonder Weeks calendar – it was that accurate.