There are many things that are surprising about being a new mom, many things no one talks about or thinks to tell you. Until I was pregnant, I had no idea that contractions would continue after giving birth during every nursing for the first few days. Surprise! I'd have preferred a nice bundt cake instead, but beggars can't be choosers. There are those things that everyone talks about, such as the lack of sleep. Can we please all agree to stop telling expectant parents to stock up on sleep while they can? It's so annoying, and not scientifically possible to stock up on sleep. Sleep is not like a casserole - you can't throw it in the freezer and pull it out after a really rough day. Although maybe eating a lot of casserole could make you feel sleepy . . .
But do you know what has surprised me most about being a new parent? I am trapped in my house. Now that Gracie is almost three months old, she no longer sleeps on the run. We have to be home for her three daily naps. Yes, three! Another surprise. I thought there were only two naps. Apparently there will be only two as she gets older, but for now, it's three. I know I can't complain because there are parents out there who struggle to get their baby to take one nap, and my girl goes down very easily. And yet here I am, still complaining.
Even though I had a vague idea that there would be naps, and we would have to be at home for them, I had no idea how tight the timeline would be. There's only about an hour and a half window between the time Gracie wakes up and the time she's ready to wind down for the next nap. And in that hour and a half, she needs to be fed and changed. How is a woman supposed to get groceries? And see other people who speak words? I've tried going out to the mall, which is only a few blocks away, but I still end up running through the back alley home, trying to pinch Gracie's toes so she'll stay awake until we get home and I can lay her down. Because she will fall asleep in the stroller, but only for a half an hour or so, which will turn her into a fire breathing dragon for the rest of the day. A cute, fire breathing dragon, but a dragon nonetheless.
So it's a trade off in which both options seem unappealing: Do I want to lose my sanity because I'm trapped in the house, or lose my sanity because my child is in a foul mood? I knew stay at home moms stayed at home, because I am fluent in English, but I just didn't think it was this stay at home! And I'm a homebody - I like to be at home! I guess I just don't like feeling trapped at home by the napping schedule. And is it just me, or are all those mommy and me classes, which are supposed to be designed to get moms out of the house, scheduled at the two times of day the majority of babies should be napping?
I'll stop complaining now. I just saw a woman on TLC who already has two sets of twins and is about to give birth to her third set. She's going to need a casserole or two.
So, if any of you other moms out there have ideas on how to take my mind off of being stuck at home, I'll take them. I've been doing some baking. Just yesterday I made a chocolate loaf with healthy beets "hidden" within. Surprise! The beet loaf was gross. Sigh.
Shelby, Pity Party Planner Extroadinaire