Monday, April 4, 2016

I didn't need help when I had a newborn, I needed help about 6 months later.

When you bring home a tiny human, everyone bends over backwards to help you out. Family members bring food, friends stop by with gifts, and everyone understands that you're exhausted and overwhelmed and not your usual self. No one things you're lazy if you're napping midday or gives you the side-eye for wearing the same pair of leggings for the third day in a row as you cruise through the DD drive through and consider it a successful outing. Fast forward a few months though, and you're expected to be all "back to normal" (whatever that is) and get your stuff together. You've had time to adjust! Baby is older! You know what you're doing!

Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope

Here's why. The newborn stage is easy. And yes, I know, any new mom with a newborn is ready to slap me right about now as they're right smack in the midst of all the hell that is newly postpartum life. Hear me out though. Keep in mind, this is my experience, but I'm going to show you how life with a newborn kicks the pants off life with an older baby.

Round 1: Sleep
Newborns are up all night, but they also sleep on and off all day. So while you're sleep is a broken down hell of choppiness, the number of hours you get in a day can actually be a decent night's sleep.

Starting at 6 months my kids play the 45 minute "screw you, mom" game all night long. Followed by not napping during the day which wouldn't help any way because, yep, back to work it is by this point. 

The winner: Newborn. Because from when Bentley was 6-12 months  4 hours of chopped up sleep felt like the ultimate luxury, and that's messed up.

Round 2: Feeding

Know what my newbie babies eat? Milk. And as I'm 120% pro-boob, that milk arrives at the perfect temp, is constantly being made, and requires no bottle washing. The messiest part is the spit up which results in multiple outfit changes a day (for both mom and baby)

Know what happens when you introduce solids? You get food in every crease and crevice of the high chair, floor, and baby. Also that food has to be made by someone which creates dishes to wash. Also, now that you're back at work, that easy-peasy milk now has to be pumped multiple times a day require more washing of pump/bottles.

The winner: Newborn. Because washing pump part sucks

Round 3: Diapers

Again, from the breastfeeding perspective: an EBF baby's diapers don't smell. At least not like poop or even all that bad.

Bring on the solids at 6 months? And you develop nasty diaper concoctions that are always convinetly created right as you're trying to head out the door for work. And you're probably already 10 minutes late.

The winner: Newborn. Because poop.

Round 4: Assistance

Everyone wants to snuggle your newborn, watcher your older kids, or do other things around the house to make a new mom's life a little easier because "oh newborns are so hard". Even better are the meals that are dropped off/made for you and the fact that everyone forgives you for being scattered, messy or otherwise a mess,

By 6 months you're expected to have your ish together which is bonkers. Somehow you're supposed to handle this baby thing along with back to work along with keeping your household together because obviously it's sooo much easier now that baby sleeps more at night (excuse me while I laugh so hard I cry at the though of babies who sleep through the night)

The winner: Newborn, because I like to set the bar low and love it when others do too.

Round 5: Playing with baby

Newborns are kind of boring. I mean yeah, you can spend hours fawning over teeny-tiny toes and the perfection of each feature. I'm not knocking that. But since all they do is eat, sleep, poop, they can get kinda boring.

Older babies are all exploring the world and discovering how to move their bodies. It's exhausting and exciting and gives you all the proud mama feels because they're growing up so fast.

The winner: Older babies because they become actual people, and that's kinda fun

Conclusion:

Older babies are fun and cute, but the work involved it exhausting combined with the increased expectations of getting your life back on track. Honestly, if I had my way, I'd tell people to leave me the hell alone for the first 6 months and then invite them over to hold/snuggle/help. Because by that point I'd appreciate it a lot more.

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