So there is a lot of chatter out in the world wide web, in our neighborhoods, mom groups, friend groups, etc. about what it’s like to welcome a new baby into your home. Whether it’s your first, second, third, fourth, etc (omg), there are always opinions about what to do before the new baby arrives, how to introduce the new baby to the old baby (old baby?), how to survive the first 6, 8, 10 weeks (how about 18 years?). SO MUCH INFORMATION. And it is of course great and I’ve read all of it and remember about 10% of the advice-but it’s usually the important stuff so that counts, right?
Honestly though, what I’ve found to have helped “survive” bringing a new baby home is recognizing the hilarity of it all. Because you guys, if you stop and think about it, a lot of freaking funny things happen. Let’s break this down…
First, the sleep deprivation.
It takes my husband approximately .2 seconds to fall asleep once his head hits the pillow. I, on the other hand, lay in bed for arooooound 2 1/2 hours before falling asleep. And that’s after I’ve gotten up to pee, changed positions no less then 73 times, kicked the dog out of the bed, taken a layer of clothing off, put a layer of clothing back on, turned the fan off, turned the fan back on…you get the picture. I’m not alone here am I? In fact, when we brought home our first child, my husband had one of these fitness watches that can track your sleep. So we were in the routine of him getting up to change the baby’s diaper and then he’d wake me up to nurse. Well one morning, he decided to see how he slept the night before and from the time he got out of bed, changed the diaper, handed him off to me, and got back in bed and fell asleep, 9 minutes had passed. 9 MINUTES YOU GUYS. You can imagine how angry this made me. Speaking of anger…
A sleepy, hormonal mom is no one to mess with. And by “mess with” I mean sleep soundly of course. I cannot tell you how many times I was sitting up in my great grandpa’s rocking chair nursing my sweet baby and just straight GLARING at my husband as he snored away feet away from me. To the point where I was conspiring y’all. The next morning I was going to yell and scream at him about how rude it was to SLEEP when I had to be awake. Sound crazy? Yup! But it’s real. I was legitimately MAD. And then I’d wake up the next morning and remember how mad I was and we’d laugh hysterically. And then he’d remind me that he was only awake for 9 minutes at a time and I’d rage all over again…
And then there’s the sleep talking and delusions. My husband and I have always talked in our sleep and it’s always provided some good belly laughs. In college, my hubs was a badass and did store security at local grocery stores. He basically pretended to grocery shop while spying on people trying to steal cough medicine and condoms. It made for some interesting stories. Only occasionally did he have any run-ins with real bad people. But it was apparently enough to scare him because one night he was so obviously having a nightmare-shaking, shuttering, and making whimpering noises like a scared puppy (love ya babe!)-so I woke him up, “Babe! Babe! Are you okay? Did you have a nightmare?” He responded, exasperated, “Ugh, yea.” “What was it about?” I asked, so intrigued and expecting him to say he was being murdered. His response? “Liquor theft.” And away he went into a deep slumber again while I laughed hysterically by myself. And there was the one night, early in our relationship that he woke up to me tickling his chin. I was sleeping but I was tickling his chin, y’all. I’m not sure why he didn’t just end it right there.
Anyway, the point is we’ve both been funny talkers in our sleep but when you add a baby AND lack of sleep…you’re in for a real treat. One thing Paul consistently does when I wake him up to get one of the boys is he sits up real quick, acknowledges that I’ve asked him to get up and get one of the boys, then he proceeds to lay right back down and go to sleep. Remember that anger I talked about before? Oh the second waking is not so nice as a slight little tap. One time he woke up and said “You’re not supposed to wake people up when they’re sleeping!” Oh yea?? Is that right? If he had any idea that he said that and if it wasn’t so funny I would have punched him in the face in my postpartum hormonal state. He also did this with our oldest son too but more recently I woke him when C started to cry and said “Can you get him?”…
Me: Um your child?!
P: Wait who?
Me: Oh my god wake up and get C!
P: Okay, geez! Where is he? (He’s been in the same bassinet right next to our bed since the day we brought him home)
Me: HE’S IN HIS BASSINET, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! (Anger, rage, laughter)
Like do you go to another dimension when you fall asleep? I have to know.
He also woke up recently and told me he couldn’t find C at the end of the bed. I diiiiied laughing you guys. But then jokes on me because the next night I shot out of bed and asked him the same thing: “Where is the baby?! He’s not at the end of the bed!” I wonder what it is about the end of the bed that we both think that is where he should be? SLEEP DEPRIVATION is real, and unhealthy, and freaking hilarious. One of my favorite things about having friends who have kids the same age is laughing our butts off about the funny things that happen when we’re tired.
Then there’s the cleanliness.
As a nursing momma, especially the first few weeks, your baby is CONSTANTLY eating (aka attached to your body 24/7…literally). So you have to learn to prioritize. Okay he’s sleeping so should I eat, sleep, or shower?! Whatever you choose, your plan will surely be foiled because he/she will wake up and decide to start cluster feeding every 30 minutes so it leaves you no time to do anything. Again this is really only the first few weeks and if you’re lucky you’ve got help like your spouse, mother, in-laws, etc. who are there to take the baby while you do any of those three essential things faster then you’ve ever done them before. But then they leave. Your partner goes back to work and you are left on your own with one or maybe MULTIPLE little humans and you have a brief (or maybe long) freak out about how anything will ever get done again because there is no longer any time left for anything. And then you take a breath and you’re like, “Nope I got this!” because you do, and routines start forming and normal life starts coming into your vision again and life smooths out. However, sometimes the new normal ends up to be pretty funny. For example, something my husband and I tend to laugh at is the verbiage around my showering habits. I shower y’all, don’t worry. But not as often and not as long as I used to. My parents used to shut the hot water off on me in high school because I took such long showers. Nowadays my man comes home and if I tell him I need to shower that night our conversations go a little something like this:
Me: Babe I need to shower tonight, FYI.
P: Okay like a whole shower?
Me: Ummm do you remember when I washed my hair last? My hair kind of hurts, I think it’s been a few days…or was it last week?
P: I have no idea.
Me: Okay I think I should take a whole shower.
Me: Babe I need to shower tonight, just so ya know!
P: Okay a whole shower or a half shower?
Me: Eeh probably just a half shower, just need to rinse the spit-up off of my shoulders.
Whole Shower: Hair gets washed. Body is lathered and I may even whip out the razor.
Half Shower: 2 minutes, bar soap on the shoulders and armpits.
I hope I don’t lose friends with this admission of cleanliness…or lack thereof.
Finally the sounds and smells of it all…
We’ve got a full house with two rowdy pups, a toddler and now our 2 month old. So we hear and smell a lot of things. All the things, if you will. Some are cute and funny and pleasant and others make you wonder where the dead animal must be hiding. Let me just get right to it. Sometimes our littlest passes gas so loudly that my husband, from the other side of the room or house, will yell, “Was that you or M?” thinking the only possible scenarios could be me or the toddler. “HA! That was the little guy!” I reply, proud that I wasn’t actually just deflecting blame, this time (Again, hope I still have friends after this…). And farting is always funny, #amiright? Yes, immature, but also right.
And then there’s potty training. Which thank the good Lord above for giving me the guidance to choose the right time to potty train M. He was ready and we did it in 3 days. WOO! However there were accidents. One in particular resulted in my trying to wiggle little poops from his undies into the toilet without them getting on the floor because is there anything more terrifying then poop on the hardwood? Oh yes, poop on the carpet, my bad. Anyway…I was not successful. I was trying so hard not to laugh because I didn’t want M to be embarrassed or think that this was a fun new game so I was calmly saying…”Okay bud, just sit on the potty while Mommy gets this cleaned up.” He did as mommy told him to do, however not before stepping in the direction of the poops and flattening them into the grooves of the flooring. As frustrating and disgusting as that is, how can you not laugh? His immediate response…”Woops, wook it dat mommy!” It was hilarious.
So in conclusion, welcoming a new baby into the world and your home is one of the best things in the world. It is all so brand new and wonderful. It’s also exhausting and hormonal and messy. How do you survive it? Laugh. Because it’s only a season and it comes and goes quicker then we realize. I seem to have fallen asleep one night when M was a baby and woke up the next morning and he was almost 2 and a half. It happens that fast, doesn’t it? In moments of craziness or sheer terror let’s just choose to laugh.
Any hilarious stories from your days as a new parent? I’d love to hear them!