The First Four Weeks of Motherhood – Is This Real Life?

Damn. This is hard. Everyone tells expecting mothers (often in a taunting or demeaning manner) that motherhood is the hardest thing they’ll ever do. And sure, I understood it would be hard. But, damn… this is hard.

I consider the first four weeks of motherhood successful because Grace is still alive. And that’s the ultimate goal right? To keep this totally dependent new life alive. Here’s how I am measuring the first four weeks:

  • 4 emotional breakdowns
  • Over 400 tucks
  • Over 100 pads/panty liners
  • 10 depends
  • 16 pounds of epsom salt
  • Hundreds of diapers (who can count?)
  • 7 packages of wipes
  • Too few hours of sleep
  • Close to 300 times of whipping out the breastarants for feedings

The final round of family left this past Wednesday, and if it wasn’t for them I don’t think I would have eaten, slept or showered over the last four weeks. Let me tell you what mamahood is like…

Time is no longer a reality. I have zero concept of day, night, Monday or Friday. It doesn’t matter. The only reason to keep track is I have an occasional doctors appointment.

Grace doesn’t like to be put down so I’m still trying to master a one-handed life style. And for those of you reading this that roll IMG_9626your eyes and think I’m spoiling my four-week-old rotten because I’m not letting her “cry it out”… let me drop some knowledge on you… It’s impossible to spoil a four-week-old. Talk to any decent pediatrician and they’ll back me up.  Anyway, back to my one-handed lifestyle – I can’t put her down while I heat up dinner (because making dinner is no longer a reality), or eat dinner. So her clothes are covered in food that I drip all over her. And showering? Only on days when Chris goes into work at 2pm do I shower. And makeup? HA!

I still have yet to recover 100%, so I spend most of my days sitting. Primarily on the couch, but occasionally outside. I’m fairly tired of sitting and can’t wait to walk and run again. Just when I think I could maybe walk about the block, I bounce Grace  around the house to pull her out of a freakout moment and I’m sore again. Ugh.

My house looks like a bomb went off. Seriously. My family cleaned multiple times when they were here and it was wonderful. But now that they’re gone… it’s a disaster. You can’t clean with one hand very well. Also, I said I would never let my house be overtaken with kid crap. Well, I now have receiving blankets strewn across the living room, a play mat, a napper and a swing. I bite my tongue.

IMG_9748Grace hates taking baths. This makes me very sad because I thought this would be one of my favorite things as a mom. But instead, her screaming is mind-numbing, she moves around so much I fear she will drown and she craps in her towel EVERY TIME we take her out.

A few other highlights from the first four weeks – I had an emotional breakdown to a total stranger who came to drop off dinner for our family. I went to bed in the clothes I wore during the day on Wednesday because I was afraid to get out of bed and put Grace down to put my PJ’s on, for fear that I would awaken the beast. No one has seen Grace in my favorite outfit yet because every time she’s in it she craps out of her diaper and up her back before we can leave the house.

So I’m making it seem like I hate motherhood… but this is not the case. I love Grace. And I love being her mom. I have spent most of my days since Grace sitting on the couch, feeding her and staring at her. You would think this would cause time to stand still, but when the sun goes down each day I can’t believe another day has passed. Each day passes and she’s one day older, it’s one day closer to when I have to go back to work and one day closer to when she won’t want me to hold her all the time anymore. And as easy as it is to be frustrated that my hygiene has gone down the tubes, that I have no time to bake or cook, that my house is a mess and that I’m so sleep deprived that I can’t see straight… I am cherishing these moments when my daughter needs me and wants me. Because one day neither will be the case and I’ll look back on this time fondly.

 

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4 thoughts on “The First Four Weeks of Motherhood – Is This Real Life?

  1. HAHA! What a good read! I completely understand how you feel Steph! 🙂 But it’s pretty much the best thing all at the same time! Enjoy little Grace!

  2. Yes! You summed up motherhood honestly and with every raw emotion – it’s HARD!
    But I know you are doing a great job!! These super hard days will pass, and once you get a little more sleep and the foggy haze has lifted, you will be even more overcome with joy! Grace is blessed to have you as her mommy! And don’t worry about the emotional breakdowns – I had them EVERY SINGLE DAY when I had Eden. They will pass too, and you will feel human again! And the first time you put on makeup again, you will feel SUPER SEXY… and no doubt your husband won’t be able to keep his hands off of you! = ) Praying for you. The transition period is almost over, and you’ll be “super mom” in no time at all = )

  3. Thanks for sharing, Steph! Believe it or not, one day in the not so distant future you will probably re-read this and say, “what? I don’t remember almost any of that!” Sleep deprivation has its advantages 🙂 Prayers as you recover and find the strength for each day, one day at a time.

  4. I, too, went through all of this three times! All boys! If Grace hates her bath, you might want to try what I did. I’d fill up the bathtub, add some Epsom salts, climb in, and my husband would hand me the baby. By me holding the baby, he felt secure in my arms. My husband stayed in the room, for fear that I’d fall asleep… 🙂
    I always thought that being a mother was the best thing that ever happened to me, until I became “Grandma”!

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