Friday, January 11, 2013

4 Baby-Related Realizations That Made Me Feel CLUELESS

You would think that most of these "duh!" realizations would be obvious enough such that they would not need to be realized at all...

Everett has fun on his mat (as does Henry)
1.  Bare Hardwoods Just Don't Cut It - I am allergic to just about everything under the sun, as well as an asthmatic and a pet owner, so hardwoods are a must for my home.  What I didn't realize was once kiddo wants to start doing anything that resembles being mobile, bare hardwoods are going to be really tough on his tummy (head and toosh, too).  I bought a rubber mat that currently resides in the living room (you can also spy it in the nursery tours), but that works only to a point.  I recently purchased a large plush rug to give E a nice big space to practice crawling in the living room (which will replace aforementioned rubber mat when delivered today!), added a rug to his room, and have the mat as a moveable play area.  It's not perfect, but it expands the area that he can comfortably roam, and that makes both of us happy.

2.  It is MUY IMPORTANTE to Get Out of the House if You are Home Alone for a Long Stretches -  The shift to staying home has been much more difficult for me than the shift to being a mother.  The mothering comes naturally; the staying at home part was less so.  I admit that I still struggle to find ways to fill the days, but one important thing I have learned is that I have to get out of the house and it works best if it's every single day.  I had no idea how much it would help to get out and go to my parents, to yoga with bebe, to the grocery store, to grab a smoothie, to my sister's house, out to lunch with Bran or friends, or even just out for a walk in the park.  Everett enjoys getting out of the house, too! 

3.  Baby Items Get Used for a Very Short Amount of Time - It was hard for me to imagine how quickly time would go by once I had a baby.  Even during those days that are hard and/or sleep deprived, the time sifts through the hourglass at an alarming speed.  This means that all those adorable baby outfits, the very age specific toys, the baby holding receptacles... their lifespans are very short.  Did I mention these realizations make me feel clueless?  When I picked up a 0-3 month outfit while I was pregnant, I didn't really imagine that he seriously would be in it for AT MOST 3 MONTHS, or just slightly longer than Kim Kardashian's marriage.  When you are living it, 3 months is just such a tiny amount of time that it really makes sense to beg, borrow, or bargain shop the bulk of your clothes.  Err on the side of having too little - you can always pick up a few things after you bring baby home.  This way, you can weigh in on the great snaps vs. zipper debate and pick your child's wardrobe accordingly. 

4.  One Cannot Entertain a Baby for Endless Hours of the Day - A big change from going to a babysitter to a baby owner is that you go from being super entertaining auntie so-and-so when you are with a child for a short amount of time, to being a boring caretaker every hour of every day.  Especially when you have a newborn or very young baby, it's important to give yourself a rest (and good for baby, too) from feeling like you need to entertain them all day long.  I remember feeling, at first, like I ran out of material to entertain Everett by the time 10am rolled around.  It was extremely tiring (and annoying to him, I'm sure) as well.  It was so much better for the both of us when I started to relax and let things flow rather than forcing things to be CRAZY FUN **jazz hands** all the time.  We have lots of fun together but we also do our own thing in close proximity (he's playing with a toy on a mat as I type this) or just chill out and watch the grass grow together sometimes as well.

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