Mental Health, Postpartum and Beyond

Not Mine

Last week I had a difficult thought. My body is not my own.

I wake up every day and I get my daughter dressed and ready for the day. I feed her, clean the house, and play with her. Generally I’m cleaning while holding her or trying to keep her busy. I hold her until she sleeps and some days while she sleeps. I get bit, scratched, and have my attention demanded for all day. Then, I bathe her and help her to bed.

Then, my husband comes home or he’s already home, and now he wants to cuddle, be sexual, or in general just have some sort of physical contact. In general, all of those things are great. After a long day of having to care for someone else, it can make my skin crawl to even think about more physical contact at the end of the day.

I feel terrible writing it out. I’m a mom now. If my daughter or house (as in any cleaning to be done) needs something then I take care of them first. It should be easy to take care of my daughter and house all day and not feel used up at the end of the day. It’s not though. It can be draining and even violating to be constantly touched and needed by someone all day.

This is a feeling and thought that should be discussed more. It should also be normalized. I know I’m a good mom. I know I try my best every day. The days when I feel gross when someone touches me makes me feel like I’m a failure, a bad mom, and a bad wife.

I’m none of those things and if you’ve felt similarly to me, neither are you. It’s normal to feel used up after taking care of someone else all day. It’s also normal to want to not feel like sex is being expected at the end of a long day like that. If we’re cuddling or hugging (specifically my husband and I), is the butt and/or boob grab necessary?

Well, it’s okay. It’s okay if you’re feeling like you want to be in a no touch bubble. It’s okay if you don’t want to have sex. It’s okay and you’re doing good.

Remember to vocalize to your partner how you’re doing. Vocalize to a friend or family that some days you just feel exhausted of being touched all the time. A chat with your partner can help put you on a track to where you will feel sexual again. It will at least stop the unwanted grabs that instantly turn you off at least. A chat with a friend/family will help you get everything off your chest. They may even be able to related to you so you’ll know that you’re not alone in feeling like this.

To the parents feeling like their body doesn’t belong to them, you’re not alone and it’s okay. Things will get better and until they do, do not feel like you’re not good enough.

Did anyone you know warn you that you may experience any of these feelings? During my pregnancy I don’t think anyone gave me that warning. It was all just “you’re never going to sleep again” comments and general “your life will be so different”.

As always, let me know what you think! Would telling an expecting parent that these feelings may come be helpful or just scare them?

Thank you for stopping by and I will see you next time!

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Updates

8 Month Update

Another month has just flown by. I know every update I do I seem to get lost at how fast time is going and how much Little P is growing and different. It’s just so baffling! I can’t believe it.

My husband and I now have a crawler. Seeing her curiously crawl around is so much fun and so stressful. You don’t realize how much stuff you have that a baby shouldn’t be grabbing and playing with until you have a baby pulling at cords and trying to climb on everything.

We’re also finally at the age where our dog is more interested in her. He realizes she gets people food now, so he’s right below her when Little P eats. Little P is also smitten with him. He’s a pug, so they’re both small. She’ll crawl right up to him and they touch noses while they stare into each other’s souls.

Her first word was “dada”. Of course, right? She can drink from her sippy cup by herself. She can also drink from her bottle by herself, but she prefers if we feed her. She pulls herself to stand and uses furniture to walk around.

Every month I think there’s no way I could love her more because she’s already so incredible. Here we are again though. I’m just so amazed at the transformation in a matter of months.

Postpartum and Beyond

Why Babies are Terrible

Babies have a reputation of being cute and innocent. They’re small and they don’t know anything. Don’t let this reputation fool you though. They are really adorable little terrors. They come into your life and they turn everything upside down. Today we are going to take a look at why babies are actually the worst.

They’re freeloaders

They come into your house (sometimes they’re late and other times they’re early. Hello?! Have they heard of the due date?) and then they start demanding things from you. They want food, they want to be held, and they can’t even wipe themselves after they go to the bathroom? If they’re not sleeping they want something of yours. They don’t even understand the concept of money, so it’s just a waste of time trying to get their cut of the rent from them.

Poor communication skills

The only thing they know how to do is cry. They don’t know any language at all. So how does a baby tell you what they need you ask? They cry at you. When they’re brand new it’s all the same cry too. Are they hungry? Tired? Wet themselves? Who knows? Just that baby and they’re not making it any easier on you. I don’t want to accuse people of things, but I’m pretty sure they’re doing it on purpose.

Grabbing

What’s up with this? They see something and they just reach they’re little hands out for it. Phones, glasses, remotes, hair, just your face, it doesn’t matter. Nothing is safe anymore. What happens if they get a hold of it you ask? Well, they’re probably going to put it right in their mouth or they will manage to break it. My daughter once tried to eat my chin once. So, if you thought your face was safe, you were wrong.

Claws

You thought babies had regular finger and toe nails? Oh, no. They have little tiny claws that grow back quickly. Babies can be fast, so you’re never safe from a scratch or them digging into your skin. Cutting those things are hard too. They’re so curious with what you’re doing that they don’t sit still. Your best bet is to try and do it while they’re asleep and hope you don’t wake them. Be careful, if you cut them, you’ll not only feel terrible, but they’ll cry and cry because of it.

Sleep

For something that loves sleep (they need so much of it), they absolutely hate going to bed. They’re probably going to fight it. They can rub and rub at their little eyes, get caught sleeping sitting up, and still refuse to go to bed. They have a serious fear of missing out.

Another thing, they wake up early! If you think you’re getting a later day because the baby was up later, you’re probably wrong. Somehow the late night means they require less sleep and they’ll be up even earlier to wake you up!

Adrenaline Junkie

They have absolutely no concept of what is and isn’t dangerous? Electric plug, better grab and put my fingers in this. Large heavy objects? Better pull and try and stand on/against this. What is this? Put it in my mouth. You can’t even trust them sleeping. Babies are just constantly looking for their next adventure and don’t you even try to tell them no. You try and keep them from danger and they’re going to cry at you.

Personal Space

They have no concept of this. You need to get used to someone wanting to be by you constantly. Did I say by? I meant on top of you. They love to climb and be held by you. That is unless they’re trying to get their adrenaline fix. Your options as parent are now be a jungle gym, a bed, or following them around the house as they find dangerous objects or dirt.

So, there you have it. Those are a few of my reasons why babies are the worst.

I should also make it clear that I’m joking.

Babies do have a habit of unintentionally being the worst though. What are a few quirks that you notice babies do that you would add to this list? Also, let me know what you guys thought of the post. I needed something a little more lighthearted today.

Thanks for reading and I will see you next time!

Pregnancy

3rd Trimester To Do

You’re nearly there! Hooray! I hope you’re just as excited as you are tired of being pregnant. Now that you’re here (or nearly there) let’s take a look at the things you should be taking care of in these final months.

Baby Movements

Keep track of your baby’s movements. If you notice less kicks it may mean there’s a problem and you should contact your doctor. It will also help you feel close to baby. It’s fun to talk with them while they’re moving and kicking around.

Pediatrician

Find a doctor for your baby. Most doctors should let you stop by and talk with them to see if the office (and doctor) is a good fit for you. You’re going to be seeing this doctor a lot, so you want to make sure you like them.

Baby Gear Set Up

Make sure baby’s room is all set up. Get used to working the stroller, get the car seat installed, and get that nursery set up how you want it. Getting familiar with how everything works will help prevent you from being tired with a crying baby and being outsmarted by a car seat. Plus, it can be a lot of fun. It’s a good way to use all that excited/nervous energy you may be having.

Laundry

Get all of your baby’s clothes and bedding washed now. You can get everything all organized and put away now. If you’re behind on your laundry, get that cleaned and put away as well. Don’t cheat and only wash your clothes and let them sit in dryer. It’ll be nice to be able to not worry about laundry for a week when you first get home with baby.

Hospital Bag

Get that hospital bag set up. If you have an extra charger, go ahead and put that in there. Trust me, it’s the obvious things that are easiest to forget. Regardless, make sure you’ve got some clothes for you, your partner, and baby.

Stock up on Personals

Make sure you have shampoo/conditioner, toilet paper, razors, body wash, etc. Get trash bags, soap, and anything else you can think of. Once again, it will be nice to have too many now. You don’t want to be exhausted and then have to run to the store because you are completely out of toilet paper.

Meals

Make some meals and freeze them now. Purchase freezer meals. Get a little stockpile of food. This is another way that you’re just making your life a little bit easier once you bring baby home.

Clean

Get your house as clean as you can. It will be nice when baby is home to have a clean house to come back too. You don’t want to be scrubbing dishes when you just want a bit of sleep. You may be dealing with nesting anyway, so you’ll probably find yourself compelled to do a bunch of cleaning anyway.

Keep Calm

You’re probably nervous and excited. Don’t worry! Practice some relaxation techniques. Treat yourself to a spa day. You’re going to make it through this. You’re going to see your baby and it’s going to be great. Don’t get yourself all worked up.

You’re almost there! This trimester do everything you can to make life easier after your return from the hospital. Also make sure you are taking care of yourself. Take time to yourself, get some special time with your partner, and try not to worry. It will all work out how and when it should.

So, let me know what you think! By the time I was in my third trimester I had nearly everything done and set up, so I just had nervous energy I couldn’t use. Did you like the list? Would you add anything different?

Thank you for reading and see you next time!

Postpartum and Beyond

Utilize your Village

Once to twice a week my parents will take Little P for the day. Usually Friday is my dad’s day and my mom will get Saturday or Sunday depending on her plans and what I have going on. I never thought anything of it until one of my friends pointed out that Little P is with one of her grandparents a lot. Now, that friend probably didn’t mean it in a rude way, but I’ve noticed there can be a lot of judgement thrown around when someone else is watching your baby.

I’ve seen a good number of, “you’ll never see me leaving my baby at my mom’s so I can go do *insert something here*”. I think, for the most part, the comments are directed at people who go out and party consistently or are always doing things minus the baby. To an extent, I see the party point. It would have to be close to a daily type of thing for me to start to judge it though.

It annoys me that comments are being made at all though.

Yes, I’m a stay at home mom currently, and up to twice a week, I take Little P to one of her grandparents’ houses and take the day to myself. I love my daughter with all my heart. I cherish every moment I get with her. I also cherish moments I can get away from her. That doesn’t make me a bad person or parent. It’s nice to clean, relax, and get work done without one eye suspiciously following a seven month old. I mean really, you just start doing one thing and then there’s silence? What has that child gotten into already?

I think once you have a kid people forget that you’re still your own person. You essentially become two people: you and the baby. I’ve noticed this more so with women. However, I’m speaking from experience. I don’t see why a stay at home dad wouldn’t be faced with the same struggles. “Oh, where’s the baby?”, “No baby today?”, or even “Would you like to go do *insert not baby friendly activity here*” which would be directed to the other parent.

Why are my options as a newer parent either be excluded or be judged for taking me time?

I am grateful for my daughter and all the challenges she brings. I’m also grateful for parents who allow me a day’s worth of peace. I’m a parent and that comes first, but I’m also me still. I’m still introverted and value my space. I’m still bipolar and need to take care of myself.

They say it takes a village to raise a kid and I’m happy I have a village I can utilize when I need them. It helps me to recharge and refocus. I get to come back as a better mom and partner every time I get her back at the end of those days.

If you’re a parent and you “don’t need a break” from you kids, then I applaud you. Maybe one day you’ll know what I’m talking about, or maybe you never will, but please don’t go out of your way to make someone else feel bad for taking a break from their kids. We all have our own system and ways to make life work.

All right, I think that about wraps it up for today. Let me know what you guys think! Did it feel like I was getting onto a soapbox? Can you relate?

Have a great day and I will see you next time.