No baby book, advice column or any number of Google searches can prepare you for having a baby. I talked to countless friends about what it was like with a baby, but you truly have to walk-the-walk to understand motherhood. It’s a completely crazy combination of insane love and total chaos. In fact, if my husband texts to ask “How is it going?” and I simply respond with all animal emojis, he gets me. It’s a zoo!
I was prepared for C-section recovery, lack of sleep, countless diaper changes, lots of visitors and so on. What I was not prepared for was this list below. These are the surprising ways my life has changed since having a baby. I hope it will help prepare mothers-to-be for some of the more unusual changes they’re about to discover!
1. One-Hour Packing Time: Oh yes, the one-hour packing time to go anywhere. Before my daughter arrived, I could seriously visit two Targets (cause, you know, one was out of the cute shoes in my size, so I had to go to the other Target), the craft store, the grocery store, the bank and lunch with a friend all in a few hours. Now? It literally takes me an hour to get out of the house. From pumping, feeding, getting the dog squared away, packing the car (how in the world do I collapse this stroller?), the hours just fly by.
2. Luxury Bathroom Breaks: Exactly how is one supposed to go the bathroom with a crying infant? I ask myself this daily. I have yet to discover the answer except to hold it until you get one of those “good naps,” which is usually only once a day. This isn’t meshing well with my need for a direct IV of caffeine to function, however.
3. What’s a TV?: While I was pregnant, my husband and I started lots of TV series. We’re in the middle of House of Cards, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones … and oh … I seem to think there is another one, but I haven’t slept in four days so I can’t remember. Have we seen a single episode of any actual television show since our daughter was born? No. The TV is on quite a bit but it’s a nice background noise. Any attempt at focusing is interrupted by a cute little squeal and a subsequent blow-out. She’s worth it.
4. Fashion Statement: I can’t say that I was truly “dressing up” while I was pregnant, but I certainly enjoyed picking out cute maternity clothes to show off the baby bump. Prior to pregnancy? Oh yes, I was always quite the dress-lover! Now? Those leggings over on the floor and my husband’s T-shirt — that really soft vintage one? Outfit complete! My daughter will just spit-up on it anyway.
5. Red Lights Are Evil: When we have a really good wailing session, the car always soothes my baby down. Red lights (or stop lights … or traffic …) are absolutely evil. I cringe when I see a yellow light up ahead because guess who wakes up to let me know the car has stopped? So if you’re driving through Nashville and see a car tapping the breaks to get it to “jump” and keep moving, just wave. It’s me!
6. My Heart Has Doubled: I never knew I could love a little being so much as the love I feel for my daughter. I now “get” the love a parent has for a child. It’s something I never could have imagined until I held her in my arms.
I have a newfound respect for moms everywhere! For all the moms-to-be reading, you can absolutely do it, but I hope this list helps shed light into some of the more unexpected changes to come with your new arrival!