Wednesday, July 19, 2017

7 Things That Go Out the Window When You Have a Baby

There's a reason why the first few months after bringing home a new baby are called "survival mode." Every ounce of energy you can muster is directed toward just trying to keep yourself and your newborn alive.

It's a little disorienting to go from a functional adult to someone who can barely (and I mean barely) keep up with her own hygeine, but hopefully this little guide will help you make the transition.

There's a reason they call life with a newborn "survival mode."  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

Things that will go completely out the window when you have a baby include:

Hair maintenance. Of course your own hair will go unwashed and unbrushed for days. You'll fall asleep in a ratty ponytail and before you know it, it's Friday and the thing is still in your hair. Sort of. The same applies to your older children. No need to announce the birth to anyone who works at your kids' school: they've your son rolling in with his bed head and your daughter's three-day-old pigtails. They know.

The distinction between pajamas and clothes. A long time ago, in a land far, far away, you'll vaguely remember that every morning you used to take off whatever you slept in and put on a pair of real pants with a numerical size. Currently, you wear the same thing 24 hours a day, and it's your elastic waist size 'L' pants from Target and a college T-shirt that at one point belonged to your husband. If it's any consolation, you have little concept of night and day right now, anyway.

Any sort of schedule. Structured days with set mealtimes, nap times, and waking times will (probably) happen when your baby gets older. But for now, you must cater to every whim of an insane dictator who wants to eat for 3 hours straight in the middle of the night and then nap in 11-minute increments, but only if you bounce him gently while pacing in a counter-clockwise direction and humming "Tiny Dancer." And that goes for your own schedule, too. You no longer eat when you're hungry or sleep at bedtime: you do it whenever the baby lets you.
There's a reason they call life with a newborn "survival mode."  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Basic housekeeping. Thank goodness for that urge to clean every inch of the house toward the end of your pregnancy, because it's certainly not going to get done any time soon. There are unidentifiable contents in the back of the fridge that make you genuinely feel afraid. A load of clothes is growing mildew in the washer. Your kitchen table looks like a meth lab buried under two weeks' worth of mail. Basically, your housekeeping regime is reduced to wiping spit-up off the floor and spraying Febreeze around once in a while.

A belief in moderation. All the TV you watched in your entire pre-pregnancy life does not equal the time you spend sitting in front of a screen for the first few months, endlessly nursing your newborn. And you really couldn't care less. You eat dinner out of a box or order take-out every night for a week and not once do you bemoan the loss of your once-balanced diet. Your older children are more than happy to survive on Ramen and hot dogs for a month.

Caring about your appearance. Inevitably, some helpful visitor or family member will tell you that you've got spit-up on your shoulder, as if this is new information to you. Of course you know perfectly well it's there. You're just too tired and too busy to do anything about it, and most of all, you know you'll get a similar christening on the other shoulder in T minus 15 minutes and who needs more laundry? Not you.

Every sleep theory you ever had about babies. When you were still pregnant, it was shockingly easy to declare that you were never going to let your baby nurse to sleep or use a pacifier, or get used to sleeping in your arms, or become dependent on swaddling. Spoiler alert: everyone plans to put the baby down awake but drowsy and let them self-soothe. After 20 hours of hysterical screaming every time the baby's downy head touches the mattress, you'll do literally anything to get some sleep and reality happens.

How long will survival mode last? Well, it gets easier after the first 2-3 months, but symptoms could last for up to a year or more.

The good news is that you eventually emerge from survival mode, and that precious time with your baby has taught you something, too: nice-looking hair and real pants are overrated.

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  1. Currently rocking the ratty ponytail over here! Lol.

    1. And I'm sure it will look great on you for the next 4-5 days.

  2. Yes. On all of these. I remember in the first month also wondering when was the last time I washed my hair!

  3. Ah yes..the random sticky puddle in the fridge. I know it well. ;)

    1. The really weird thing is, you ask around and NO ONE did it! Isn't that weird?