We are continuing our second installment of Mom to Mom: On Becoming Mom. If you missed part one, go catch up by reading Mom to Mom: On Becoming Mom, Part One.
How did becoming a mom affect your relationship with your spouse?
Casey: Honestly, it has just enriched it. I know, I know, that sounds cheeky, but it’s true. We had been married over 7 years when Halle was born and we were so ready for a little baby. We knew adding a baby to the mix would be a challenge, but we were up for it. Plus, it’s so sweet to see your husband be a dad.
Lauren: One of the nights leading up to Kyler’s birth, I cried to my husband because I felt like it was the end of our little twosome. In many ways it was, but it has also brought us together in ways we never imagined. We depend on each other even more now. Although we have to work harder for date nights out (we get date nights in every night thanks to someone’s early bedtime), they are much more special and we cherish them even more.
Hormones can make a woman feel crazy after giving birth. What was your biggest breakdown moment and when did it happen?
C: I remember doing a lot of crying over the Christmas music that was being played on the radio and TV. But, the grandaddy breakdown was a day (or night?) when Gabe was going to let me sleep and he was going to feed her a bottle, A bottle, ONE bottle. Now this was in the thick of things- trying to get her off bottles and I thought every bottle was prolonging her transition. So, my dear husband decided to let me sleep some more and ended up bottle-feeding her for about 3 feedings in a row. I opened my eyes and knew too much time had gone by. When I walked out of the room and Gabe told me this, I melted- literally, into a sobbing heap of a mess, and not even a hot mess! I boo-hooed like I was 13 all over again. I knew I was out of control but couldn’t seem to get a handle on things. I don’t even think Gabe came near me; he had never seen anything like it! Poor guy!
L: When Kyler was about 10 days old, we were in and out of doctor’s appointments all day. We were out by ourselves for the first time, breastfeeding everywhere-every 2 hours, and already exhausted. In one particular waiting room, an unsupervised child began to show interest in little Kyler (in his car seat) and proceeded to “pet” his head. I gently told the child he was too little to touch yet, but this child wouldn’t comply. I was frustrated her parents were not stepping in. So here I am, stressing out about all the germs on this unfamiliar child’s hands as she is way too up in my baby’s face, and then it happens. Another baby in the room lets out a cry. Being the naive mom that I was, unprepared for such an occasion, I leaked through my shirt. There I am, stains on my shirt and defeated by a 7 seven year old. No change of clothes, no hair long enough to cover the stains. The breakdown ensued.
What was your biggest new-mommy mistake?
C: As I’ve mentioned before, Halle was terrible at breast feeding for weeks but those first couple of days she cried and cried (and so did I!) It wasn’t until the 3rd day or so, I thought to try a pacifier. I texted a friend to see if this was okay and she said, “of course!” So, in went her little paci and the house fell quiet. I couldn’t believe it hadn’t crossed my mind!
L: Thinking I didn’t ALWAYS need to leave practically an hour earlier than normal to get ANYWHERE on time. Okay, maybe I’m still making this mistake…a lot.
When did you feel comfortable taking the baby out and about by yourself?
C: I have no recollection of how old Halle was. I didn’t even know what day it was for the longest time. But I do know that it was early; she was very little. I went to Buy Buy Baby with her. I fretted over wondering if I put her carseat in the shopping cart basket, or up on top like you sometimes see. I lifted her up to try and fit it over the child seat part and it wouldn’t go. I was so flustered- I just knew the employees were going to sounds some alarm and tell me that that was dangerous and never should be done. However, it wouldn’t fit and I ended up placing her in the basket part anyway.
L: This took me weeks! Those first trips to the grocery store seemed like the hardest task there ever was. I couldn’t understand how one person was expected to juggling a baby, diaper bag, purse, groceries, shopping cart, shopping list, and some dignity. Of course, after a few times, it becomes much more easy.
Are you starting to feel more confident as a mom?
C: Most definitely. I even feel like a confident mom when I walk around with her perched on the side of my hip like a ‘big kid.’ However, we are in a sweet spot right now so I’m afraid that when she enters a whole new phase, it will send me back to my dear friend, Google.
L: Every successful errand-run, every solo bedtime routine, every smooth transition we go through makes me feel more confident as a mom. Though it will be comical to look back after 3 more (right honey?) and realize how little I actually knew.