Now that I’ve had 9 months to adjust, I thought I’d share some thoughts about being home with my baby girl:
I love being a stay at home mom. I know it’s not for everyone, and for some people it’s not an option. I feel like I’m really in my element, as I enjoy “keeping house,” running errands and cooking (obviously). I love being a stay at home mom, but it wasn’t always that way.
I remember, when I first became a stay at home mom, I would wake up in the morning and feel a little lost. My life now had more purpose than ever before, but it lacked structure. And, with the ever-changing needs and abilities (read:sleeping abilities) of a newborn, it lacked predictability. The sound of my child crying in the night sent shock waves of anxiety coursing through my body. It felt like an electrical current and filled me with what can only be described as panic, but was probably really dread over having to get up again after only an hour or two of sleep. As my sister said, having a newborn is “not for the weak.”
Breastfeeding an “inefficient nurser” had me feeling chained to a sedentary lifestyle, which made me feel lethargic and unproductive. My daughter was also up frequently during the night to eat and slept best from 5-11am. Therefore I slept best from 5-11am. This added to feelings of guilt that I was being lazy and should be getting up early to exercise and do household chores (lol, right?). In hindsight, this was probably related to some post partum depression and anxiety. Dr. Matthews was also very helpful with nighttime duties and still had to get up early for work, which added to my guilt. He tried to convince me that I had no reason to feel guilty and that I was doing a great job, but I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I was always doing something wrong.
Natalie getting into a routine has helped tremendously, as did ceasing breastfeeding (and of course, sleep). But those things took months. And those months seemed to go by very slowly. Time has sped up considerably since then and I am loving this phase of baby (6 months through our current 9 month status). I have an amazing local support system and family is always available by phone. I have one of the most supportive husbands I know. I have such a sweet, silly, happy and pure-hearted baby girl. I am so happy.