Updated: Mar 10, 2022
Even “Superwoman” has to remove her cape: After having my baby, I jumped right into working to promote my children’s book, which launched on the same day he was born. I can’t tell you how many times I heard people call me a “Superwoman!” I wore the title with pride because I was doing so much while making the transition into motherhood and making it seemingly look so easy. I tried to have my same pre-baby routines, and the newfound mom energy started to fizzle out around the six-month mark. That’s when I realized even superheroes remove their cape at some point, and I didn’t have to do it all. I also learned that asking for and accepting help is a superpower, so I asked my husband for more help around the house. We also signed up for a laundry service, monthly home cleaning service, and meal prep service. Instead of trying to check everything off my long to-do list, I took on small tasks each day to help me feel like I’d accomplished something. Tasks like making the bed, loading the dishwasher, and writing out thank you cards got done when I asked for help.
Your way isn’t the only “right” way: I remember getting so frustrated at one point because I felt like my husband wasn’t doing things like I wanted them done. He wasn’t following the bedtime and mealtime routines I was aiming to set for baby and us. Even small things like him using the wrong lid on a bottle bothered me. Then I realized, I was the one who’d done all the reading and researching and set things up how I wanted them, but I wasn’t sharing the newfound knowledge with him so how could I expect him to understand the routines much less the logic behind it all. I also had to take a step back and realize dad is going to do things his way and my way isn’t the only "right" way. So what if dad let baby play a little longer than I’d like before bed, or didn’t pull the little flaps out on the diaper? Once I stopped hovering, criticizing, and instructing, I began to feel gratitude in seeing dad develop his routines and bond with baby in his way!
The spark needs fueling: After a long day of pumping, feeding, working, cleaning, and catering to a new baby’s needs, the last thing on my mind was catering to my husband and his needs. Having a baby changed the dynamic of our relationship from the carefree twosome to being responsible for a tiny human. I wasn’t in the mood for intimacy because I wasn’t feeling comfortable in my new body. The baby was sleeping in the bassinet right beside us and my breasts were now for feeding. Deep down I knew I had to keep our relationship the priority to keep our spark burning. We recommitted to date nights, and although we talk about the baby, I also made a conscious effort to discuss us too. We’re also getting the baby to his own bed early enough for us to still have time to just be a couple. We’ve also planned and taken two vacations away from work and baby to focus solely on each other.
Comparing means you’ll never measure up: Throughout my pregnancy, I formed bonds with other pregnant mothers. Once we had our little ones, I found myself developing an unhealthy habit of comparing my baby’s development to their baby and tracking their milestones to determine if my baby was on the right track. Is he sleeping through the night? Is he trying to sit up? Is he eating solid foods? I had to stop focusing on the other babies his age and letting other parents’ achievements make me any less proud of my baby’s development. Babies develop at their own pace, and as long as he is making progress he’s doing fine. Besides, a baby who walks early just means more work, for me.
Live in the moment, then document it: I never thought I’d forget my baby’s firsts. His first time sleeping throughout the night, first time eating real food, first time rolling over, his first word or his first step. But between the exhaustion and my already bad memory, those moments started to slip away from me. He’s growing so fast and every day is something new, and suddenly it’s all starting to become a big blur. Thankfully, there are so many ways to remember and document all of the special little moments and preserve these memories. A friend gifted us a journal to make daily entries throughout his first year. I used it every day for the first few months of his life and now I use it to jot down those milestone moments to remember the exact day it happened. I take plenty of photos and videos of simple everyday moments and plan to consolidate them onto a memory card each year so we can relive these priceless moments years from now.