Welcome to the Hood, Part 1
Mama-hood is new to my life (although that is hard to believe sometimes). And in a nutshell, pregnancy was not my shining moment—but being my little girl’s mama—a shining moment, indeed. Some women love pregnancy. They have this glow and feel empowered. I won’t say I didn’t experience those things, but it just wasn’t the highlight it is for others. I loved feeling her move and watching her grow, but I just needed her to get here. From everyone’s well-intended stories to what I read in books and articles online, I was convinced at times that if I wanted to do ANYTHING alone again, I better do it NOW and relish the mess out of it—because once our third party arrived, I could kiss everything about my former life goodbye. “Go to the movies.” “Go on a trip.” “Go to the BATHROOM,” for crying out loud.
And life absolutely changes, yes. You’re forced to put someone before you always, day and night. Just today, Collins & I were going to meet Blake for lunch during his break, but at the last minute I had to text him we weren’t coming because Collins had just fallen asleep after a morning of battling naps, & I wasn’t about to mess that up! Little stuff like that happens. And I’m sure bigger inconveniences will occur down the road. But that’s okay. Change does not mean your pre-parent style of living is lost in the abyss for all eternity. Well, I guess that depends on your current lifestyle. If you’re used to staying out until all hours of the night with your selfie-taking friends, I guess life will be drastically different. I’ve always been more of a coffee shop kind of girl myself, so while life is different, it didn’t put me in shock like it probably does to others.
I will say I was scared to death about losing sleep. People warned me: “You will be exhausted beyond belief.” “Meet coffee: your new lifeline.” “Enjoy sleeping in now because you’ll NEVER DO IT AGAIN.” First of all, this line was always a joke to me because who gets good sleep when they’re pregnant? If you did, bravo—I am not even jealous of you anymore because that stage of my life is over. And you know what? It was tiring, yes. I was more than ready to sleep through the night. But holding my baby in the quiet of the night, feeding her & putting her back to sleep, just the two of us—those were joyful moments to me.
But seriously, I expected to be a walking zombie lacking the ability to put matching shoes on. Heck, who needs shoes? There was no way I was driving a car in Dallas traffic with a baby in the backseat—no sir. The first time I drove with Collins in the car, she was two weeks old. We went down the street through the Starbucks drive-through, all just to prove I was capable of driving with an infant. That was all dandy until I actually did drive in Dallas with her. It was a particularly traffic-filled day when she decided to cry the whole 30-minute drive home. I cried the whole way with her.
I didn’t know all newborns didn’t like sleeping during the day. I thought that was the obvious bonus of a newly hatched baby. Not my little bird. At least, not unless I carried her around the house in our soft wrap carrier. That thing was sent from heaven itself. We would literally just walk/waltz around the house all day. I had a box on the kitchen island so I could put my lunch on it and eat from there while doing a little dance to keep Little Girl in her slumber. I knew that stage wouldn’t last forever—only because I had never seen a mom carrying her nine-year old around the grocery store in her wrap. But I definitely didn’t see this ending any time soon. And it’s not that I didn’t love carrying my baby close to me. I loved it—that’s why I initially got the wrap. But I was literally doing nothing but carrying her. Any kind of cleaning or cooking took forever long (or didn’t happen). And sometimes, I just wanted to sit down and not feed her at the same time. So one day—probably nine weeks into Little Girl’s life, I told my husband I’d give him $100 if he got her to nap in her crib. And of course he did. I was ecstatic and jealous at the same time. It did get easier though. She started napping in her crib, little bits at a time. And I became more confident, little bits at a time.