Life as a New Mom

A first-time mom adjusting to her new everything


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And so it begins.

Game on, Widget.  I see you there, trying to look cute so I’ll forgive you for the fussing you’ve done all day for the last week.  Oh yes, and the grabbing your spoon to gnaw on in the most diabolical plan ever conceived for avoiding eating.  You should want to eat the delicious puree I have made for you, from scratch. SCRATCH.

I see you looking at me with the saddest face ever, putting your tongue out of your mouth as far as it will go, foiling my attempt to look at your gums.  But the joke’s on you.  I moved faster than you, and I saw that canker sore-looking blister.  I know that means you are getting your first tooth.  Clearly this means I am doing a superior job keeping you from dying, as you are alive to erupt a tooth.

But I make no promises if you continue this behavior, combined with the amount of cling static will envy.  In particular, I make no promises for your father, who just last night tried to clip your pacifier to your clothes (I keep telling him it’s unnecessary in the house but he doesn’t listen) and instead clipped it to your skin.  I completely agree with you wailing and crying for 15 minutes because of that.  I’ve pinched myself with it and that thing hurts.  Just remember your father did that, and that it’s rude to take out fury on innocent bystanders who also produce your main source of food.  Don’t bite the boob that feeds you.

In summation, you have many reasons to be cranky.  But so do I.  Bring it, for I shall win this battle royale.  I have the patience which you have yet to dream of, and I WILL wait you out.


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There is nothing worse…

My mother-in-law is coming to visit today, for the weekend.  Because she is allergic to dogs, this means I brush the dog really well and clean the house.  No problem.

I will also bathe Widget and make him appealing so she’ll forgive the crying and crankiness that is his colic (being slowly outgrown!!).  That right there?  HUGE PROBLEM.

It’s a problem because I know, I have known for days, that I must once again battle the Claws of Pain.  I hate the Claws of Pain the way Flick hates frozen telephone poles after his tongue stunt.  I hate the Claws of Pain the way we all hate that driver 3 cars in front of us who isn’t signaling before switching lanes while going 45 mph on the freeway.

In case you’re not familiar with the Claws of Pain, let me explain.

I cannot file Widget’s nails.  They’re too thin for me to manipulate, and trying to do so has resulted in blood and I will not tolerate that.  So I clip them.  I clip one halfway across and tear it the rest of the way.  I do this because I like them shorter than biting will accomplish and I’m incapable of just tearing the entire thing.  Like many babies, I’d imagine, Widget does not care for nail maintenance.  As a result, it takes about 30 minutes to cut 10 nails.  It’s a humongous PITA.  I hate it.  But if I don’t do it, his nails (that are clipped/torn straight across) grow longer.  Eventually the corners of the nail get long enough to feel.  Widget is grippy right now (not grabby because I still can’t get him to even bother to hold a damn toy, just my hair and his bib in front of his face at feedings), so that means the nails dig into my delicate neck-skin.  Hard.  Then he drags them along my neck.  They are the Claws of Pain.

The Claws of Pain are evil incarnate, and in our epic struggle, I’d say it’s a tie.


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I must be a terrible mother

You know all those moms out there, with the babies in outfits?  How when you go out, all the babies are looking cute in their onesies and pants and hats and all the other crap?

Mine doesn’t.  I don’t dress my baby in outfits.  Some days I barely dress him at all.

The whole truth is that for the first month of his life, he wore long-sleeve side snap shirts.  No pants, just shirts, because he would constantly vomit on himself and we needed to change his clothes 4 times a day and pants didn’t fit.  Now, all he wears are zip-up sleep and play coveralls.  No snaps here, because I don’t have time to deal with fastening them all.  No joke, I can’t be bothered with snaps because they take too much time.

I have only twice put my son in a onesie.  It’s too much effort to put it on over his head.  And pants still don’t fit him right, because he’s 23 inches long, and barely 11 pounds.

I keep telling myself once he’s older, like the next size up in clothes (3-6 months), I will dress him.  But today I realized that he is ready for that size, because he is long enough and the zip-up footies are getting too short.

Crap.  I mean well, and will try to start dressing him like a human.  But there are days where I can barely manage to get myself dressed, and knowing he’ll need to change outfits multiple times a day saps my will to live (with him in outfits, that is).

How do you collected and together moms manage to do this every day?  What am I missing here???


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The Early Bird gets the….hot coffee!

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This seems like a fitting topic for Fat Tuesday.

All my life, even the teen years, I have been a morning lark.  Mornings make me happy.  I remember being 5 years old, getting up with my daddy (who worked retail, and those shifts are crazy!) and doing Mousercise (mouse-er-size…Mickey Mouse exercise on the Disney channel) while he had breakfast.  It came on at 5am.

So why did my schedule change?  Stupid question.  It was changed by the tiny Mussolini I birthed.

More importantly, why did I allow it to take something I love?  Partly, I was sleep-deprived and I love sleep.  But once Widget evened out a bit there was no excuse.  I’d get up, feed him, change him if needed, feed the dog, make my husband’s lunch, and go back to bed.  I’d get maybe one hour extra of sleep, and not want to wake up.  When I finally got my feet to hit the floor again, I was in a terrible mood and it hung around for a few hours.

There was no reason for that.  I protest.

So I decided on an experiment, which I’ve decided this morning to make a permanent change.  I’ll still get up, feed Widget, etc.  But I’m not going back to bed.  I’m just going to stay up.  I can get my Internet fix in, hopefully write more consistently now, and have a HOT BEVERAGE.

Seriously.  Hot coffee or tea, with a 2 month old.  WINNING.

As an aside, this change has done wonders for my morale.  It’s given me something back.  Time just for me, and that’s so incredibly important.  Yet it’s the easiest thing in the world to miss noticing you miss until you have it back again.  Having the hour, or hour and half, for being alone and doing whatever I like…how freeing.  Mornings are a gift.  What’s yours?


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Karma said hello to my husband

Normally, Adam doesn’t do a lot in terms of routine baby care.  I change 90% of diapers, and do all feedings except the 11:00pm one, which he does, and the 11:00pm diaper change, which he does.  Everything else is me, or a combination of me and Adam.

Last night, karma decided it was time Adam did some real baby-caring work.  So when he woke Widget up to feed him at 11, Widget did not go back to sleep.  Instead, Widget cried for 2 hours straight.  When I finally came down at 1am (I’m a heavy HEAVY sleeper without a baby monitor), the lights were out, Adam was wearing his gun earmuffs to block noise, and Widget was swaddled next to him, crying.  Adam had tried everything, and Widget wouldn’t relax.  I offered to take him, and Adam let me.  Normally, he’ll complain that I never let him do anything to comfort Widget, but this time he’d been worn down to a shred of his normal self.

As soon as I pick Widget up, he stops crying.  Before my feet hit the stairs to take him up to bed, he’s asleep.  The stairs are 5 feet away.  Adam’s response?  “Really?  What the hell.  REALLY?”

Oh yes, karma came to visit last night, and I think I might like her more than Santa.


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Things I never expected

  • Changing my shirt in the middle of night because Widget vomited down the inside of my bra
  • Doing everything one-handed because Widget does not like being alone
  • Having massive (for me) boobs that aren’t as much fun as I’d hoped.  I blame thrush.
  • Having moments when I can’t console him, his face is the color of steak, and I wonder what I’m doing wrong as a mother
  • The hilarious cranky faces Widget makes
  • Drool all over me, ALL the time.  Seriously.  All the time.
  • How difficult baby nails are to cut and how desperate I’d be for the Claws of Pain to let go of my neck skin
  • How much Widget’s smile looks like my Daddy’s


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Wow… 7 weeks

I cannot believe it is 7 weeks since I had the widget. Let’s see…

Well, my house is dirtier than I’d like it to be. My dog must think that nobody loves her in this house anymore, even though I do my best to play with her and talk to her everyday.

Every day is more structured than when I was at home on bed rest for the end of my pregnancy.  If babies love schedules, then widget must be the happiest baby in the universe. I decided to take a cooperative approach to our days, so the schedule was shaped by his needs and tweaked to work with what I could actually accomplish. So far, it seems to be working decently enough and there’s room for flexibility and it doesn’t completely ruin his day.

But by far, the best thing to happen to me in these last 7 weeks happened last Friday night. Widget slept 5 hours straight! Before widget I needed at least 9 hours to be a decent human being so dealing with waking up every 3 hours did not result in a friendlier happy-mom version of myself. But for some reason, even though we had started to teach him to put himself to sleep and he already knew his days and nights, he just all of a sudden took to it this past weekend. I waited to get excited until I felt more confident that this change in his behavior would stick and I am happy to report that ever since Friday night he has slept at least 5 hours straight.

Sleep is a mother’s hug from God.