I feel like possibly I'm having a quarter-plus-four-life crisis (what do you call a life crisis at 29?). The first few weeks with a new baby (I would say especially with your first baby), you don't have time or the mental capacity to ponder what the h-e-double hockey sticks happened to your life. Midnight and 2 a.m. feedings are the things of torture chambers, and you're basically a zombie, except instead of being ravenous for people you're just shoveling lactation cookies into your mouth at odd hours.
People kept telling me it would get better, and it did. It does get better because you learn what your baby's cries mean (for the most part), and your baby starts figuring out night and day (again, for the most part), and you eventually might only have to get up once in the middle of the night instead of three times (praise!).
Of course, don't ever underestimate the ability of your baby to poop through a diaper seconds after changing her. Not that I know from experience or anything.
So okay. You get through the first few weeks and you're like hey, maybe I've got this. It's not as scary as I thought.
THEN. Things calm down in the baby department, and things start to heal themselves in the lady parts department, and you start to feel more like yourself. That's when you come out of the fog of survival mode and start living in the land of this-is-my-life-now mode, and you start realizing that life as you knew it really isn't going back to how it was ever again. That's where the life crisis comes in.
I don't know who I am right now, and it's very disconcerting.
I was never one of those girls who dreamed of being a stay-at-home mom (I'll use SAHM for short because typing hyphens is too much work for me right now). There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a SAHM, but that was just never something I thought about. To be honest, I always thought I would hate it because I like being busy and seeing people, and the thought of staying at home with kids all day makes me feel stir-crazy.
But then I was on maternity leave for six weeks and was a SAHM, and it was awesome. This confused me. (Plug for an upcoming post about my thoughts on being a working mom! I will also answer a few "ask anything" questions I got about this topic.)
It's also strange to look in the mirror and not feel like you look like yourself. There's extra skin where there hasn't been ever in my life, and even though I fit into most of my pre-pregnancy pants, I usually can't wear them all day before it starts to get uncomfortable and I unbutton them.
I've been running lately (blog post about that coming up at some point. Hashtag so many post ideas, so little time). Even though the running part went better than I expected, I can tell my abs are shot. Like, gone. My craving for sweets is, however, still alive and well. So nice of that to stick around.
I could go on, but the point is that when people ask me how I'm doing, I have no idea how to respond. In an effort to not go off on a tangent for the next hour, I give a token smile and a, "It's pretty good. We're getting the hang of things." And they're like, "You seem to be handling it well!"
I suppose I am handling it in some respects. My baby is still alive and my house hasn't burned down, so there's that. And the fact that I can squeeze into my favorite skinny jeans is nothing short of amazing. (Seriously, it's amazing. I love those jeans.)
But mentally? I don't know. I'm not someone who likes change, and as I mentioned before, this whole year has been constantly changing. To be honest, it's exhausting.
So if you want to know how I'm doing, prepare yourself for a long answer. We can cut past all the "fine" and "good" and get to the real stuff. The hard and the beautiful and the ugly and the wonderful stuff. I think we can all agree that's the best stuff anyway.
Now if you'll excuse me, my quarter-plus-four-life crisis is waiting.
Please pass the lactation cookies.
p.s. If I ever get around to it, I have posts I want to write about: being a working mom, postpartum running/workouts, how to budget for travel, a currently vlog (maybe with R!), and marriage. If you ever have a question or post topic suggestion, enter it here!