Saturday, June 13, 2015

seven things i still suck at after seven months of motherhood

Holy crap, you guys, I made it seven months! (cue celebratory applause)

Insert sappy, cute-but-kind-of-cliche paragraph here about how it's been the best seven months of my life and I love my cute little munchkin so much and being a mom is great and yaddah yaddah yaddah. (All of which is true, but let's be real--I say that crap enough. :)

Anyway, as I was looking back on the last seven months since my little one entered the world, I realized just how much motherhood kind of forces you to adapt and grow and learn new skills. And for the most part, I'm pretty proud of the mother I've become.

But I'm going to be 100 percent honest with you guys. There's still stuff I suck at.

So, to celebrate Bug's seven-month birthday, I give you a great list of seven of the things I should probably not suck at anymore but still totally do.

1getting the baby to bed on time
Oh, I could tell you all about my baby's bedtime. It's 8:00, my friends, on the dot. That is the time my little munchkin is supposed to be tucked into his crib and I get to put my feet up and watch me some Netflix. I could tell you all friggin' day about 8:00 and how awesome it is.

If you came to my house at 8:00, you'd see a lot of things. A sleeping baby is not one of those things.

Can I just ask the world a question?

How the flip does anyone keep a strict bedtime with a baby?! He doesn't understand English (as much as we've been working on that) so no amount of saying "It's time for night-night!" will make him go to sleep before he's tired.

His real bedtime is usually a range. He goes to bed somewhere between 7:30 and 9:00. But at the same time, the universe hates us this week and slammed us with two teeth at once (see this post), a growth spurt, a move, and a drop in my milk supply all at the same time, so guess what his bedtime was tonight? About thirty minutes ago. And it's midnight. Don't judge me. I really tried.

2peeing BEFORE i start nursing
You'd think I'd have learned by now. But every single time Bug wakes up during the night, I stumble in there in my mostly asleep stupor, scoop up the squirmy one, slump down into the rocking chair, and stuff my nipple into his mouth to stop the screaming.

It's usually around the time when my milk lets down that the near-explosive state of my bladder becomes obvious enough that it snaps me out of my slumber-induced coma.

I then spend the next 20 or so minutes of that feeding session wiggling around under my baby and whisper-shouting at him, "Suck faster!" and "Why are you so slow?!" and "If you don't hurry up I'm gonna pee on you and then you'll know how it feels to be me!"

As soon as he's done and has slipped back off to dreamland, I all but toss him into his crib as I dash across the apartment. I'm basically blinded by the amount of urine in my body at that point and have become a sort of potty-dancing Hulk in ratty pajamas who smashes into every single piece of furniture possible on my way to the bathroom.

And as I finally sit down on the porcelain and feel that sweet relief, I swear up and down, sideways and backwards and forwards, that I will pee first next time. Even if I don't feel like I have to go. Pee FIRST, dangit!

But the next time Bug wakes up to feed? I do the same dang thing all over again.

What is wrong with me? I'm serious.

3the cradle hold
I see all these sweet pictures of mothers breastfeeding their babies so comfortably--reclining in chairs with their cute bald babies cradled in their arms. I've seen women breastfeed babies my whole life using the cradle hold. And whenever I see a mom breastfeeding her baby this way, it takes everything in me to stop myself from running over to her, kneeling at her feet and asking, "How? How do you do it? How do you look so comfortable? Teach me your ways! Please! Pleeeeeease!"

I just plain can't do it. I started out nursing Bug with a nipple shield (may it burn and burn forever!) and the only way I was able to keep that stupid thing on my nipple was to hold it with the hand on the same side and cross-cradle hold the baby with my other hand. Once I finally was able to ditch the nipple shield (and praise the heavens forever and ever amen), I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to nurse using the cradle hold. Every time I tried, no matter what I did, my baby's face would end up smashed into my breast in the kind of way that made me wonder if he still had eyeballs.

So don't mind me and my awkward inability to nurse any other way besides hunched over my baby like Quasimodo in a weird iteration of the cross-cradle hold. I'm just an awkward nurser. After seven months, I've just come to accept it.

4nursing in public
I'm not the type to plop out a breast and feed my baby in full view of anybody and everybody (kudos to women who can). So that means that for me, I'm more comfortable using a cover or blanket.

Except for that's like the most impossible thing  in the history of ever.

Let me just say right here that I've learned since trying to nurse in public that I'd be a pretty crappy blind person. Once that blanket's on, I can't seem to do a dang thing. Get the breast out? Get baby's face even remotely close to the breast? Don't drop baby on his head and give him permanent brain damage? Forget about it. The whole time I'm fumbling with my shirt and nursing bra and baby and that blanket over the top, I probably manage to give everyone a view of what I'm doing but myself. I'm totally useless.

And those fancy covers that have the little plastic or wire inserts that hold it open so you can see? Yeah, those don't help. Like I said, totally useless.

5trimming baby fingernails
Is it just me, or is trimming a baby's fingernails basically the single most intimidating task on the face of the earth? I mean, what kind of super-human can wrangle down a wriggling baby, wield those baby-sized nail clippers, and chop off those mini claws-of-death without at least six extra hands?

I've tried all the tricks (and all you mamas who say, "just bite their nails off" need to explain yourselves because I can't even get my teeth around those tiny, flimsy things), and somehow even once I've successfully trimmed every nail, he still manages to claw my face so bad I swear I'm gonna bleed.

And the one time I thought I was doing really well... I clipped my baby's finger! I've never felt like a more awful human being in my life than I did at that moment.

Those nails... I wish babies didn't even have them. Can't they just wait til puberty to grow?

6going to bed on time
In the same way I can't seem to get my baby in bed on time, I can't even get myself into bed at a decent hour. I mean, now it's pushing 1:00 in the morning. 1:00, people! And my baby isn't even sleeping through the night! Why do I do this to myself?

Oh, I know. Because I have no self control and apparently think I'm still in college back when it was fun to stay up all night and my body had the uncanny ability to be okay on 3 or 4 hours of sleep. But every morning I'm reminded that I no longer have that ability. And that I should be an adult and just go to bed at a human hour. But I never do.

So, I've been really lucky. My baby naps like a pro. I've worked hard to give him a predictable routine so he knows when it's time to sleep and he does. Plus also he's probably a little bit brilliant too, so that helps. But whenever anyone asks me when his naptimes are, I get this super uncomfortable knot in my stomach and tend to avoid all eye contact for the rest of the conversation because what kind of lame-o mom doesn't even know what time naptime is?

Much in the way his bedtime is more fluid and all depends on when he's showing his sleepy signs, I put my baby down for naps when he gets tired. Which some days ends up being 10, 1, and 4, and other days ends up being 9, 1, and 5, and then some days noon and 3. It sometimes drives me wonky not knowing exactly when I'll be able to do my workout or the dishes or shower, but I've found that following his sleepy signs is what works for us.

But sometimes I feel like the most unorganized, clueless mom in the world when people ask me when naptime is. Your guess is as good as mine, lady.

And there you have it! Seven of the (many) things I still suck at. But all in all, I still think I'm doing pretty okay. I mean, look at that boy!

Check out the list of seven mom skills I've gained here.

So, what things do you still suck at? I'd love to hear about them! Comment below!


  1. Haha I love the finger nails and going to bed on time... two kids later and I still can't get on the ball with either of those...and nursing... you're a champ!


  2. well that sucked, i posted a whole long thing. like, really freaking long and then it didn't work. well, long story short: it gets easier by kid number two, practice makes perfect i guess, i use army knife scissors to clip declan's nails when he's nursing usually, and nursing in public also just takes practice--i stopped caring after only a few months with tenley because we were on vacation and it was SUCH a pain. so i wear loose/low-cut/easy access tops and only place a burp cloth over me if necessary. a lot of people stare but i've never really gotten any mean stares or mean comments thankfully! i just realized i'm never seeing these people again and it's not worth the hassle.

  3. First, your baby is adorable. Second, I have three boys, and still suck at most of those things :)

  4. Baby Boy is sooo cute! I am so glad I found your blog! I'm a mommy of a 3-month old girl and have many of the same feelings. So glad to know I'm not alone!


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