Everyone tells you how much your life will change after having a baby, and it will. You will get less sleep, you will have VERY little time to yourself, you will be more in love with your child then you ever thought possible. For me all the above is true, with the addition of some other changes I was never expecting. Here is how I changed as a person after having a child.
I like other babies. Don't take this the wrong way, I never disliked other babies, I was just not interested. I didn't want to hold your baby, I didn't want to talk to your baby, and I wasn't interested in what your baby was up to. The other day I stopped a complete stranger in the Grocery Store to not only see there baby, but ask her how old she was, what her name was, what milestones she has reached, and what foods she was eating. I am officially all about babies. I think it's mostly to compare to my own baby, but still, it's new and it's weird. This does not, however, apply to children over the age of 2. I am still not interested in your toddler or 6-year-old. Also, children of friends and family do not apply, I am always interested in what they do :)
You will listen to my labor story, and you will like it. Every single chance I get, I will tell you my story of labor and delivery. I will wait for an opening and I will start from my mild cramping and go all the way to my 2 hours of pushing. That's right 2 hours. I pushed a human out of me and I want the world to know how painful, awful, gross, amazing, and beautiful it was. I am not only proud, but I am thankful that I was able to experience such a wonderful part of life. I don't care if your not interested, I'm going to tell you anyway.
Emotions. So many emotions. I cry A LOT now. I cry for every commercial that features any sort of mother/child bond or father/child bond. This includes animals as well. A mother Polar Bear helping her baby swim for the first time, I mean come on. I cry during sad songs. I cry over some things I see on Facebook. Sometimes I just get emotional thinking about her growing up and I hug her and cry. I cry when I'm exhausted. I cry when I'm overwhelmed. Every thing involving a child I apply to my own life and I cry. Rest assured I am not depressed, I am very happy and thankful for what I have, so thankful I'm tearing up right now. It has gotten better since birth, but I'm still much more emotional than I ever was before baby.
I am always aware of my breasts. This only applies because I am breastfeeding, I assume, and was much worse in the first few months after giving birth. Are they hard? Are they soft? Are they leaking? Are they out? It's a constant awareness of what I barely paid attention to before.
Google. I have never Googled so many things in my life until I had a baby. I've never counted but I'm sure in the first few months of her life I Googled at least 10 times a day. I just checked my last few searches and they are as follows:
Chicco baby carrier
Baby fell and hit head
When to start regular food for baby
How to tell if baby is teething
Baby hair bows
I swear I probably looked up every thing she did after she was born to see if it was 'normal'. What did parents do before Google??
TV? What's that? I watched a lot of TV before baby. Now, it takes me 3 days to watch one episode of The Bachelorette. This is kind of a blessing. I've swapped cable for Hulu, watch only a select few of the shows I watched before, and spend most of my time with the cutest baby in the world. Not mad about it.
My job. I never really expected this one to be that different after the baby. I've been doing it for almost 5 years now, and I'm pretty good at it. I was wrong. Ever since I went back to work I've been dropping the ball left and right. It's like my brain can only handle so much information, and is now overloaded with baby stuff that work stuff is getting forgotten too easily. I have since come to the conclusion that I need a "work brain" and a "home brain". When I am at work, all baby and home stuff needs to be put aside so that I can solely concentrate on what I need to do while I am at work. Then once I get home, work stuff needs to be forgotten now that I need to focus on family. It's a tough system to work out but I'm starting to get the hang of it. I also didn't expect to get treated differently once I returned to work. Or maybe the problem is that I did expect to get treated differently now. Management has had no pity for the "new mom brain", which I guess is no surprise but for some reason I was under the assumption they would cut me some slack. No slack has been cut. In fact, I was even given a hard time for taking my first Mother's Day off, by another Mother if you could believe it. I guess every one has a job to do, and their job is making sure mine gets done. Like I said, I'm getting back into the swing of things but it takes time. Just a warning that not every job is going to be OK with that.
Friend time. Yes, this one is kind of an obvious one. I was expecting to get less friend time, but I guess I wasn't expecting how drastic it was going to be. This is in no way any one's fault, it's just hard to find time, especially if your friends also have children. Between nap times, feeding times, sick times, errand times, and my own exhaustion it's next to impossible to find time to hang out with other adults. Everything needs to be planned in advance, or if it's just dinner it needs to happen by 5pm so we can get the baby home and in bed by 7pm or 8pm. Not to mention drinking is pretty much not an option for me as I am still breastfeeding and she usually has a ton before bed. So yes, I miss my friends. I miss just hanging out without getting distracted a million times by my little bundle of cuteness. I miss having a glass of wine or a beer whenever I please. I miss going to lunch on a whim. I miss my bestie time.
Shopping. Shopping for me, that is. I can't remember the last time I bought myself clothes. Actually I can, it was right after Juniper was born and I bought a bunch of nursing tops because it's impossible to wear anything else. My closet is full of clothes and I only wear about 5 different outfits. If I can't nurse her in it, I don't leave the house in it. Forget about jewelry as well. This doesn't mean I don't shop anymore, though. I am pretty much addicted to buying cute baby girl clothes. Lately I've been scouring the Internet for baby hair bows. You'd be surprised the varieties that are available. You'd think this change in shopping would bother me a little, but it really doesn't. I don't miss trying on clothes, or searching discount racks for yet another top i will only wear once. I am actually planning on getting rid of most is what is in my closet and keeping a few staple pieces that I can interchange with each other. I can still be fashionable without buying new stuff all the time, and sticking to classic pieces. Plus, I totally get my shopping fix buying baby clothes. What is even more fun is that my boyfriend enjoys it too. It's actually pretty cute watching him pick out little girl clothes for his daughter.
Things are definitely different for me now that I have a baby. All the things I expected to change have, along with this list that sort of took me by surprise. It is still surreal to me that I have a daughter and that I am a mother. I wonder if it will always be like that. I am still very much myself in many ways, and I love all the ways that I am different now as well. I am overwhelmed by how much I love that little girl. I have changed, but I have changed for the better and now that she is here I don't know how I managed with out her.