Transitioning Through Being Single to Being a Parent.

Singlehood to Parenthood

As I have grown from childhood to adulthood, I have heard many times, “Your life changes forever when you have children”. I think most people accept this statement as truth. However, until you are a parent, it is hard to image how deep this change goes. Intellectually, I knew that I would get less sleep and be wholly responsible for a new tiny human, but I really didn’t understand what that would mean.

Here are some examples of how your life changes when you go from being a non-parent (A.K.A. singlehood) to parenthood:

EVERYTHING TAKES LONGER

It takes longer to do EVERYTHING. Before I had my son, I got myself ready (in 45 minutes tops, including putting on make-up) and reminded my husband when it was time to leave (but he was responsible for himself). Pretty easy. Then I had my son, and it took a minimum of 2 hours to get ready with a tiny 7 pound baby!

PERSONAL TIME?

Everything takes longer, except personal time. That is something you have to fight for, or it won’t happen. This tiny human wants to be with you continuously, just like when pregnant. So, instead, he joins me during bathroom breaks, bath-time, and any other time.

COORDINATING SCHEDULES

Before my son’s arrival to the world, I worked as a nurse, so I generally worked 3-4 twelve hour shifts a week, and the other days I could schedule appointments. I now work from home, so you would think that it would be even easier for me to schedule appointments. WRONG! I now have to remember and consider all my potential babysitter’s (A.K.A. family) schedules, in addition to my own, when making appointments because if they are not available, I’m not either.

FORGETFUL

Smart, normal brain, turned to pregnancy-brain, and then transferred to mommy-brain. My phone calendar is the only way I can keep track and organize my life.

GROUP APPOINTMENTS

I try to save those babysitters for when absolutely needed; so that means  I have a companion for most of my appointments. There’s nothing quite like getting a pap smear or a skin check by your doctor while also chasing, breastfeeding, or trying to distract your child at the same time.

GERM SHARING

If you ask most of my family, I have some issues with germs, or at least had. My husband was amazed the first time I shared my food with my son, but still wouldn’t with him. The relationship between a parent and child is so intimate that body fluids (A.K.A. poop, snot, vomit, saliva) don’t bother me like they would with anyone else.

My Son Eating

My son eating chicken. He LOVES to eat!

 

FOOD

I’m Cajun, so I like my food spicy. I was never willing to adjust my seasoning when cooking for anyone. Well, that was until I had my son. I cook blander so that my son’s mouth is not on fire when he eats. I also buy food that I don’t like because I know my son does. I’m not sure if I ever purchased a tomato before I had my son. Now I purchase many every time I go to a grocery store.

CLOTHING

Your body shape changes so much from pregnancy to postpartum. It took me almost 17 months before I returned to my pre-pregnancy weight. Besides the obvious of getting clothes that fit your body, there are also other considerations when breastfeeding. You need a bra that is conducive to nursing. Some women use nursing bras, sports bras, or even regular bras that they can pull up. You also need a top (whether shirt or dress) that allows easy access. If you buy a shirt, or dress, or even a bra that is hard to use when breastfeeding, chances are it’s going to get little wear because lets face it breastfeeding is a 24 hour job, and our little baby (or toddler) is counting on us to feed him.

SHORT DAYS

My days are always short. There is never enough time to accomplish everything on my to-do-list. This will probably always be the case now that I am a mom, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

How did your life change when going from singlehood to parenthood? Leave your comments below!

I am a certified Positive Discipline parenting and Birth Boot Camp childbirth educator. I teach classes in Lafayette and Eunice, Louisiana. I am also a breastfeeding and cloth diapering mother. For more information about me and my services, visit M.Y. Birth & Baby. You can also read the latest on my Facebook page at MY Birth & Baby.

 

5 Ways to Help Baby Sleep

5 Ways to Recreate the Womb

The newborn phase, or also called the fourth trimester, can be a huge adjustment period for parents. Besides the new role of 24/7 caregiver of another human, babies often like to sleep on different schedules, eat often, and be held CONSTANTLY. This is because they were held snugly inside of mom, until now. Now, all of a sudden, they are in a strange, cold environment, where they need your constant reassurance that they are going to be okay. The good news is there are things you can do to help recreate the womb, and help your little babe transition to this big new world, and maybe even help you get more SLEEP!

DARKNESS

It’s pretty dark inside your uterus. Yes, he/she can see the light that shines through, but there is fat and other tissues dimming that light. Keep the room as dark as you can. If you need some light, use a nightlight or have a lamp by the bed that you can use as needed.

WHITE NOISE

Ever notice that your baby sleeps soundly all day with the television blaring, people talking, dogs barking, and then the moment you put them down in a nice dark, quiet room they are wide awake? While your baby was baking, it was never quiet. He/she could hear your heart, bowel sounds, the outside world, and so much more. Static, rain, vacuum cleaner, washing machine – these are all noises your baby may like. You can download a free app on your phone (just be aware that every time someone calls you, the noise may stop) or buy an inexpensive noise machine. It may take some experimenting to find the magic sound for your baby. For our son, it was rain.

BABYWEAR

There are many benefits to babywearing. One benefit is that your baby is held snugly against your body where he or she wants to be. Inside your womb, there was not much space for your baby to go, and this tightness provided warmth, comfort, and security. By babywearing, you can mimic this for your baby. So check out your options online, or better yet, at your local mother-baby store (where they can teach you how to use them). There are many options to choose from, such as wraps, ring slings, and soft structured carriers.

SWADDLE

Like babywearing, swaddling also provides warmth and security by tightly wrapping your baby like a burrito. However, instead of holding baby, parents often place baby in his/her sleeping space. Swaddling is not recommended if you bedshare with your baby, because it is easier for them to overheat. Also, it is important to give your baby many opportunities in the day to move their arms and legs. For more discussion on the risks and benefits of swaddling click here.

CO-SLEEP

Your newborn was inside of you for 9 months (give or take). He/she wants to be next to you, this includes at night as well. Studies also show that co-sleeping helps regulate baby’s heart rate, breathing, sleep cycle, and blood sugar. Co-sleeping will look different for every family. It can also help mom get more sleep, just make sure you are doing it safely.

What worked for your newborn? Have another tip? Please share below in the comments!

I am a certified childbirth and parenting educator, as well as a doula in the Lafayette, LA area. For more information about me and my services, visit my website at M.Y Birth & Baby.