Do you "get" me now?Becoming a mom for the first time. Let's discuss it. And how holy shit nothing can prepare you for it. You think you have a general idea about babies -- I mean, you've held a baby. Once. And she was sleeping. But then your son or daughter comes into the world and takes everything you thought you knew about being a parent and throws it back in your face in the form of a giant poop-filled diaper. It takes a while to get the hang of things. Or at least at seems like a long time.
A new study just revealed specifically -- very specifically -- how long it takes to get out of the "incomprehensible confusion" of the beginning of motherhood and into the swing of things like a veteran parent. It may sound like a long time on paper, but really, it isn't so bad. Plus, you're sleep-deprived as hell -- do you even know what day it is?
According to the baby brand, Munchkin, it takes 4 months and 23 days to get used to being a mom. And as someone who's closing in on the fifth month here, I whole-heartedly concur.
When my daughter was first born, people kept telling me that 3 months was the "magic number" -- the point at which babies really change. And they were right. My baby seemed to "wake up" a little before 12 weeks. She could much more easily identify people and smile, and coo, etc. She wasn't quite as helpless and oh-my-god-I-feel-like-I-might-break-her-ish as she was when she was first born. That, for me, was the beginning of really gaining confidence as a mom. I didn't feel as much like a teenager "playing house." But even then, it wasn't like I was changing diapers with one hand while breastfeeding and teaching my baby sign-language with the other. In public. (Because I'm totally doing that now.)
Although I had much more confidence with myself as a mother at around 3 months, I realized something shortly thereafter: My daughter kept changing. Every day, she seemed to be into something new. She would feed in a different way; make new noises; start rolling on over to her stomach in her sleep. And with each new thing she did, I would scratch my head a bit, worry of course, and then adjust to it. And that's when I realized -- yep, at around 4 months -- that babies simply change all the time. You just have to go with it. And it's easier to "just go with it" then, because other things -- like breastfeeding and baby sleep -- have hopefully gotten easier at that point.
Last night my daughter, who -- knock wood -- usually sleeps through the night, started crying (really crying) at around 2:00 in the morning. My husband and I were definitely startled and a bit caught off guard, but we didn't really think twice. We just went in and soothed her (teething!) without much thought or production, and that was that. We all just went back to bed. That would have never happened that smoothly a few months ago.
When did you start getting used to motherhood?
Image via Nicole Fabian-Weber