Mama told me there’d be days like this

First things first – <a href=”https://www.bloglovin.com/blog/18843825/?claim=px68wqkuaa5″&gt; Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

I just set up an account on Bloglovin’, so now I’m “claiming” by blog. I’m still new to this whole blogging thing, but I’ve read about Bloglovin’ on several other blogs I follow. It seems like a convenient way to read all the blogs I follow, regardless of platform, in one place. Not to mention it’s much easier to discover new blogs. WordPress hasn’t been very helpful on that front.

Today, Baby Bear and I are having what my grandmother would have called a day – emphasized with a heavy sigh and quite possibly a look towards the heavens. While nighttime sleep has lately not been an issue (knock on wood), morning naps have recently been a huge challenge. Usually we wake up around 8, snuggle in bed for the thirty minutes (we are on the co-sleeping train, more on that later), and then get up to start the day.

About an hour later, I can tell he’s sleepy. He’s fussy, fidgety, and mouthy (but won’t nurse or take a bottle). We start the bedtime routine of swaddling, rocking, and singing a lullaby (Goodnight, My Angel by Billy Joel). I put him down, followed by another few minutes of singing and rocking, then I creep towards the door. This typically gets me a solid 1.5 – 2 hour nap, at which point he’s hungry, but all smiles as soon as he eats.

The past few mornings, he wakes up screaming right at the 40-minute mark. I know he’s still tired. He knows he’s still tired. But no amount of swaddling, rocking, nursing, or singing will convince him to fall asleep again. He’s awake and he wants the whole neighborhood to know. Today I had to go around closing all the windows in our house because I was worried someone might hear his wails and call child services.

The only thing that finally (after two hours) convinces him to fall asleep is putting him in his “kangaroo pouch” aka a Baby K’tan (which is an absolute LIFESAVER).

He’s sleeping, and that’s the important part, but part of me worries that I’m forming bad habits. Will he ever be able to sleep by himself? When does he learn this “self-soothing” thing I keep hearing so much about? Why didn’t he come with an instruction manual?

Ah, parenthood.

Introduction

Hello! I’m Erin, new Mama to my little Baby Bear, also known as Monkey, also known as Grumpy, also known as High Maintenance, also known as My Whole World.

Baby Bear was born five weeks early, on February 22nd, 2017, which also happened to be mine and my husband’s three year wedding anniversary. He has definitely stolen the show for the rest of his life, but it gives my husband one less date to remember!

Baby being premature came with its own set of challenges, and motherhood is so much harder than I ever thought. Constantly caring for another living human who depends on me for everything is mentally taxing in a way I had never considered. I think about him 100% of the time. Is he hungry? Does he need to be held? Maybe he’s too cold? I second guess everything I do, because WHAT IF I SCAR MY CHILD FOR LIFE. I want an instruction manual, a checklist, a timeline, a formula. If child does X, respond with Y. 

Apparently, babies don’t work like that.

I need an outlet and a community. I want a place to document his early weeks/months/years, because time is passing at warp speed. Baby has already outgrown his preemie clothes which is great (he’s gaining weight and catching up on the growth chart!) but terrifying (where have the past six weeks gone?!). This Subaru commercial gives me all the feels, and makes me tear up (ok, sob) every time. (Seriously, I’m sitting in Starbucks writing this and I am struggling to keep it together.)

Because as incredibly hard as this whole mom thing is, it is easily the best thing I’ve ever done. I cannot believe that my body housed, grew, and birthed such a perfect creature. His tiny toes, his pouty mouth, his wrinkled forehead. He is beautiful, and I have never loved anyone or anything more.

I’ve had blogs in the past and it didn’t stick because I was paralyzed by the need to be perfect. I started out strong, but when it took me over an hour to type up a post that I was never quite happy with it, I eventually pushed it to the side. I miss writing, and keeping a journal just seems so 1998. My goal for this blog is to embrace the imperfection and to get out my thoughts without all the editing and curating. Motherhood is slowwwly teaching me to be a little less OCD, so we’ll see how this goes.