Thursday, April 8, 2010

Brooke Sheilds or Betty Draper?

So babies really only come with a limited skill set. Eat, sleep, poop, cry. The Bug is no different. And she's hit a patch that the baby doctor calls a "bit of colic." I call it, alternately, "demon baby time" or "the witching hour." Whatever it is called, it goes like this: she is pleasant and cute and sleeps for blocks of time during daylight hours.

Then 10pm hits, and she yells for no good reason until around 2am. The DH tries to help with this, but google is only so useful. He does try, but he doesn't feel her crying in his body the way I do. (Stupid let down reflex; a baby cries on TV, and I spring a leak) Furthermore, he can sleep through anything and has to work in the mornings. Just to mess with me, this doesn't happen every night, just often enough to make me crazy and sleep deprived.

This leaves nights wherein I sit up with her, sometimes watching bad TV, and we both cry. I'm pretty sure that the mommy doctor would call this a case for vitamin P. And I'm not dismissing that it would be possibly useful. Nor am I pulling a Tom Cruise here and claiming that psychiatry and psychiatric drugs are a conspiracy of the evil alien overlords. (Although I would love the opportunity to spew crazy all over Matt Lauer. I've always wanted to be on TV.) Here's the thing, for me right now: I actually think that what this might call for is a drink with some girlfriends while the Bug stays at home with my husband.

So in this case, "Mother's little helper" may not be a pill. It may be my very recently acquired Medela Pump in Style Advanced so I can leave a few bottles with DH and go be a grown-up for a bit. I'm certainly going to try this before I try medication.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Dress Like a Mom

I was recently socializing with some of the yarn ladies at a yarn shop.* We were talking about the adjustment to motherhood, and one of them, a 40-ish lady with a middle-school aged son related that when said son was an infant, she told her husband that she was dressed "like a mom" and he said "well you are a mom." This was, for her, the moment it sunk in that she was actually someone's mother.

I've been thinking about this, and here's the conclusion I've come to: I don't know what "dressed like a mom" is. I know how I like to dress and how I generally dress for going out in public, but what I don't know is if I dress like a mom. I do know that my clothing preferences haven't changed substantially since the Bug was born. Okay, nursing tanks weren't a part of my wardrobe before her birth, but an outfit built around jeans and a tank top was a pretty central feature, to be honest.

Just because I'm not happy about my ab muscles (and let's be honest here, I wasn't happy with them before the Bug), I'm not going to start wearing high waisted jeans**; I'm just going to accept muffin top, and start running as soon as the doc gives me the okay.

I might wear a trifle more lounge wear than I used to, but I assume my desire to do that will diminish as my postpartum discomforts also diminish. Washable items seem essential (she spits), but then I'm lazy enough that they were a fairly significant part of my wardrobe. Button downs and wrap-fronts might be more important than they used to be, but she won't be nursing forever (no matter how much it feels like it when she eats every 2 hours overnight during a growth spurt).

I will admit that I don't get make up on every day. But this is something I've gone back and forth with over the years; times when I won't leave the house in full "face" and times when I just accept my blotchy skin for what it is. In recent years, I had found a happy medium of minimal make up that still covered anything I was self-conscious about. But mostly that was what I did for work. When you work with teenagers and don't quite look your 30+ years, you have to find ways to make sure you aren't mistaken for one of them. One that I picked was subtle, tasteful make up.*** I'm not working at the moment, so...

I guess if some hormonal shift triggers me to start dressing badly, I'll have to ask Lady to let me know. Because the DH isn't stupid enough to say anything about it. I hope.

*By the way, hanging out with my knitter friends is possibly the easiest way to get some grown up time with people I'm not married to. As most of them are older than me, most of them have been parents, and know how babies work. Furthermore, if the Bug wants to be held, there are all of these folks who are up for it-- most of them have grandkids in other states, and really want a baby "fix." I get to sit and enjoy the company of adults.
**Sorry to my non-US followers: this inspired SNL clip isn't available on youtube, and I'm betting the Hulu link doesn't work for you. Here are some monkeys dancing, though. Meagre consolation, but... it's the best I can do.
***As opposed to the utter lack or whorish tartiness favoured by most of my students.