When did people forget that a baby changes everything?
When I got pregnant, at the beginning, I thought it was totally feasible for me to work a 40-hour work week and come home. I was thinking about the cost of sitters and who could watch Emily while I went on with things like dinners out and dates and all of this. I decided that my baby would sleep whenever I want and I was convinced that giving my daughter formula would sign her death certificate. I stayed up until 1am some nights and did whatever I wanted without worrying. I didn't think about how my life would change when she got here.
Now? I prefer to be home (or headed home) by 9pm so Emily can get to bed and I can pump breastmilk and be asleep by ten so I can sleep while she does, considering she is sleeping 8 hours a night. I couldn't imagine going back to work and realize it's a blessing that I am able to stay home and not a right. I realize that, even though breastfeeding is natural, that doesn't mean it's always easy. I know that using formula and/or breastmilk is a personal decision.
My whole day revolves around Emily now. I limit how much I'm out and about because Emily gets really fussy if her sleeping/eating/playtime schedule is messed up too much. I haven't really visited a lot of friends because I have to pump breastmilk or breastfeed if I'm out more than 3 hours and I am really not comfortable with doing that in front of my friends because I prefer not to use a cover and that's uncomfortable for some people. If I use a cover, Emily falls asleep within 5-10 minutes and doesn't finish eating. I've only breastfed at my house and my mom's. Same goes for pumping. Grocery shopping isn't an issue with Emily; she does great as long as she doesn't miss her nap. Church on Sunday happens to fall during a feeding and I feed her expressed breastmilk and formula separately, so I just go to the nursery and do it myself because my bottle lid sometimes leaks and it's easier to do it rather than sound like the mom who doesn't think anyone knows how to feed a child. I normally stay with her in the nursery after - I want to try to leave her with the nursery workers but there's a lot more babies in the church during both services now that I would rather just stay since there are so many babies anyway.
Eric and I are still not ready to dive back into youth ministry and I don't know if I feel guilty or not for that. I just wrote and deleted a whole paragraph which discussed all of this but I don't think it's really something I need to discuss with anyone that reads my blog.
My question is, who decides what "real life" or "normal" is after baby? I know that I need to be able to do every day things with her (grocery shopping, driving, visiting friends, etc.) but why does it have to be the same as before? To say, "Nothing will change" is a lot like saying "I know I'm a parent, but let's pretend the kid isn't here."
I'm okay with it if you guys don't agree. If we did, that would be too easy.