Sunday, March 25, 2012

Real life?

Eric was talking to me about getting back into our "real life." I've had other people tell me that I need to get back into "normal life." I keep seeing all these things online about how to "get back to normal" after your baby is born.

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.


  1. I agree completely. Tho im not a mommy like u, its YOUR babygirl and erics. Iful u want to ba a stay at home mom no one should tell u otherwise. Nomal?? You seem toLove your lifeat home. & if u don't feel ready to go back to youth, that's perfectly fine! It sucks that some people don't support ur decisions :/
    Thats,all (: i hope to be as good as a mom that u are(:

  2. krystle you are doing what you feel right is for you and emily. every baby is different. some babies scream alot some fuss so sleep and some are just so good you dont know you have them seb was one of those babies absolutely perfect and then channi she was nightmare. as you have more children you will see. emily and your relationship began when she was in the womb and she knows that you love her so much. dont feel bad about going on a date with your hubby you both need it. dont feel guilty about having time for you you need it to recharge. a baby is 24/7 and you live for there needs there life. enjoy your time with emily and dont worry about what anyone thinks you are doing a fabulous job emily is blessed to have such a caring loving mother as you. breast feeding is not for everyone some can only do it for a little while i know i could only do it for six weeks i got sick there are hundreds of for and against but you know your body and your limitations and your beliefs. bottle feeding is alot of work especially the cleaning of them but once again the mothers choice. real life is going back to like you say when you didnt have a baby nope never. you never go back cos even now as all my kids are grown up my eldest is 26 i still think about and worry sometimes how hes doing. you are always a mother no matter what age they are. and in any case who wants a normal life as such when you have this precious little lady to care for and to love. i think what a normal life is is that you can sleep in eat when u want do and go where and what you want. how selfish of us. enjoy emily now as she will grow up pretty quick. enjoy every milestone. krystle you and your daughter are blessed.

  3. A couple thoughts on your blog...
    Mostly I would say that normal is pretty hard to define. Normal is whatever is routine, acceptable, and comfortable for you and/or those in your life. And no, life will never be the same after baby arrives... and would you really want it to be?! You two waited quite a while before walking down this parenting road and I sincerely applaud you for that. But you are now in the early stages of many, many different types of "normal" as the years progress. You have to learn to adapt to each other and your children as you all grow and change through those stages.
    But take caution to focus on and protect your marriage relationship. Babies are so time demanding that it is hard to put the same energy and passion into your spouse. It is only natural that one or the other of you will sometimes feel neglected or ignored. You have to remain strong as a couple if you hope to be strong parents for your child.
    The look of God's calling on your lives will also change over time. But the presence of that calling should never change. If you sense that you are starting to put God on the back burner... even for the noble cause of Emily, then you need to examine your priorities. I certainly am not saying that it is easy. But a lot of people maintain ministry involvement AND raise quality, God fearing children in the process. Raising Emily with the example of parents who love and serve God will be the greatest thing you can do for her. She will grow up to be passionate about Jesus just like you. If you start making compromises and even excuses now it will get easier and easier to put God on hold. The result will be a child who learns that she is the most important aspect of your life... and she shouldn't be, God is.
    I guess the bottom line is learn to be flexible in all areas but your realtionship to God. And keep your marriage strong. If you put God first, Eric second, and everything else after that (yes, even Emily!) then you will find peace in that structure and no one else's opinion of your "normal" will matter at all. Hugs and prayers!