People aren't kidding when they keep warning you that your entire life's about to change as soon as you push that baby out. I almost wish I'd taken a couple seconds to say goodbye to myself - the me with the simple, lazy life - right before that last agonizing push that made me a mommy.
A lot happened from then on out ... I began a new love affair with a tiny bumbling boy that felt completely natural and strange at the same time. I lost focus on most of the things I revolved my life around - makeup, hair, the latest fashion, celebrity gossip and TV shows - and stared at this little baby just wanting him to somehow know the only thought that constantly spun through my head: I am so proud of you for existing. My new goal is for him to know this.
I was immediately overcome by admiration for him, as if demanding his own little spot in this world were equivalent to winning the Nobel Peace Prize. There is not a more determined, incredible baby.
After six weeks home with Carter, I've made several attempts between rocking, exploding diapers, funny faces, kisses and feedings to squeeze in a few dollops of makeup and a couple curls in my hair. I abruptly realized that I'm not going to be able to devote hours upon hours of time to self indulgence anymore. There really aren't full hours of anything, except baby.
In the first couple days, when I got a few minutes of silence, I found myself utterly confused - I have so much purpose now, and, at the same time, I lost a lot of ambition for things that used to be important to me. Having a baby doesn't just mean a lifestyle adjustment; you have to figure out how to reinvent yourself.
I've heard people talk about this before, but I'd never realized how true it is. I pictured myself as the same Meghann, but with a baby added ... kind of like a cute, new accessory. Yep, I almost completely forgot about the whole poopy diaper part until the second day in the hospital.
My husband and I have bid a quick, unexpected goodbye to our years of capricious dating. Movies, restaurants and Target runs are strategically planned now. Matt and I are a lot of awesome things, but neither of us have ever been great planners. We're learning fast and wishing we'd had better warnings. How does everyone else make it look so easy? Why does nobody else's stroller have shrieks of terror spouting into the air?
While I was pregnant, I heard a woman on the radio who said she loved being a stay at home mom because she uses the opportunity like a job that relieves stress from her home. She makes dinner, goes to the dry cleaners and keeps closets, pantries, everything organized. Yes! I thought, That's exactly what I want to do.
So, with my new family in hand, there are a few attributes I'm wanting to juggle into this grand reinvention of my Self. I want to maintain some part of what I've always been: a girlie girl who gets excited at the sight of pink and Starbucks' mochas. I want to be organized - organized enough to be able to run to the store on a whim, baby in tow, and I want to learn the kind of organization that will help me give Carter all kinds of opportunities in his life: sports, camps, college, the works.
I want to show him how to be a good person. I want to keep my house cozy and clean, clean enough that people can drop by without notice (and even open the door to my pristine pantry). Despite the curves life will throw, I want to be a part of the reason Matt and Carter can say they're happy at the end of the day.
I want to figure out a way to tell Carter how proud I am of him for existing.