It happened so fast. One day I was a swinging single gal stuffing my butt into tight jeans and squashing my feet into some sexy heels. I was slinging back cocktails and chasing boys in between working and graduate school. My hair was silky straight from weekly blowouts, my nails glistened with a gel manicure, my mustache was waxed, my bikini line clean and I only wore yoga pants to yoga. Then suddenly, well ,after getting married, moving and then 10 months of being pregnant and several months of newborn fog and being sequestered in my house crippled by postpartum depression, I emerged: a new me. A New Mother.
I’m different now and it has been a shocking transformation. At first I thought, pffft I won’t change, I’ll still be my fabulous self, but several things happened that have made me realize I’m not quite as fabulous as I once was. Am I alone? Can you relate? Are you officially a new mother? Check and see if you have a baby around the house if you've experienced any of the following:
1. A dramatic change in clothing style. I used to wear jeans, high heels, and huge hoop earrings. The other day we took the dog out for a walk, I was wearing a long flowered skirt, a plaid shirt and clogs. I asked my spouse if my clothes were okay, he looked me up and down and said, “You look like you don’t give a f*&* .” And I didn’t. We walked all over the neighborhood until a cult leader approached me and asked me to be his sister wife.
2. Thinking you are appropriately dressed in public, and then realizing you aren’t. I arrived to the bank to get something notarized. I looked down at my feet and realized I wasn’t wearing shoes, I was wearing my house slippers. I was mortified. Even more mortified when I did the same thing the very next day at a planning meeting for a community event. When I went to another appointment, looked down and saw those slippers for a third time, I realized, I am a mother. Because who else would forget to put on shoes before leaving the house?
3. Getting vomited on when it’s not convenient. I was all spruced up in some snazzy new leggings (because the baby weight isn’t going anywhere and jeans suck after you have a kid,) babysitter was on her way, but it was my son’s dinner time. “Here, just take one more bite”, I said. All was going well until he projectile vomited onto my lap. Then I had to put on that damn flowered skirt again!
4. Old phrases take on new meanings. “Blowout” used to mean, hello it’s Friday! Let me swish this shiny straight hair around. Now it means doo doo. Everywhere. Just everywhere. “Date night” was a movie I once saw. Now it means dropping a grip of cash on a babysitter, so we can get drunk and gaze into each other's eyes romantically before collapsing into bed while praying the baby stays asleep, not to be awoken by the sound of our... snoring! (If you thought I was going to say lovemaking, you don’t have have a baby under a year.)
I can hear you judging out there, but if you don’t day drink, you're probably not invited to my play dates.
5. A new diet. My weight loss plan now includes eating Puffs, chewing up food and feeding it to my baby and skipping lunch because I just don’t have the energy to eat. Did you hear that? I don’t have energy to eat. Sounds like crazy talk, doesn’t it?
6. A new alarm clock. I used to set my phone to some delicate chimes to wake me from my peaceful slumber. Don’t need that anymore, a piercing scream now rouses me, followed by the gentle waft of feces in the air. What a beautiful way to greet the day!
7. A new exercise regime. I used to hit the gym up several times a week, now I do five crunches while holding my son until he barfs on me (see #3). I also build arm strength and dexterity while wrestling my tiny bear during every diaper change. He’s strong and he is a real shit kicker. Literally.
8. Cocktail hour is much, much earlier. Meeting friends for drinks after 5 p.m. sounds good, except that doesn’t work with Baby’s schedule so I’ve started drinking at 3 p.m. Okay sometimes 2 p.m. I can hear you judging out there, but if you don’t day drink, you're probably not invited to my play dates.
9. All plans are subject to change. I used to look at my calendar and then actually go to events and meetings I had scheduled. Not anymore! Now, all my RSVP's are straight up "maybe's" and really, we all know it means no. Except when it means maybe! But seriously, don’t expect me, I’m probably not coming.
10. New friends. My friendships were formerly based upon things like, shared interests, going out and having travel adventures. Now I’m more of a mom-seeking-other-moms-to-drink-with type. “Oh you have a baby? Do you enjoy wine in the afternoon? Fantastic! We’re soulmates!”
See my lovely mommy soulmate and our kids below. And a Manhattan:
There you have it, the experiences that have truly opened up my eyes to my status as a New Mother. Now excuse me, I need to go meet some friends for drinks, in my house slippers.
Photographs by: Rebekah Henderson