As I open the cutlery drawer to grab a spoon for breakfast, I find myself giggling over a few funny changes that have taken place since baby Joan was born. There’s the big changes, of course, like constantly having a little person attached to you, no longer sleeping for long stretches and having milk come out of your nipples, but those changes are groundbreaking and obvious. I’m talking about the little things, changes to my routine and habits that perhaps only myself or Ben might notice. I wanted to jot them down because each stage of this baby business sees so much growth, and you often don’t have time to reflect on that. Odd things become your new normal and you can’t remember that they were once odd. That you once got dressed without making sure your bra was padded and your top gave you easy boob access. Or maybe you did… Either way, here are some of the little, sometimes less spoken about changes that I have experienced over the past three months.
♥ While in the past a 5am wake-up call felt like a slap in the face, I now love being up at that hour with Joan (provided I’ve had some sleep overnight, that is. And usually I have). It’s quiet, her onesie is soft and warm, and her eyes are cozily dancing between open and closed. We’ll feed and snuggle in bed and watch the sun start to creep through the blinds, before snoozing a little longer.
♥ I now only eat from big spoons. Gone (for now) are the days of dainty spoons and fumbling with rice grains on a fork. Don’t even talk to me about chopsticks, instead please hand me the biggest spoon you can find, as I need to feed my face swiftly and reduce the chance of dropping muesli on my baby’s head, who is probably asleep on my chest. Soup and hot coffee are a no-go, obviously. Cool food and fluids are all I can eat when bubs is on me (which is most of the time).
♥ More to the above point, I previously favoured pretty bowls and plates, op shop gems with gold trimming. They are now living on the lower shelf, as I only reach for things that can be put in the dishwasher. True story, my brother came over when Joan was about 5 weeks old and I suggested we all take turns eating cake from the same plate so we could get away with dirtying only one dish. Based on the looks on my brother and husband’s faces, I inquired as to whether I’d gone too far. Apparently I had.
♥ A shower has never meant so much to me.
♥ I have endless podcasts backed up in my feed, ready to be devoured. Before our bubs came along I would hunger for the next episode of This American Life, Death, Sex and Money, The Longest Shortest Time, etc, but now I rarely get through a whole episode in the car or when on a walk because I’m too busy talking to Joan. I have seven Spilled Milk episodes to listen to! That’s a record.
♥ Baby poo is a legitimately interesting topic of conversation.
♥ I’ve become a super speedy ninja when it comes to putting clothes away and tidying our house. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in five minutes. It’s also amazing how a tidy house can make you feel like less of a sleep-deprived nutcase.
♥ Avocados are now, officially, the best food ever, combining deliciousness, convenience and nutrition. Eggs are a close second, followed by nuts.
♥ A cup of coffee has never meant so much to me.
♥ I now see my boobs as Joan food-bags and consequently have no qualms about whipping them out in public when she needs a feed. Pre-baby this behaviour may have resulted in an arrest but now, I’m the opposite of bashful. Normalising breastfeeding is important to me. I try to cover myself to some degree but I also don’t hide away.
♥ I must have snacks on me at all times. In my bag, next to my bed, in my pockets, in the car. All day every day, snacks.
♥ More to the above point, a jar of nut butter has never meant so much to me.
♥ My hand bag is now a nappy bag (this one – totally worth the money) and it weighs 257kg. Seriously, I must get better at packing light. But I kinda feel like I need 10 spare nappies per outing.
♥ Family dinner no longer means Ben and I sitting together watching an episode (or half) of The Wire with meals on our lap. Side note: I love the idea of a family dinner at the table, but during the week we’re totally on the couch. Currently, I’m happy if I cook one day a week and rely on the other days to be throw together meals. We assemble some sort of dinner, bring our plates to the couch and on goes The Wire. These two things are the same. But now, instead of 8pm we are eating at 6 or 7pm. The volume is lower and subtitles are on, as we don’t want Joanie to learn how to negotiate a drug deal. If Joan is peaceful and not hungry yet, we’ll pop her in the bouncer and she sits there like a happy cherub, watching the two of us eat. We usually get through a few minutes of dinner, constantly rewinding our show because we’re too busy laughing at what Joan is doing, before she gets sick of the bouncer and wants in on the fun. I’ll feed bubs while Ben finishes his dinner, and then we head upstairs to her room, put the salt lamp on and we begin the settling routine. I’ll finish my meal on the daybed in Joanie’s room while Ben burps and settles her, and then all go to bed in our room. In the future, I’m sure Ben and I will want to sit down for dinner and moment of “just us”, but right now we’re taking all the sleep we can get. It’s our new definition of a family meal and we love it.
♥ Getting into bed is such a treat. Lying down, arms free, back rested…it’s complete bliss, in a way I could never have imagined. At bedtime we always joke, “see you in five hours”, praying that we get solid block of sleep. You never know when your babe will wake for a feeding, some nights it’s after three hours and sometimes we indeed get a beautiful five hour stretch. Either way, those first moments of rest are absolutely A.M.A.Z.I.N.G, filled with the sweet, silly hope that tonight might be the night baby Joan sleeps through.
And there you have it. Just a few little thoughts, some funny little changes, all because of this little cherub…