1. New moms use feet like they’re hands.
I’ve become quite good at picking things up with my feet. If Baby Boo is having a day where he only wants to be held by me, and will only fall asleep on me, then I find myself constantly grabbing things with my feet and toes. iPhone, blankie, burp cloth, bank card: it is a new talent that is accomplished with an awkward wiggle. Sometimes I wish there was someone to witness how amazing my foot/toe maneuvering has become.
2. Don’t be surprised if truck chasing at 7am becomes your routine.
In his sixth week, Baby Boo all of a sudden decided that he disliked his stroller. Since then, every time he is strapped in, he begins a fussy squawk that quickly revs up to deep guttural howling. My eyes dart quickly, trying to find either a loud truck to calm him or a rocky path that I can charge back and forth on; both help lull him to sleep. Whoever thought that I’d be ecstatic to locate a deafening and stinky recycle truck to slowly trail around the neighbourhood? When your baby cries, you find strategies.
3. A poo gallery helps relieve stress.
I have spent time browsing this fascinating poo gallery to determine whether or not things are normal and healthy. I’m a poo detective; it’s dirty business.
4. There are secret signals on the street that welcome you to the new world.
When I wander the streets with Baby Boo strapped to my tummy, parents with young children will nearly always shoot me a quiet smile. No words are exchanged but that small gesture communicates a lot. It says that they understand how I’m feeling, they know how tired I am. That smile is reassurance that it does get easier and acknowledgement that being a new mom is TOTALLY NUTS and likely THE HARDEST JOB YOU’VE EVER KNOWN! Most of all, that subtle smile says, “Welcome to parenthood.”
5. We sway, all day.
Infants require countless hours of rocking, bopping, swaying, pushing and lifting. But the weird thing is that you get so used to it, you don’t stop. Even when Baby Boo is being held by his grandma or dad, I find myself still swaying out of habit. When we come to a red light, I have caught myself rocking the stroller back and forth even when he’s on my shoulder and not in it! It’s nuts. My calves and arms have never been so toned.
6. My breasts wake me up at night and they have feelings. Sort of.
When someone told me that my breasts would know when Baby Boo was hungry, I didn’t understand what they meant. But sure enough every night, since he was about two days old, I awake with rock hard breasts that drip milk moments before he begins to rustle in his bassinet. Not only do my boobs know when he’s hungry but they are also desperate to comfort him. If Baby Boo cries (or even if another kid cries), my boobs will start to cry milk. Sci-fi tits with a mind of their own.
7. I have a newfound love for folk music.
One of the best gifts I received was a songbook. There are often hours in a day where you begin to wonder, what should I do next? You have paced, rocked, swayed and fed your baby, but he or she is still awake in your arms and you aren’t sure what to do. SING! Baby Boo and I have singsongs every day, and because Twinkle Twinkle Little Star can get annoying, we have been singing a ton of Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Simon & Garfunkel and every other folk hero / band from the 1960s/70s.
Note the spit-up dread forming on left side.
8. Get ready to have permanent crunch in your hair.
Some babies spit up less than others but my little guy does a good spit after every feed. Often multiple times. Sometimes 20+ times a day. Patterned clothing is key and so is being easy going enough to just realize that you will pretty much always have baby spit in your hair. I find I wear more lipstick these days, and I think it’s because I feel like it’s one little way to feel kinda together when I leave the house, even if my shirt has stains, my nipples are leaking and there is puke in my hair. Sexy times.
Puke, poo, milk and folk tunes: it may not sound beautiful but it surely is.