I'll never forgot the words that came out of my mouth the week before my son was born. It went a little something like this: "Yeah, after the first 2 weeks we'll have our routine down and then I have no idea what to do with the other 6 weeks of maternity leave. I'll probably just reorganize the shoe closet and junk drawer a million times!"
OMG- was I clueless! I don't know why I thought taking care of a little baby would be so easy. Like most things in my life I just assumed that if I planned accordingly and over organized that I could get a system up and running in no time. What I didn't know is that newborns don't have "schedules" and they certainly don't fit into any "system" that I could dream up.
When we joke around the office about my "8 week vacation" sitting home in pj's until noon watching soaps all day-it sounds so lovely. In reality being in your pj's until noon sucks on an everyday basis. WHY?! Because you feel like a giant loser. I was embarrassed to go get the mail wondering if the neighbors would think- "Man she had that baby and boy did she let herself go!" So in true "Carly-fashion" I got ready EVERY... SINGLE... DAY(except 2). I did my hair, full makeup and put on actual clothes- I figured the only way to be a pulled together mom is to look the part. At least you can fake it on the outside right?! The UPS man seemed pleasantly surprised when I opened the door. LOL
Seriously though, stay at home moms deserve a medal. It's exhausting and nearly impossible to get anything done, let alone "sleep when they sleep." What a crock. Sleep?! PA-LEASE, I forgot what that even is. I mean the feeding alone is something no one prepares you for. I thought OK they eat every 3-4 hours. Reality Check: make that 2-3 hours and the clock starts from when you START feeding them, not when they finish. Who knew the entire feeding process takes nearly 45 minutes. That means only 1-2 hours before you do it all again. I remember sprinting the isle of Meijer like I was in some sort of Olympic game trying to beat the clock getting groceries and get back before the next feeding. Or me saying "OK- I'm going to try to take a shower AND eat while he naps". No one ever says you lose the baby weight right away because you are literally too busy to eat and you're on an 8 week fast-a-thon.
Though they are the eight craziest and exhausting weeks of your life I remember snuggling my little boy on the night before I went back to work and thinking, "there probably won't ever be a time in his life or mine, where we get to spend 8 uninterrupted weeks together again." It's so weird to think that but I know it's true. It's the most exhausting- yet blissful- "vacation" you'll ever take. Cherish it... I know I did.