on life with a newborn.

by Janetha on September 19, 2014

in love life,oh baby

i started typing this post last saturday. it’s now friday and i am finally finishing it up. i’m not editing it to make it look like i typed it all at once, because it’s kinda comical how long it actually took! hopefully i will find the time to blog more frequently.. but right now, my life is consumed with all things baby and i am trying to soak up every last minute of my (short) maternity leave! anyway.. here’s the post.

hi! thank you for all the kind words on my birth story post. i can’t believe that it was over three weeks ago (now four!) that i had my little man. time sure flies by when you are busy with the sweetest newborn on the planet. (i may be biased.)

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i was planning to tell you more about my hospital experience and bringing fox home, but that can wait for next time. today i want to randomly ramble about what my new normal is: taking care of a brand new baby on maternity leave–now without his daddy, since marshall went back to work after two weeks. come october 6th, when i go back to work, i will find another new normal. one i am frankly terrified of figuring out, since this newborn gig is more work than a full time job. adding it to my real life full time job will be tricky. but i will cross that bridge when i come to it.

i am going to go ahead and add this post to my clueless first time mom series, because it will be full of all the new things i’m experiencing. now that my baby is here, i am definitely living up to that clueless first time mom title.. but i am also super surprised at how many things have just come naturally to me. it’s pretty crazy and cool.

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so, i started typing this post a few hours ago (it’s saturday morning) but then it was time for the dogs to eat, and then time for fox to eat, and then i found some time to eat (cereal and coffee.. nope, not cooking much these days.) i have a feeling this post will be published next wednesday at this rate. ;) (nope. i was being too optimistic. it took me until today–friday.) but that’s all part of figuring out how to make it work with a new baby.

i try to limit my laptop time, since my priority is taking care of and spending time with fox. when i do open this bad boy, paying our bills and managing marshall’s LLC comes way before blogging, obviously. i have also had to do some work from home while on leave.. luckily not too much, but some. you really learn to prioritize and take care of the really important things when you can, and all the other stuff really doesn’t matter. and, yes, showering and changing my clothes sometimes falls into that “other stuff” category. and that’s quite alright. babies don’t care how you look or what you smell like ;) although i have managed an every-other-day shower schedule.

so! life with a newborn. i love it. a lot. you always hear mothers gushing about how much they love their children and there’s nothing that can describe that love. they were right. so i am not even going to try. i’ll just say i love that 7 pound, 4 ounce nugget (his weight at his 2 week checkup!) more than i ever dreamed i would. it’s rad. holy crap, my tiny human is so, so amazing.

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gah. he’s so sweet. and he smells so good. i never thought i would love the newborn stage. i told people, “just give me a toddler, newborns make me feel awkward!” lies. i love how little he is and when he grows it makes me sad. it’s so much fun having a tiny baby. who am i?! i also used to be suuuper awkward when holding babies. i actually felt so awkward that i would decline holding them for fear i would do it wrong. but the second that little man came into my life, i was suddenly the baby holding professional. how does that happen?!

since my maternity leave is so short, i am trying to make the most of it and not worry too much about typical day to day stuff like cleaning, cooking, and–yep–blogging. that can all wait. there are only so many moments of napping with a newborn on your chest. and i will never get those moments back.

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here are some fun facts about my new life!

when i find time to shower, i have found that i sway back and forth while i am showering. without my baby. it’s my new motion. i do it everywhere, even if i’m not holding fox. my mom will be holding him and i will find myself just swayyyying away.. baaack and forth. my mom assured me that never goes away, that she found herself swaying in the grocery store just the other day. i am her youngest child, at 31. (here she is with my little mister, burping him and swaying away!)

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my life is now full of all sorts of wipes.

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wipes on wipes on wipes! some for me, some for fox. why don’t they make magical wipes that fix dinner or fold the laundry?

from the looks of my camera roll, you would think i do nothing but stare at my baby.

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okay, so maybe that is what i do 94% of the time. and, yes, the other 6% has involved baking cookies. some days i end up with more free time than others. but, yeah, it’s kinda ridiculous how many photos i have taken… but that’s what technology is for, right? i just don’t bother to take photos of anything else now that this guy is ruling everything around me. and that’s quite alright.

penny and randy are the sweetest helpers on the planet. they follow us around, cuddle up on the couch, and make sure to bark at every last visitor that comes our way. after all, they may be trying to come steal the baby! (sure wish i could explain to them that they really don’t need to bark at my mom every time she comes over…)

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guess what? mom brain is a thing. i am so scatterbrained right now. i keep doing really dumb things, forgetting stuff someone told me 3 minutes prior, and occasionally will just stare straight ahead, blankly, trying to recall what i was doing and why i was doing it. i attribute a lot of that to the fact that i am functioning on very little sleep, but i know moms who still have this issue, even after a full night of sleep. so it’s gotta be a little bit of mom brain combined with the sleep deprivation.

speaking of sleep.. if you have read my blog for awhile, you know i love my sleep. in fact, i used to sleep until nearly noon on the weekends. i have never been a morning person and my love for sleep is probably the thing i knew i’d miss most once fox arrived. i was right. i miss sleep. i am tired. more tired than the worst-hangover-of-my-life-and-have-to-work-at-7-AM tired. but, somehow, i figure out how to function on just a few hours of sleep. it’s the weirdest thing. speaking of being tired.. isn’t his yawn adorable?

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but i am completely okay with dealing with my new schedule… probably because i know it’s not a permanent thing, and it will get better as he gets older. it baffles me that i am able to function so well on the amount of sleep i get. i remember hearing and reading that you just make it work, and you really do! right now i am up every 2-3 hours for about an hour at a time on the good nights. then there are rough nights, when i am up every 1-2 hours for 1-2 hours at a time.. which equates to up all night. i am breast feeding, so marshall can’t help out too much with these middle of the night adventures.. but he does get up to change fox or rock him back to sleep. he’s a great dad.

speaking of marshall.. seeing him with fox makes my heart melt and i have never loved him more! he’s just so dang sweet with that baby of ours.

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i consider myself fortunate that i have such a supportive spouse who is willing to help out so much. i know way too many women who don’t have that type of help, and that flat out sucks. i will say this–i am very glad that marshall and i have such a strong, solid relationship. (additionally, it’s very good that we waited until we we sure we had that strong, solid relationship before bringing a human into this world!) while it’s super fun to have a new baby around the house, it’s also very stressful. it’s important to acknowledge that and to expect it. we are tired. we are confused. we are learning. everything is new. and babies cry.. a lot. caring for a newborn takes patience and love. you not only have to be patient with the baby, but also patient with each other, as you learn how to do this whole parenting thing. we do lots of things different from each other, and neither of us is right or wrong. i am glad we make a good team and are able to figure it all out together.

aaaaaand now it’s wednesday. (and now it’s actually two days later, friday.) yep. i started writing this last saturday, guys.. and i haven’t had a spare minute to open my laptop since then! i mean, yes, i have had spare minutes and i could have probably made myself finish this post.. but i think there are more pressing issues to deal with when fox is sleeping.. like this monstrosity in my room:

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ack, it gives me anxiety just looking at it. i know. it’s bad.

sooo.. i suppose this issue won’t be relevant to ALL those with a newborn, but it’s my current clothing situation. you see, we were planning to buy a new home and move sooner rather than later. so when i got pregnant and couldn’t wear my clothes, i figured i could pack them all away.. since i wouldn’t be wearing them any time soon. plus, all my clothes were in the closet and a couple dressers in my old office which is now fox’s nursery, so even if we didn’t move (which we obviously didn’t), i had to clear that room out for him in case we stayed. and now that i am not pregnant.. well.. i need clothes! so all the bins came in from the garage and i figured i would sort through them in my free time (haha) and pick and choose the clothes i want to wear this fall. because, believe me, your postpartum body is a whole new animal when trying to get dressed. maternity clothes are too big or accentuate the belly. pre-pregnancy clothes are out of the question (hello, new hips and giant, milk-filled boobs!) so with that new issue paired with my limited space to store clothes inside my house.. my work is cut out for me. and at this rate, i will be picking through the bins until my baby is 9 years old.

holy crap, i just spent way too much time telling you about the bins in my room. like you even care. sorry about that. i told you my brain was all over the place!

and now it is friday.. we are current, folks! i should probably stop rattling off bits and pieces about life with a newborn and wrap this up so i can publish it.

life with a newborn is awesome. i love it. i feel like a piece of my life i was missing is now fulfilled and i am stoked. also, i should note that it is flipping hard. the hardest thing i have done. definitely harder than being pregnant or giving birth. i am not even complaining about it. i am just telling you the truth. caring for a newborn is a lot of work. don’t have kids unless you are willing to make the sacrifice it takes to care for them. it’s not just another task to add to the to do list. it’s a list of its own. at least it is for us.

something that gets to me is some new moms act like they have it all together, that this gig is a piece of cake and they can still do everything they did pre-baby, like their newborn is the most perfect baby on the planet, and they can conquer the world. who knows, maybe that is the case for some women.. but i highly doubt it.

bottom line? i knew a baby would be time consuming, but some days i am surprised at just how time consuming they can be. and not in a bad way! in an i-never-want-to-go-back-to-my-day-job kind of way.

in conclusion…holy crap. i love being a mom.

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and i will try to come back again soon to tell you more about my adventures. you know, in that 6% of my time that i am not staring at my baby. he’s got me wrapped around his teeny, tiny finger. and i couldn’t be happier.

xo. janetha g.

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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy September 19, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Ah, congrats! You guys sound really happy.

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momma b. September 19, 2014 at 4:24 pm

Well I’m a bawling nana sue/momma b right here at my computer…..this is just about the sweetest post I have ever read in my life – to have you, my awesome “baby” have your own little one, for you to experience this amazing motherhood thing and to take to it like I KNEW you would just makes my heart swell and want to explode!!! Your insight, honesty and down to earth attitude makes this experience even more sweet for you and Marshall. I am SO proud of both of you! I love to see Marshall’s face when he looks at Fox and/or you – he is a proud daddy and a loving husband!
All my love to the cutest little family around, I am certainly a proud momma b.
xoxoxoxo
I love you more than you can imagine…….

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Lindsay @ Lindsay's List September 19, 2014 at 6:51 pm

same here. crying. i love this job too….and it makes me super happy to share just one more thing in common with you, J.

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jessiker September 19, 2014 at 9:42 pm

Well I welled up, quite a bit!! So tender. And double tender for your reply. I’m too fragile for all this love ;)

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Janetha September 22, 2014 at 11:17 am

we are fragile souls

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Angela September 19, 2014 at 4:31 pm

This was a great post to read for a person that’s kinda fearful of babies too. I hope you keep blogging frequently because I’m sure you’d love to re-read some of these little feelings your having later, just as much as I enjoy reading about them. : ) Sending lots of love to you and your little Fox!

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Megan September 19, 2014 at 5:08 pm

Awww I loved this post so much! I had a big grin on my face reading it. Thanks for your honesty too!

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ML Bishop September 19, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Meals and Moves has always been awesome, mostly because of your warm and un-pretentious way of writing and the way you live your life. You are absolutely nailing your writings about Fox, through the pregnancy to birth and caring for him at home. Totally appreciate that no bs inside look of how it really is, because I haven’t had kids (yet? yet.) You might want to consider turning your experience into a book or something- seriously. It makes the possibility of motherhood so much less overwhelming through your realistic, sweet and honest lens on this blog.

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Janetha September 19, 2014 at 6:25 pm

nicest comment ever. i always enjoy your comments! thank you!! xoxo

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Emily R September 19, 2014 at 6:06 pm

Loved this post! My husband and I don’t have any kids, yet, and I definitely fall under the category of people who are terrified to hold newborns. Hoping it comes naturally to me one day like it has for you. :) So happy for you guys! Fox is precious and oh-so-cute!

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Abby September 19, 2014 at 6:27 pm

I loved this so much. Me, the one who will never ever have kids, loved this so much and am so happy for you guys. Also, the picture of him yawning made me yawn ;)

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Janetha September 19, 2014 at 6:28 pm

lol it makes me yawn every time. knowing you, i know you saying you loved this is BIG. so thank you! xoxo

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CARLA September 19, 2014 at 6:39 pm

Oh my HEART, Friend.
Im so so so happy for you.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxox

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Janetha September 19, 2014 at 6:39 pm

<3 thank you!!!

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Kim F September 19, 2014 at 7:04 pm

This post makes me so happy. Your love for him his just pouring through the page, and we all knew you would make the best mom! Can’t wait to hear more adventures!

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Ashley September 19, 2014 at 7:04 pm

The swaying never stops. Ford just turned one and I still sway all the time! :)

You look so happy! And Fox is so adorable! And I absolutely love his name. Congrats again!

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Becky @ TheBexFactor September 19, 2014 at 7:10 pm

This post just makes me ridiculously happy. I remember reading all of the posts about how you just didn’t want kids and then being so surprised when I read you were expecting. I love how much you’re rocking this mom thing (not that I didn’t have a doubt).

Also, my mom brain never went away :/

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Heather September 19, 2014 at 7:10 pm

Ah! You are getting me so excited. Everything I hear and read is so negative about the first month it’s nice to hear some happy things too!

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Kate @KateMovingForward September 19, 2014 at 8:10 pm

This is probably the most “real” first weeks post I have ever read. It is a wild, precious, unpredictable ride. Enjoy.

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Pat b. September 19, 2014 at 8:17 pm

Love that you shared this wonderful glimpse into your heart. I can feel how much you love your sweet baby boy. Being a mom is the greatest gift and having that little bundle to snuggle outweighs all of the sleepless nights. So glad I had a chance to hold him. He is perfect and so happy for you and Marshall. Enjoy all of the moments that will come. Love you, Pat

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Janetha September 22, 2014 at 11:17 am

love you so much! excited for melina!

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jessiker September 19, 2014 at 9:45 pm

“Hey guys, look at me! I’m over here!” lol
Swaying and bouncing is my life – anytime anywhere. We should make a sway and bounce workout dvd.
I love that you still have time for cookies.
I love you. I loved this post. I love that you love being a mom. I love that we’re mom’s together. I love Fox. I love your life. I love it all.

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jessica September 19, 2014 at 10:37 pm

Isn’t it the most amazing feeling, being a mom! Never ever will you love something so deeply then your child. I love your open honest posts!

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Marie-Sophie September 20, 2014 at 4:43 am

Such an honest and awesome post! I am currently 35 weeks pregnant and this so makes me want to skip the next 5-ish weeks and have that baby right now! (despite all those sleepless nights etc.) :-)

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Janetha September 22, 2014 at 11:16 am

oh.. promise.. you don’t want to skip them. maybe the last 2 cause they suck.. but seriously, there is no going back lol

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lindsay September 20, 2014 at 5:22 am

i love it all. Embrace it woman, mama, wife, etc! <3 you and little fox

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Kristen September 20, 2014 at 8:52 am

You nailed it- completely brought me back to those new-mom-days (can it really be 8 years ago?!!).
You’re doing great. Don’t worry about the bins, they’ll take care of themselves in time. That yawn picture totally made me yawn! And you and your mom’s comments back and forth totally made me tear up.

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Purelytwins September 20, 2014 at 8:53 am

girl this just makes me even more excited to me a mom!!!!!!!! hopefully soon!

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Maren September 20, 2014 at 11:03 am

Please snap chat me all day every day because I seriously cannot get enough of him!!! Wish we lived closer. xo love you!

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Annie September 20, 2014 at 11:32 am

congrats, janetha!! Fox is the cutest cutie. Enjoy every sweet moment <3

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Ali September 20, 2014 at 11:49 am

Awww….your post made me tear up! As do all sappy, mama baby-loving posts now that I have a baby…that’s another thing that happens once you have a baby- you become a sap and tear up about all gushy, cheesy, and/ or sentimental things! My little guy is just over a year and that all-encompassing love doesn’t fade- it goes on and on. It’s the best. Congrats to you and your little family.

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Carolynne September 20, 2014 at 9:44 pm

Haha, I truly love how all over the place this post was. It sounds like you are having an absolutely lovely time being a new Mom. I can’t imagine having so little maternity leave though :( We are extremely extremely fortunate in Canada to have a full year of maternity leave. I wish this for every parent honestly. However, I am glad you are taking full advantage of it and making certain things a priority. Have fun and enjoy every single minute :D

I am so excited for this adventure to start in November for me as well when our little baby makes his or her appearance.

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Corrie Anne September 20, 2014 at 10:17 pm

Such sweet & beautiful pics!! So happy to hear how much you’re enjoying this time!!!

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Pua September 21, 2014 at 1:06 am

As with your birth story, I am so grateful you posted this! We are just days away before our due date and there are moments where I think, “Oh my gosh! Can I do this?!” I think the part that really helps the most is that you’ve been honest before about kids and your anxiety over newborns… I think it’s amazing that you’ve just naturally taken over your new role, and it’s definitely inspiring to someone like me who is scared beyond belief!

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Janetha September 22, 2014 at 11:11 am

you are going to do great. i wish you had a blog because i would love to follow along.. will you please email me pics when you have your babe???

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Kari September 21, 2014 at 8:54 am

I’ve never followed your blog before…I was linked here from another blog that recommended this great post, and wow. Beautifully written! My little guy is just over 6 weeks old and I think you perfectly stated everything I’ve been feeling lately, both the positives and not quite as positives. Also, your little one is just darling. I’m going back to work the first week of November, so you’ve definitely gained a blog follower, as I’ll be interested to see how your transition back to work goes. I am terrified for that myself, but I’m sure we will manage and find a new normal! Best of luck and enjoy your little man!!!!

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Janetha September 22, 2014 at 11:10 am

aww thanks! do you have a blog? would love to follow along with you. or even instagram?

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melissa September 21, 2014 at 12:02 pm

I love that you are head over heals in love with being a mommy.

I sometimes wonder what it would be like, but I don’t think it’s in me. I think I am meant to be a great auntie. I have no maternal instinct at all

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alicia September 21, 2014 at 4:41 pm

beautiful post!! enjoy every minute :)

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lorie September 21, 2014 at 10:33 pm

This is the best post on being a mom. It is real, raw, full of love and truth. I am so glad you have stayed true to the amazing person you are with your truthful, down to earth posts. I have 3 kids and you definitely said it well. I often tell people being a mom is the most joyful, painful thing I have ever done. It is hard, yet like anything so stinking worth it. Blessings to you as you navigate this new normal life God has blessed you with. You are rocking it!

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Tamara September 22, 2014 at 9:15 am

He is so flipping cute, J!! I loved this post. I’m not a mom (nor will I be), but babies are so awesome!!!! Glad you’re focusing on what matters (as in, not fretting too much about showering!) and that your little family is so happy. <3

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cassy September 22, 2014 at 10:05 am

<3<3<3<3<3 x 1,000,000,000
soooo happy reading this.

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Paige @ Your Trainer Paige September 22, 2014 at 10:23 am

This post just makes my whole heart super happy for you :):) xo

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Janelle September 22, 2014 at 12:47 pm

This was such a grea post. You babe is so sweet. I love all of his hair. The swaying never stops…my “baby” is 6, and I still catch myself swaying back and forth (mostly in the grocery store when i’m holding something larger like milk or watermelon). Also, pregnancy brain is really just forever mommy brain. I set something down and 2 minutes later have completely forgotten where I put it. I constantly want to shoot myself. Haha. Thanks for your honesty about how hard it is. I read some other blogs and struggle with how much I feel I don’t get done as a mother even though my boys are older. It will always be a balancing act and there are never enough hours in the day. I’m glad you’re taking the time to cherish the small moments with your little one. When my younger son turned 6, I cried because it has all gone by too fast. Seeing yours makes my uterus ache ever so slightly. Haha. Much love to you and your family!

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Crystal September 22, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Omg, this post was awesome. I rarely comment, mostly lurk, but I’ve always loved how honest and real you are when you write. It seems like you write like you talk, which is pretty cool. Also, Fox is an appropriate name for your baby, because he is quite the little Fox–a total cutie! So happy for you and your family.

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Annette@FitnessPerks September 22, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Love this so much!!! You nailed it! Babies are hard work, but are so so worth it. You can’t even really explain it, but you just love that little human so much & will do anything for them. <3

Love the pics of you with Fox!!

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betty September 23, 2014 at 9:03 am

love love love this! you two are probably the BEST parents to little man. you kinda make me want my own.. hahah.

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Janetha September 23, 2014 at 5:54 pm

GET ON IT, lady!

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Corrie Anne September 23, 2014 at 9:31 am

Have you ever posted about how you chose his name? It seems perfect for him — it just suits him when I see all the pics. I found out I was having a boy, and I’m struggling with boy names! :)

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Janetha September 23, 2014 at 5:54 pm

nope! we both just really like the name fox. we heard it on the x-files, which we are fans of, but our fox is not named AFTER that fox. we just have always liked it for a boy ever since hearing it! it’s unique but easy to say and spell. i hate that my name is hard to pronounce and spell.. and wanted to make sure he had something simple, but still unique. yay for you!! a boy! i am so excited for you. hope your pregnancy is going well! xoxo

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Kelsey September 23, 2014 at 10:53 am

Reading about the love you have for Fox is so sweet! I completely agree…..I love my baby too!

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Madeline September 23, 2014 at 11:15 am

Loved reading this! I’m officially past my due date and this has me so anxious to have this little girl out into the world! Of course, at the same time I am totally stressed out that once she is here I am officially in charge of a human being. Such a scary and exciting time all wrapped together!

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Janetha September 23, 2014 at 5:52 pm

oh, wow, hang in there, mama!! xoxo

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