The other day I was getting out of the shower and noticed that I still have a few dark spots around my neck area. The same dark spots that appeared when I was pregnant with Cataleya… three years ago! At the time my mom mentioned that it was normal, some women get them around their neck or even their face. I’m not going to lie, those little suckers have made me lose a bit of confidence over the years. That got me thinking of how much my life has changed since being pregnant, to having her, to this very moment.
- Bodily changes. Of course we all know that our bellies grow, (hello we’re creating a human!) but I learned the hard way that if you don’t take care of it properly you can start seeing some unappealing changes, which can later create insecurities. For me, I started seeing stretch marks come in at around 5-6 months. I remember going on a rampage to get all the products that would prevent stretch marks or help get rid of them and I swear nothing worked. My belly itched so much that lotion would not help. Now, all that scratching is one of the consequences I’m still paying for.
- Sleep. You will never sleep the same again. It’s so sad to realize that your sleeping habits change drastically, but I mean, what did I expect? I have a little human who fully depends on ME. Before having Leya, I was one heavy sleeper. I would wake up until 11 am or 12 pm during the weekends. Once she was born, for the first few months, I swear I hardly slept. Leya wasn’t a baby who cried at all, so for that reason I was always on alert. When she woke up for a feeding (at first it was every 2 hours) she would just do a very light moan. So with any random noise I heard, I would pop up in the middle of the night just to make sure it was or wasn’t her. I’ve always thought about this long-term as well, I know that one day she’ll want to go out with friends or venture off to college… how do you sleep at night knowing your baby is out there all by herself/himself? Ugh the torture!
- No more privacy. Being selfish is no longer an option. Remember those days when you could take 30 minutes doing your make up or your hair and no one would be annoying your ear asking if they could use your brushes? When you could change after a shower peacefully without having anyone barge in at any second? Well that privacy is long gone. Now that I have a toddler, she wants to be everywhere I am. If I’m on the toilet, she wants to be there, if I’m hoping in the shower, she wants to shower too, if I want to hide away in the room for five seconds to try to gain my composure she’s there too! There’s just no escaping a toddler. They want mommy 24/7.
- You will cry more often. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cried myself to sleep, or while cooking, or my car, even in public. Leya was the first baby that I’ve been around for this long. I mean obviously right? I’m her mother, but what I mean is I was never a kid person. I didn’t really like kids and kids didn’t like me. There was always an awkward barrier. So when Leya came around, it was my very first time changing a diaper, changing a baby, feeding a baby, pretty much all the motherly duties. Many times I cried because I felt frustrated, because I didn’t get enough sleep, or because I would have to sit there and manually pump my milk out and it felt like my nipple was going to fall off. I’ve never been a patient person, but with her I had to learn to be. To this day, I get frustrated because she doesn’t eat properly or isn’t obedient, or screams and cries for everything and nothing. I’m trying to just calm down, and remind myself that she is only three. I have to be patient and pull myself together because if we both have a melt down then what am I really teaching her?
- Views on life. Having a baby at a young age can be very difficult. I had just celebrated my 21st birthday when I found out I was already a month pregnant. I realized that accepting to be a mother at such a young age meant that I wouldn’t do what most people do at 21. I wouldn’t be out at the bar or the club, but instead I would be at home caring for a newborn and listening to Rock-a-bye Baby. I’m not going to lie and say that I didn’t question whether or not I was ready for this. What if I wasn’t ready? But then again who is? There is no instruction manual on how to be a mom. Instinct just kicks in and you learn as you go. My views on life have changed so much since I’ve had Leya. From what’s important and what’s not. Who matters and who doesn’t. People I thought cared about me but in reality never did and overall I came to realize that all I really cared about was my daughter. My love for her is stronger than anything I’ve ever felt before. Being a mom is not just having the title, it’s working at it day by day, pushing through the fears and the long hectic days. It’s staying up with your child on those sick nights but overall it’s putting their happiness first.