How Life Has Changed Since Having a Baby
Striped Turtleneck Tee, super stretchy and soft, it’s long too, wearing a small! | Farrah Ankle Jeans, runs TTS | Fleece Vest, wearing a small, more colors here | Gemma Mules, runs TTS, if you’re between sizes, I’d go with the bigger one | Transport Tote, such a versatile bag! // Owen’s Puffer Coat, his color sold out
An easier post to write would have been “What Hasn’t Changed Since Having a Baby,” as that list is definitely much shorter, ha! Actually, that post might be blank because literally everything has changed! But, in all seriousness, this is a post I’ve wanted to write for a while, but had trouble sitting down to write it because I didn’t know where to start. And thanks to a reader for suggesting this one and actually making me get it done.
I remember years ago when my parents said, “kids change everything,” and they weren’t kidding. I’d be lying if I told you everything was fine and dandy and going smoothly, because that’s not the case. Not that there’s anything wrong, in fact, life is pretty good and I don’t have anything to complain about. We have a healthy baby and a happy home!
But, adjusting to life with a kiddo takes time and even though Owen is nearly one, I’m still very much in the transition period. No one tells you just how long it takes to find your new normal, and that once you do, it changes every few months!
It’s even tougher, when you look on Instagram, social media, blogs and magazines at mothers who look healthy, happy, energetic and like they’ve got it all together. Meanwhile, you’re sleep-deprived, struggling to keep up with work and balance your family life. I’ll tell you write now that all those things (Instagram, blogs, magazines) typically show the good. It’s a highlight reel, so don’t let someone’s best days make you feel like you’re a hot mess. You’re doing amazing!
I repeat, you are doing AMAZING!
It’s a double-edged sword, because on the flip side, I’ve gotten some of my best advice, ideas for feeding Owen and getting him to sleep—all through social media. Just don’t let it get you down (easier said than done). Anyway, onto how life has changed since having a baby:
Kids, the place where sleep goes to die! I’m kidding, sort of…Owen has been a champion sleeper since 3 months and has become a pretty great napper too. But, after he started sleeping through the night, I was still struggling to sleep. It used to be so easy for me, but I wake up to phantom cries only to check the camera and see him soundly snoozing.
Before Owen, my normal wake up time was around 7:45, and now it’s 6:45-7:15 which isn’t a huge difference, but is still something I’m getting used to. And more than anything, it’s having to be “on” as soon as I get up because I have to change and feed him!
I have been practicing better “sleep hygiene” and I’m sharing a whole post on that soon, so stay tuned!
Those first few months after Owen was born, our married relationship took a bit of a backseat as all I was focused on was feeding a baby and feeding myself, ha! But, now that things have normalized a bit and calmed down, we’re finding more time to go on dates and just be married again. Scheduling dates is harder and we’re bad at planning in advance, but when we do, it’s always so much fun and so good for our relationship.
But, your marriage is something you have to make time for an prioritize. Yes, we get into more arguments than we did before, but we’re not really the fighting type, so they’re usually resolved in minutes of talking it through. Usually it’s me complaining that I’m doing more of the work, which I think every mom probably has dealt with!
A lot of my friends have had kids around the same time, so they’re very understanding of how hard it is to get together or catch up over a phone call. We go longer between seeing each other and that’s just part of life. I do try to plan girls’ nights when we can, but even that’s hard.
The upside is that I’ve made new friends since becoming a mom. Other moms I’ve met through Instagram, at a coffee shop, at the park and they’ve become the people I see on a regular basis because we’re often doing the same thing in the afternoons—going to the park or for a walk!
I’m naturally a very independent person and I enjoy my time by myself. But, with a kid, you lose a whole lot of your independence. I’m okay with that, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss it occasionally! I’d love to go for a walk by myself, or go to a coffee shop and not have a timeline for when I needed to be home. Or, sleep without being woken by a baby hollering from the room next door!
I do still try to get a little personal time when Rob is home on the weekend. Even if it means I go the gym by myself and then go to the grocery alone—those small things make a big difference!
The Way I Dress
I look in my closet now and laugh a little bit at all the pairs of heels I have and almost never wear. My style has evolved at lot this last year and if you’ve been following along for a while, you’ve probably noticed. More often I’m in flats (or sneakers), jeans and something that’s comfortable and can’t easily be destroyed by sticky fingers.
I got this outfit at Nordstrom, as you guys know, one of my favorite spots to shop! I love that they have a wide variety of price points, style and even stuff for kids. It truly is a one stop shop, which is especially great for the holidays which are coming up so dang fast! Nordstrom also offers alterations, free to Nordstrom Rewards members (soon to be the Nordy Club). You can even bring in other items that need altering!
Cute & Comfy Tops Under $100
This cozy vest is one of favorite purchases this season. The color goes with everything and it’s easy to keep in my diaper bag and through on when it gets a little cooler. It’s super soft too! I also love these flats. They look so chic, but are so comfortable and don’t need any breaking in! For the most part, some version of this outfit is what I’m typically wearing every day (have you been following my #30daysofrealoutfits?!). It’s stylish, but still comfortable and easy enough for a full day of being a mom.
Oh, and if you’re looking for cute coats for your kiddos, check these out! It’s taking everything in me to not buy him too many clothes, haha! Why are tiny clothes so much more fun to buy?!
This is probably one of the areas I’ve struggled the most. I love this blog, but this past year has been one of ups and downs. My content has shifted from being mostly style focused, to a combination of style, mom tips, clean beauty and lots of wellness. Which is great—this is more where my passions lie, but sometimes it makes me feel a little lost, like, “what kind of blogger am I?” Not that it really matters, but it sometimes makes it hard for me to know what to focus on and then I feel a little lost. I’m figuring out, but learning to care less and less about where I fit in and instead just write about what I want to.
The other part of working from home with a kid, is finding the actual time to work. I do have help, but I only have two “full” days, and those days I have help from 9-3. I hate to complain, because I’m so thankful that we’re able to have the help, but only having 2 days a week to try and fit in the same amount of work that I used to do in 5 days is hard, and stressful.
I’m trying to cut back a little so that I’m not so worn down, but it’s tough! I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and have run my own business and I love that part of myself. I’m not willing to let it go, but figuring out how to manage it and balance it now is a new, ever-changing challenge!
The other thing I’ve struggled with since having Owen is not having family close by. This is often one of my biggest complaints to Rob and a big source of loneliness for me. I know that plenty of people have kids and don’t live close to family, but I’m very close with my family and it bums me out that my parents and sisters only get to see Owen every few months.
Speaking of loneliness, this really isn’t talked about enough, but being a mom can be really lonely. I desperately miss the adult human connection and interaction I used to get on a regular basis. When I get out with a friend or neighbor for just a bit, it does so much for my spirit! I really need to make it more of a priority!
I go through periods of loving city life with Owen—parks everywhere, lots of people to pass while we go for walks and tons of coffee shops and restaurants in walking distance. But, other days I can’t get my mind off our tight garage that feels like an obstacle course when I’m trying to get Owen and two bags of groceries up the three flights of stairs to our place. Or, the fact that we live in a condo and Owen’s yard is our small balcony that overlooks the L station. It’s a constant battle and a real test for me to remain positive.
Then there’s my health since having Owen. It’s been a roller coaster and nothing is majorly wrong with me, but if you’ve been following for a while, I just haven’t felt like myself. And, it sucks! I’m working on getting back to my happy place, but when I have less time to focus on that, it happens a little slower.
I love being a mom, even if I don’t always feel like I’m the best at it. Owen brings me so much joy and happiness and I can’t imagine our lives without his smiling face! I wasn’t someone who felt this instant connection with my baby right when he was born, but now, oh my goodness, no one can explain to you the love you feel towards your own baby.
He’s taught me to more patient, less selfish, to relax and just play more and that the most basic of things in the house can be really great toys. Watching him grow, change and learn is really one of the most magical things ever.
So yes, literally every single aspect of our lives has changed since having a baby. While we’re still adjusting to many of those aspects, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Some days are tough and long, but when I look back, this past year has been so incredibly special! And also one of the most challenging both mentally and physically, but I’ve learned that I’m much stronger than I thought I was and that’s something I’m proud of.
For all my moms out there, what would you say has changed the most since having a kid? What’s been the easiest to adjust to? And the toughest?!
Thanks to Nordstrom, a brand I love and trust for sponsoring this post! Partnerships like this help make The Fox & She possible!