There are things I entered motherhood fully expecting and my preparation served me well. Diapers, for example, are something I was prepared for. I am lucky enough to have four younger siblings, two of them much younger, and though my parents never foisted parenthood responsibilities on us, I remember changing diapers very clearly. Lots of diapers. Also, I have a dog, so I’m used to thinking and talking about and cleaning up another creature’s excrement. So unlike Robert, who’d never changed a diaper in his life, I took the 10+ diapers we went through a day in stride. It’s really not so bad, you know, especially when you have a baby that smiles whenever she is naked. Except at night. She screams through night and early morning changes, but those are Robert’s, so whatever.
There are other things I expected about having a kid that never came to pass. I should say that haven’t come to pass yet. Knock on wood. Sleeplessness is one of those things. It’s actually the thing I was second most terrified of. (The thing I was first most terrified of was breastfeeding. More on that later, if I can convince myself that other people care about this.) I pictured Robert and myself as nighttime zombies, rocking a crying baby by the blue light of the TV, which in my imagination was inexplicably on mute. Even worse, I pictured myself a daytime zombie, exhausted from constant feeding and wondering how to entertain a stupid, new human who can’t read or talk or even understand what you’re saying. In reality, with the exception of the first few nights at the hospital, when the nurses kept quietly lecturing us for falling asleep with the baby in our arms, we’re fairly well-rested. Maternity leave, man. Also, having two sets of hands at home. Also, having a baby that loves to sleep. It can happen.
The most interesting things about motherhood, though, are the things I never anticipated. This isn’t a post about how much I, omg, love my baby, because obviously I was going to love my baby, and it isn’t a post about how much I, omg, love being a mom, because I think that’s a super loaded phrase often employed by women who feel the need to either (1) justify their choices to the world or (2) state the obvious. Instead this is a post about stupid, small things that make me go, “Oh, hey, that’s kind of weird and unexpected.”
1. I now wear leggings as pants. I know, complaining about people wearing leggings as pants is even more out of fashion than actually wearing leggings as pants, but I’m going to do it anyway. I never thought I would be one of those girls. Partly because I work in an office and partly because my hips and thighs and butt are the biggest parts of my body and partly because I’m so tall that the long, tunic-y shirts other women wear with leggings just look like regular shirts on me and partly because I don’t know where to buy decent leggings. Mostly it’s that last one, though, because I dress like a slob whenever I’m not in a suit and I have no natural modesty and leggings seem really comfortable. Really, though, where do people buy leggings? I’ve looked and even tried some on, and they always feel weird and ill-fitting, which I’m pretty sure defeats the purpose of leggings. This problem persisted during pregnancy, even though every website and magazine ever lists maternity leggings as a maternity wardrobe staple. Eventually, I found some at Target, though it took five trips to three different Targets in my area, and much hemming and hawing over whether I’m a Medium/Large or a Large/X-Large (obviously I’m the latter), and for whatever reason only the capri-style leggings fit, and even the Large/X-Large full length ones stretched so tightly over my body that you could see right through them. So I bought the black capri-style leggings and they weren’t awesome, because Chicago winters are too cold for capri-style anything and it didn’t warm up until the week the baby was born. Luckily, I left the hospital with a 20 extra pounds in my stomach and an aching incision, so my maternity pants (i.e., pants with a waist that hits in the middle of your ribcage) were still useful, especially the leggings, because obviously. I’m pretty well healed now, but I still wear them at least three times a week, with a t-shirt when I’m at home, and with a slightly better t-shirt when I leave the house, and maybe I’m still adjusting to the fact that I’m not hugely pregnant anymore, but when I catch my reflection in a window, I think, “Damn, girl, you should have started wearing leggings as pants years ago.”
This was going to be a list post, but I just wrote entirely too much about leggings, and am in no mood for editing, so that’s going to be it. Maybe this will be a series, although probably not, knowing my blogging habits. We’ll see.