5 (Unexpected) Things That Happen to You When You Become a Mom

As we celebrate Liam’s 4 month birthday (be jealous, it’s a party every month at our house!), I find myself reflecting on how motherhood has changed me. Far gone are the days when I whined about being bored or slept in on weekends… Nowadays, I pray for a long nap so that I can get all my chores, work, and hair done in about an hour and a half.

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As a first time mom, you can expect:

  1. Your social skills to need some work. Who can blame you? You spent the last month of your pregnancy on the couch (you’re just so huge and tired) and the first three months with baby pretty much at home 24/7. Except for the few friendly visits, well, it’s basically just you and baby. Your conversations consist of drawn out sounds and silly facial expressions. You’ll realize that each time you do venture out into the world, your social skills are a little rusty. Deep down, all you want to do is get into some comfy sweats and buy some cute shoes online… for your baby, of course.
  2. To cook all of your family’s meals in bulk. Hubby wants some pesto pasta tonight? Sure, no problem, let’s just cook up 5 packages of penne so that we have leftovers tomorrow and the day after and three freezer meals for nights when we don’t want to cook. Trust me, when baby starts teething, the last thing you’ll have time for is to boil a pot of water.
  3. To become an expert multi-tasker. Basically all of your daily activities–cooking meals, doing laundry, dishes, talking on the phone, even brushing your teeth– will be done while you rock a baby on your hip. It’s an acquired but necessary skill if you want to get anything done during the day.
  4. To get used to only getting 4 hours of sleep at night. If you would’ve told me a year ago that I would be that girl, I wouldn’t have believed you. I used to love to sleep. There was nothing better than a good 8 hours of sleep… Now, I wake up at 3 am to feed Liam without blinking and start my day at 6 am as if I was always an early bird.
  5. To become a singer/songwriter. You can come up with a catchy melody as easily as Taylor Swift does. You will spend most days (and some nights) singing made up songs to make baby smile or put him to sleep. The best part? Your baby loves your songs, no matter how repetitive your lyrics are (or how off key that last note was!)

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Johanna Riehm teaches in the department of Communication and Media at Manhattanville College and in the department of English at Mercy College. She teaches courses in the history of communication, public speaking, and social media, as well as creative and technical writing workshops. Johanna’s work has been featured in Graffiti Literary Magazine, The Write Place at the Write Time, The Bangalore Review, Cactus Heart Press, and the LaMothe Review. She is working on her first longer work, a creative nonfiction novel called We Carved Our Names in Tamarind Trees.

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