The days and weeks are all blurring together. I can’t remember the last time I wore real clothes or left the house. (Sunday? Was it Sunday? I think it was Sunday.) But each and every moment I spend with my little boy (even the screamy ones, though I have to admit, at a lesser extent) is precious. And hey, who cares, right? I have Netflix to keep me company.
EXCEPT WHEN THE INTERNET AT OUR APARTMENT DIES AND THEN I DON’T. [sobsobsob]
What did new moms do back in the 80s, huh? No Internet? No Netflix? HOW DID THEY SURVIVE?
The first time our Internet died (it’s been dodgy for the better part of a week) I was pretty cheerful about it. “OH! My baby loves to hear my voice,” I thought, “so I’ll read to him. Oh, and BONUS! I have to read all these ‘new mom’ books anyway so why don’t I read THOSE to him and kill two birds? MAN, I’M A GENIUS!”
So I picked up The Girlfriends’ Guide to Surviving the First Year of Motherhood by Vicki Iovine and started reading it to my newborn. I actually finished it in about two days. And bless my son, he was so entertained, even though I could tell he didn’t give two hoots about the subject matter. (I can hear his little thoughts now: “Breast pads? Post-natal incontinence? Mommy, why do I need to know about these things?”)
I really liked Iovine’s first book, The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy, so when a friend of mine loaned me Iovine’s book on motherhood I was really excited to read it. For the most part, it did for me what Pregnancy did — told everything about motherhood to me straight, even the not-so-happy parts. I love Iovine’s “no nonsense” take on all the crazy bizarre things that happen to women during and after they gestate. I was all about to give The First Year of Motherhood my hearty approval until I came to a chapter entitled
I Want My Old Body Back!
Even though I’ve already made peace with the new body I have, I wouldn’t mind being able to wear my pre-pregnancy jeans again (mostly because I’m cheap and the thought of me buying new pants makes my wallet cry). So I read on. Because this book is written from the point of view of my “girlfriend”, I expected good ol’ Vicki to tell me, “Hey, girl, it’s okay. You’ll get your old body back naturally and healthily. No worries, girl. For now, focus on nourishing that babe!” Because that’s what I’d tell any of my girlfriends.
I’ve decided that, based on this chapter, Vicki is not my girlfriend. Check out some excerpts:
Eat Only One Meal a Day. Relax, I didn’t say eat once a day. In fact, I think you should eat several times a day, but only once should you sit down and tuck into those three-coursers that were so much fun during pregnancy…
To avoid feeling cranky and deprived, always include a food that my Scottish friends call “fuller”: you know, something that makes you feel full and satisfied. A light pasta, roasted potatoes, rice or a piece of bread are all good “fuller”.
At least once a week, make a big pot of soup to eat at those other times when your body thinks it needs another meal.
You know what that sounds like? That sounds like an eating disorder to me.
When I was knee-deep in disordered eating, those are the kinds of thoughts I’d have: “To avoid feeling deprived, I’ll do X. To trick my body into thinking it doesn’t need more food, I’ll do Y.”
You know what’s happening when your body “feels” deprived or “think it needs another meal”?
YOU ARE DEPRIVED AND PROBABLY SHOULD EAT ANOTHER MEAL.
For the past week or so, I haven’t been able to eat but one meal a day. Because my baby boy loves me so much (let’s go with that as the reason) he won’t let me put him down. So while Dan is away at work all day, I am literally doing nothing but holding, rocking, and nursing my baby. Even if he is as comatose as someone who is actually in a coma, the second I lay him in his bassinet he wakes up and screams bloody murder. Therefore, when my husband gets home, I practically throw our child at him so I can eat something.
You know what that’s done to me? Nothing good for my figure, that’s for sure. And what’s more, I believe it’s diminishing my milk supply.
At the end of the chapter, Iovine kind of comes back around to say that even though your body will never be the same again, the new you is a “better” you. But I feel like limiting myself to one meal a day is doing nothing to make me better. From what I can tell, it’s making me worse. I’m crankier, more tired (if that’s even possible), and my baby is feeling the effects at mealtime.
So tonight, Dan and I made an agreement that he couldn’t leave in the morning until I had a for real breakfast. Like, with protein and stuff. So that even if I have to wait until he gets home to eat again, at least I’m not starting out on E.
In related news, I’m still jiggly and boy do I WORK IT.
5 thoughts on “eat your heart out, girlfriend!”
Sadly, many new mom books are written by persons with not a lot of experience or knowledge and should be burned. Trust the advice of real women you know who have gone through this. When I was a new mom, I called my mom probably ten times a day and she helped me way more than the popular baby book at the time written by Dr. Spock – (not the one from Star Trek), who’s own son, btw, comitted suicide. Most of all, trust your own instincts. You know your baby better than anyone. You’re doing a great job.
Man dan get you some One-handed foods so you can have your bites even mid-snuggle! Momma needs power!
John was the EXACT same way! He wanted to be held and even the thought of putting him down would wake him up and he’d scream like noone’s business! Ted went back to work 2 days after we got home and so it was just me and lil man! I’d forget to eat, wasn’t hungry and didn’t really notice it till I passed out from my blood sugar dropping dangerously low! I didn’t like the “eat once a day” concept at all but when your lil one demands you hold him 24/7 well…it happens! I HAD to figure something out so I started getting snacks, foods that I could just grab and not have to prepare! Things that a would only need one hand for! It’s easy to forget that we need to take care of ourselves when we’re so wrapped up in taking care of baby and when baby won’t settle for anything other than mommy’s arms, it makes it that much more of a challenge! I used to say that my kid was going to be independant, calm, laid back like his daddy…..ha!!! He prefers to be held…always, has a short attention span and gets bored easy…like his momma!
I like the real world aspect of the Girlfriend’s guide books but everyone is different in what works for them! You want a healthy balance and in order to take good care of your lil guy, you need to take care of you!!
Not a mom here, but I have heard of the “put your baby down and let he/she scream themselves asleep” method. Breaks your heart (many friends have done it) but it teaches them that it’s okay to not be held every five minutes. Not sure if you have tried it, but I have seen it work. My sister-in-law, who happens to be blessed with two kiddos mentioned to me that you need to eat a TON of calories in order for your milk supply to keep going so losing weight while breast-feeding is probably not going to happen unless you are beyonce or britney. You look good just the way you are. Like your momma said, you know your body and Dax’s better than anyone. Trust those mommy instincts! =) lots of love! xo
Do you have a wrap or sling or carrier? We got an Ergo carrier (the sport version is what we got, designed to be cooler and fit bigger sizes, so most men can wear it, too) for when our daughter was little and always wanting to be held. It helped soooo much. I could have hands to make myself something to eat and she was snuggled up close to me and happy. Also helped with getting her to sleep at night so we could sort of dance around and not have our arms fall off from holding her for so long.