you know you have a new baby when…

August 29, 2011

You eat some sugar snap peas and a bowl of cereal and call it dinner.

You worry that the crunching of your cereal may wake the baby. The baby that is in another room, behind a closed door.

You consider yourself more accomplished than ever before in your life if you water your two plants in the same day.

Wait. Scratch that. You consider yourself more accomplished than ever before if you master the magical babywearing contraption called the Moby wrap on the first try.

If it takes twenty tries, you are normal.

No matter how many times it takes you to master the wrap, every time you wear your baby in it, you feel a bit smug and also totally in love with carrying your baby close, hands-free!

You throw a pillow across the room at 3 a.m. because you just can’ for one more second and then you cry when the baby daddy picks it up for you because that’s just. so. nice.

You spend a rare spare five minutes updating your facebook status and bantering on Twitter and then feel exhausted by all that leisure time.

You know the floorboard dance. You could do it in your sleep. If you slept.

You remember that you haven’t brushed your teeth as you run into someone you haven’t seen in quite some time while wearing your pajamas and a baseball hat at the grocery store. At 3pm.

You almost never ever know where that smart phone of yours is, anyway. You used to have it on your person at all times but miraculously, it is now just an after-thought.

You hear said phone ringing somewhere from the depths of something far away and you can’t for the life of you figure out why the doorbell sounds so funny and muffled.

You go into a blind rage if the dog barks when the doorbell actually does ring.

After two days of gas-induced crying, you feel joy like nothing you’ve ever experienced at the sound of a major diaper blowout.

You think four straight hours of sleep is a good night’s rest. If only you could have it.

When you get more than three consecutive hours of sleep you feel so rejuvenated that your to-do list for the day suddenly reads (but is not limited to): finish painting exterior of house, go to recycling center, Goodwill and the grocery store, finish all scrapbooks for all children, make a cake from scratch, write a post pretending to be a humor blogger and then cut everyone’s fingernails. And toenails.

Yesterday, after no sleep whatsoever your to-do list said: water the two plants.

You feed your older children popcorn and turn on Wild Kratts and then you call it dinner and movie night.

You feel a little guilty when they fall for that.

You take a shower during dinner and movie night and wonder why showering has never felt like twelve hours of sleep and a massage before.

While in the rare and beautiful shower, you have 6 new great ideas. You decide you need to blog about all of them or at the very least, you must update your facebook status with all the wisdom you just created all on your own. You try a memorization game to be sure to remember the ideas when you get out. But when you get out, your train of thought is more like: I better hurry. What time did I feed the baby last? 9:30. Wait. It’s 9:30 right now…look at that vent. I don’t remember that vent being there before.  I wonder if it was always there. It’s silver. I better hurry….wait. what was that? Is that crying? No, I think it’s a cat or a wolf or something…I’m hungry. I want hummus. I’m so glad I’ve finally figured out what the best hummus in the world is. What time is it?

You go on a solo outing to get groceries. You are high with freedom mixed with exhaustion-a lethal combination. You are so high that you’re thinking thoughts like, Wow, there are people in all of these houses. Every one of these houses has people. Or maybe not every one, but most of them. The empty ones want people.

You believe these thoughts are the most profound thoughts you’ve ever had.

You want the baby to sleep so badly but the baby won’t sleep and you wonder if the baby may have a sleeping disorder-a rare baby one, and then the baby sleeps and then you wonder if the baby should be sleeping so long, maybe the baby is sick.

You watch your baby sleep without blinking your eyes because you can’t blink because then you might not see that slight rising up and down of that tiny chest. You hold your breath while not blinking.


And finally, you know you have a new baby when…

You look in those baby blues and you feel every best song and best poem and best story from your life.

(And it’s not an actual audible hallucination provoked by sleep-deprivation;

it’s love.)


P.S. If I’m the only one, please don’t tell me. Let me live here in my shower-induced fantasy world.


Natalie August 29, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Been there three times. Love this! I remember with sadness all the underappreciated 30 minute hot showers of my youth…
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Sharry August 29, 2011 at 2:26 pm

What a beautifully written, heartfelt piece. I remember those time of discovering “the vent”. But I did not experience it to the extent that you have. You are an amazing woman and mother and I look forward to every post your write! Sending good thoughts your way…
Sharry recently posted..SOMEDAY I’M GOING TO BE FREE..

Jo August 29, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Hey beautiful one…can we talk in private? Email me please.

Krista August 29, 2011 at 2:36 pm

You’re not the only one. That is exactly what having a newborn is like.
Krista recently posted..How to make your child fear Santa… in August.

Allison @ Alli 'n Son August 29, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Yes. A thousand times yes. I’d add to the list desperately wanting more time to blog, and then when you get the time feel guilty for not cleaning the house, making dinner, or doing any number of other things on your list. But then, 15 minutes into your blogging time, the baby is crying, and hungry. Again.

I have a 5 week old. I totally and completely understand.
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Ellie August 29, 2011 at 3:03 pm

LOVE IT! I chuckled at the “floor board” dance. OH – and the dog barking thing?!? TOTALLY get it.

And the profound thoughts on 2 hrs of sleep – OH, have I been there.

Amazing how I forget it all! This totally brings it back. Good to see the funny in the newborn days, which have enough hardship to go around.

I remember one night I drove on the highway at midnight – just DROVE – laughing like a maniac because I had no kids in the car, and I was away from the baby for like half an hour. I felt like I owned the whole world. Not something one does when one doesn’t have a newborn. :)


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Nichole August 29, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Yes. Awesome. And so so true.
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Sara Sophia August 29, 2011 at 3:40 pm

This is one of the most perfectly put things I’ve ever read.

I remember all of it.
And? ODDLY? I want it again.

Even the desire to kill the dog with blunt objects (at his doorbell bark).
I even want that.

I love you so much,
Sara Sophia recently posted..Words on Motherhood Part One

Heather August 31, 2011 at 9:16 am

I know I’m going to want it again. And that’s just CRAZY talk since I’m totally insane with sleep-deprivation and hormones right now. It’s funny how we want for this love-pain.


Sherry August 29, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Those made me chuckle, a lot! Especially the shower one (I’ve never noticed that vent…) HAHAHA! Sounds dangerously like some of my thoughts, and I don’t even have a tiny newborn keeping me awake non-stop (anymore)!! Here’s to some sleep…!!

Carrie August 29, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Oh my word, yes. Davey will be 5 weeks old tomorrow, and yes. I don’t know how you have time to even write this. I resonated with EVERY one of these things. :)
Carrie recently posted..He’s Here!!!

Carrie August 29, 2011 at 5:34 pm

PS – I’m so glad I’m normal…sometimes with the weird anxieties about baby sleeping & eating & all that, I start to think maybe I’m losing my mind! :)
Carrie recently posted..He’s Here!!!

Ann August 29, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Oh yes, the floorboard dance. Mine was a straddle, and unfortunately I forced everyone who entered our place to do it also. In unison.
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Erica@PLRH August 29, 2011 at 6:00 pm

I’m so glad you’re keeping a positive outlook. I used to think that things were rough when I didn’t have enough time in the shower to shave both legs. Obivously, that’s nothing compared to colic!
Erica@PLRH recently posted..Demons Out!

Jodi August 29, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Schneikees……my youngest is 18 months and I still am feeling like the luckiest person in the world IF I get a shower. I confess, I once left my daughter who climbed into a tree sitting there (she was stuck–and safe) while I quickly ran in for the 30 second blitz after probably three stinky days of sleep deprivation. Yes, my kids still DO NOT sleep through the night. BUT, I get more sleep than the newborn days–so I am counting my blessings! :0) Yep, I’ve experienced every single thing you have posted today! ha! Good memories!

Kellyn August 29, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Wait…you get showers!!! I am lucky if I remember to brush my teeth each day…almost forgot today!

Big Hugs, thank you for reminding me that I am normal!
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nicole August 29, 2011 at 9:18 pm

This made me laugh, as I sympathized with you. And then smile at that sweet picture. Such a perfect glimpse of mom life.
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Kait Palmer August 29, 2011 at 11:33 pm

AMEN! I have a daughter who will be 4 weeks old tomorrow and I am BEYOND blessed that she DOES sleep 5-6 hours at a time at night!
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Galit Breen August 30, 2011 at 7:38 am

Oh you, no you’re not the only one!

I love hummus, too.


That photo is genius.

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Jen August 30, 2011 at 10:50 am

I just loved this post. :-)
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Elaine August 30, 2011 at 1:57 pm

That’s TOTALLY me in the shower too. Even to this day, with a toddler and 2 boys.

And what’s the best hummus?? Do share!!!

Elaine recently posted..Best.Shower.Ever.

Heather August 31, 2011 at 9:17 am

Elaine, in my humble opinion the best hummus is Sbaro pine nut. Sounds boring, but the flavor is seriously so good it makes me feel like I’m eating cheese. And that’s good. :)


Heather August 31, 2011 at 12:50 pm

I crack my sleep-deprived self up. SABRA. Not Sbaro. or whatever I said. sheesh.

Sabrina August 30, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Totally get it!

Christine @ Coffees & Commutes August 30, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Oh my goodness, yes to all of it!! And what does it mean that I kind of miss (wait did I say that?). I remember thinking when I looked into houses in my sleepless haze that everyone in THAT house must be sleeping, I just know they are. The very house looks RESTED!
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Karen Cleary August 30, 2011 at 5:30 pm

I have three boys. The oldest is 3.5 yrs, then 21 months and an 8 wk old. I’m there with you. Snap peas and cereal are an excellent dinner choice!

Cheairs Redefining Typical August 30, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Your post brings it all back. I think you said it beautifully. How I remember those moments at the grocery store. When I could steal those precious moments by myself. I remember after my first little one was born. I had post pardum depression. To get “out of the house” I would walk across the street to the market after my husband got home. I would around the store just gazing at frozen pizzas, chips, apples, oranges, or maybe the baked goods. I remember vividly the night that I was approached by the same store employee no less that five time during a 30 minute time frame. He kept asking me, “Um..Miss. Is there something I can help you with” or “Are you sure I can’t help you find something.” I would just stare at him and say, “No I’m just looking. Just browsing.” Like I was in some fancy dress shop.
Thinking of you. The pictures are amazing!
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Jamie September 1, 2011 at 8:20 pm

This comment made me laugh out loud! :)
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Jackie August 31, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Oh my goodness, you have described my life perfectly. Especially showers, and especially the part about having a million great ideas that seem to quickly slip away once you step out of the shower and back into reality!!
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Jessica@Team Rasler September 1, 2011 at 1:19 am

Yes, yes, and more yes. The post-shower thoughts were spot on! If we ever have a third, I shall pray that my boys fall for the movie night trick. Lovely post.
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Jamie September 1, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Great post. As usual…so funny. so sweet. so true. And your baby Elsie is adorable!!! I remember when I would escape to the grocery store alone, I would walk around thinking, ‘these people don’t know I have a baby at home…’ I still wonder why I thought that so much every time.
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tracey - justanothermommy September 1, 2011 at 9:56 pm

For someone so sleep-deprived, this was an AWESOME post.
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Emma (emmasota) September 2, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Thanks for this post! Lately, I have seen too many posts and FB updates about babies who sleep for ten hours straight. I have a 2 year old and a 3 month old, and I can relate to 99% of what you’re living.
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MidnightCafe September 2, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Oh, Heather!! I laughed and laughed and cried and cried when I read this. Oh, the shower that feels like sleep and a massage…and the pj’s in the grocery store…and throwing a pillow across the room… Oh, sleep. And sleep deprivation. And babies. And children. And love.
MidnightCafe recently posted..It’s like having a newborn…

Jess September 3, 2011 at 1:10 pm

O you are so right on there with these! I can relate to every single one- you express it so well even with sleep deprivation! Amazing!
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