There are certain things that I have been really good at figuring out since my daughter has been born. I can soothe her really well when she cries. I can rock her to sleep in under five minutes. I can make her laugh when I talk in silly voices and I can change her diaper in less than thirty seconds (without getting pissed on!)
But, there are some things that I found super confusing. It should have been simple, but for whatever reason it wasn’t. Maybe some of you struggled with these items too?
Installing the car seat: That shit was not easy. Thankfully, I have an awesome brother-in-law who did it for me. He installed it a few weeks before Charlotte was born and the base hasn’t moved since. I had tried installing it on my own and it kept slipping and sliding all over the place. I read the instructions, watched YouTube tutorials but still couldn’t figure it out. I dread when Charlotte transitions into her next car seat. I’m going to need help people!
Folding the stroller: Okay, I know this should be easy. The handle says ‘slide and squeeze’. And that’s what I do. But it won’t budge. And I always manage to do it backwards and squeeze first. And then I curse it and get pissed. When I finally stop swearing and do it the correct way, I always manage to hit myself in the upper thigh as I try to get it in the trunk of my car. I’ve had a permanent purple bruise on my right thigh for over nine months. Because, purple is my favorite color. So why not?
Swaddling the baby: In all fairness to me, the nurse at the hospital showed me how to do this at 3am after I had slept for a grand total of 45 minutes in a 24 hour period. She did it so quickly that I thought I hallucinated the whole process. So a few hours later, Charlotte needs a diaper change. I un-swaddle her and change her diaper. Then try to re-swaddle her. Yeah, it didn’t work. I was too embarrassed to ask to be shown again so I watched a YouTube tutorial (hooray for YouTube!), but I still couldn’t get it. After a couple of days I just gave up. You aren’t being swaddled anymore, Charlotte. Sorry kiddo!
Dressing the baby: This sounds ridiculous, I know. But I had never been around a newborn before. And after two days in the hospital they were like, “Okay, you’re good. Nice meeting you. Go raise your baby now.” Um….do I have to sign anything? Do I need to do some classes first? Are you sure I’m ready? Is there a test??? I had to sign about 14 forms just to get my first iPhone. And I broke that. Anyway, dressing her scared the shit out of me because she was so tiny and getting those delicate little limbs in the right holes seemed like a recipe for disaster. I was always so scared I would hurt her. But I didn’t! I rewarded myself with wine. Lots and lots of wine!
Baby wraps/carriers: No. Just no. They pinched my boobs, hurt my back and neither of us were comfy. I don’t know if I bought the wrong kind or just sucked at putting them on but I hated them and they just did not work. I really wish they had though because I get jealous when I see other mom’s walking around effortlessly with their pretty colored wraps and matching diaper bags looking all Kate Middleton with their new mom glow.
Baby monitors: Setting those fuckers up for the first time is complicated. Well, for me at least. Why can’t things just come out of the box and work exactly the way they are supposed to. Don’t they realize that the people who are buying them are usually super pregnant and hormonal and don’t have time to read a 46 page owner’s manual. My dad figured it out for me. In about 3 minutes. I’m not calling myself dumb, but I will say that I don’t have a clue about anything technology related. I’m lucky I can figure out how to blog.
Assembling any type of toy. I buy furniture used for one reason and one reason only. So I don’t have to assemble it. My friend Michelle can attest to this. When I bought Charlotte’s exersaucer I took all of the pieces out of the box and just stared at them. Hoping that they’d somehow do a song and dance and get put together on their own. Like some sort of magical Disney shit. It didn’t happen. Again, dad to the rescue. I once bought a bookcase and the instructions said it would take 10 minutes to assemble. It took me 90 minutes and 3 glasses of wine. Oh, and ask my good friend Michelle about assembling a TV stand. It took us 3 hours and we had to go out and buy extra ‘parts’. And between the two of us we have three degrees and two diplomas. And zero clues on how to follow diagram-style instructions.
Being a new mom is hard. And when things don’t go right it can feel like the end of the world. Nothing made me feel more stupid than not being able to figure out how to swaddle my daughter. But, in the grand scheme of things, swaddling was pretty unimportant. I figured out the things that mattered the most and that’s what counts. And as for the shit I’m still confused about; well, I’m super grateful that I have fantastic family and friends to help me out. And when all else fails, there’s always wine!