8 things I won’t miss about having a baby.
The upside of being done having babies.
Are you faced with the reality that you are done having babies? Some days it hurts, but other days I am glad for the prospect of freedom. What are some of the things that I won’t miss about being a new mother of a baby.
WHAT I WON’T MISS ABOUT HAVING A NEW BABY
Recently, I confessed to my husband that if circumstances were different, I would be ready for another child. I, like you, struggle with bouts of baby fever. However, knowing that I will never experience those special first moments again, I began reflecting on all the things that I won’t miss about being a new mom.
WHEN I CAME DOWN WITH BABY FEVER
For many years I saw other people’s children and thought: why are they so sticky? So loud? So demanding?
However, my hormones had a very different opinion. I remember the day that I declared to my husband that I wanted a baby and I didn’t care how practical it was. I didn’t care about the timing, the money, the insurance, the career…I just wanted a baby as soon as possible.
Of course, while he was supportive, he tried to talk to me with logic. What he didn’t understand, nor can he was that I was suffering from severe, advanced, Baby Fever.
If you’ve had it, you know what I am talking about. It has had many names over the centuries: baby fever, the biological clock, nature, the circle of life…(wait…that might be a little different).
I could make a pro and con list and never have a single thing on the “pro” side of the list for having a baby. Yet, my hormones would dump a whole crate of White-Out on the “con” side of the list just to even things out.
In big neon letters, my ovaries were raging: “I WANT A BABY.”
And, even now, after gaining and losing the baby weight three times, after nursing and weaning the babies three times, and even after finally regaining a good night’s sleep, I can still hear the faint echo of that hormonal demand: “I want a baby.”
TREATMENT FOR BABY FEVER
But, I have support, and I am working through my withdrawal. Sure, every now and then a newborn wafts under my nose, and I can barely keep my hands to myself.
Plus, I sometimes get a good dose of birth control when I volunteer in a nursery, attend a toddler birthday party, or listen to my children scream at me.
They are slowly breaking me of my need for newborns and young babies. And, in fact, I have even gotten to the point where I can recognize that there are certainly some things that I won’t miss.
Perhaps I have looked at the newborn days with severely-tinted rose-colored glasses. Because, I have actually discovered a few things that I am glad to leave behind:
8 THINGS I WON’T MISS ABOUT BEING A NEW MOM WITH A NEW BABY
1. BEING TOLD THAT MY BABY IS COLD
You won’t miss people telling you that your perfectly comfortable, likely sleeping, baby needs a blanket.
Thanks, Karen. It’s amazing that you, sitting across the restaurant on an 80 degree day feel the need to strut across the room just to tell me that I ought to throw a blanket over the baby.
People just love telling mothers that their babies are cold. What’s the deal?
Walk a mile in our shoes, lady. This child has just emerged from being completely attached, under a shirt, under a cover, all while sitting at a table in a TEMPERATURE-CONTROLLED ROOM.
This child is actually sweating. Could you grab me a fan, Karen? I’d like to put my baby and myself directly in front of it!
Well…all that to say…I am not going to miss people telling me that my baby is cold. And, while we are on the subject, why do people get even more bent out of shape about baby socks?
2. BEING TOLD THAT MY BABY NEEDS SOCKS
You won’t miss being told that your baby needs socks!
Anyone who has ever told a mother that her child needs socks has clearly NEVER put socks on a small infant. Or, if they have, they have forgotten that it requires constant maintenance.
You go to the baby shower and everyone oohs and ahhs over those adorable teeny tiny socks.
I remember carefully folding them into tiny little balls and kissing the bottoms of my baby’s feet mere seconds before they were thrown from his feet.
Then, just as a replaced one, the other went flying across the room.
Not to mention, each time I placed my socked and shoed child into his car seat, having little else to do, he removed the socks and the shoes and chucked them across the car.
Now, not only am I running late because that baby had a blowout moments before leaving the house (see number 7), now, I am crawling around in the crumbs that cover the floor of my car looking for that adorable.teeny. tiny. baby. SOCK.
So, if you are about to tell a mother that her baby needs socks, you likely don’t know how many socks she has been through that day.
3. BEING TOLD THAT MY BABY IS HUNGRY/TIRED/THIRSTY/GASSY/ETC.
Are you tired of people telling you what your baby needs? Does some helpful stranger love to tell you that your baby is tired, hungry, thirsty, gassy, or anxious every single time that they cry? I won’t miss that about having a baby.
When I had my first baby, I was fairly receptive to parenting advice from fellow mothers. I hadn’t walked this path before, so I read the books, attended the classes, and found other mothers who had done it successfully.
When they told me that I should put him on a three-hour schedule, I listened. When they told me I should supplement, I complied. And, when they told me that he should never cry in bed, I was happy to oblige.
But, guess what, my second and third baby were nothing like my first child. My second child was on a four-hour schedule, never drank any formula, and didn’t sleep through the night until about 18 months old. I was exhausted.
Plus, sometimes, she liked to just scream for no real good reason…still does.
She cried at home, at childcare, in public, and even at family events.
So, when I was out in public and my baby would start crying or fussing, I rarely needed to do much but wait it out. Sure, sometimes she needed to be fed or have a diaper change, but she never needed a stranger’s intervention.
I will not miss the taps on my shoulder suggesting that my daughter needs a nap. I will not miss the judgmental eyes wondering why I didn’t just feed that baby. And, I will not miss being told by others that my babies smell, drool, or snot. I already know that they are disgusting.
Who else would like to coordinate a pump-burning???!!! Not having anymore babies means that you don’t have to carry, use, or CLEAN a pump EVER AGAIN!
I nursed all three of my children. That is not a judgment or a proclamation; it is simply a fact.
I also worked while all three of my children were nursing. Thus…the pump.
I HATE THAT THING.
When you nurse a child, you get to snuggle, cuddle, and grow that special mother-child bond. Despite the long nights, the soreness, and the initial struggle, the payoff is much greater.
When you nurse a plastic machine, you get pulling, whirring, and annoying hissing coming from your office.
My poor coworkers, especially the male ones, having to wonder what that little bottle of white cream was! I think some of them are still afraid of the refrigerator!
My poor clients, sometimes having to hear the sounds of an engine revving while I took their call.
And, the worst…forgetting your pump. I won’t go into the details, but if you are a mom who has ever forgotten her pump…I am so so sorry. The pump was terrible, but it was your only relief.
I am glad to never have to go back to the pump.
5. BEING ASKED WHEN I WILL HAVE ANOTHER BABY OR WHETHER I KNOW WHERE BABIES COME FROM
For some reason, when you are pregnant, people feel the need to comment on your pregnancy. People love to share their terrible experiences, love to share their advice, and love to opine on the number of children you are having. Rarely do you receive a simple “congratulations.”
For months, one of my coworkers teased me about having twins (I was only pregnant with one).
Then, only a few months after giving birth to my first, the questions about when we were having another surfaced.
Certain that our family would want more children, people began tapping their feet. Acting like our family planning was affecting their schedules.
My boss even told me that it was obvious that we would have more children so why didn’t we just get on with it.
Then, after cautiously announcing our third (if you want to know why cautiously, read here), complete strangers would see me out and about and ask why we didn’t stop having children.
Contrastingly, if I was out in public with my two younger children, pregnant with our third, I would inevitably get a “you would think you knew how to prevent that now.”
Thinking that they were hilarious, people would ask me if I knew where babies come from, whether we were Mormon or Catholic, and whether my husband was getting a vasectomy.
Not having anymore babies means not being asked both when you are having children or when you will stop. (Hint, we are still adopting, to read more about that, click here!).
6. CONSTANT PEDIATRIC VISITS
I can take my doctor’s criticisms, suggestions, and questions a lot better than I can take those of complete strangers.
However, not having anymore infants means that you can leave those daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly pediatrician visits behind you.
With your first child, the pediatrician checks can become a family event.
My husband and I would stroll into the pediatrician’s office carrying our safely buckled car seat, a truckload of diapers, change of clothes, wipes, snacks, and our Sunday best.
But, after months of weight checks, I was over it. When we hit the one-year mark and could leave those ped visits behind us I was so grateful.
But, then we had a second and a third child. By then my husband wasn’t so excited to take the afternoon off to carry three screaming children into the pediatrician’s office so that I could fill out dozens of pages of questions, keep all three children from licking the floor, and still somehow listen to and answer the doctor’s questions. We turned doctor’s visits into a circus.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that you are extremely grateful for your children’s medical staff. But, not having anymore babies means that you can finally give them an opportunity to forget your names for at least a few months.
7. DIAPER BLOWOUTS
As a mom, diapers just aren’t that big of a deal.
But, you are probably not sad to leave those disgusting, inevitable blowouts behind you.
Set the scene: One beautiful Sunday afternoon my best girlfriend and I were driving South from a weekend road trip. After about 4 hours in the car, the baby woke up, and we decided it was time for a break and some food.
We pulled into the restaurant parking lot. I reached into the car seat to extract my baby. And, my fingers audibly squished into the back of the car seat.
My fingers emerged covered in orange goo.
Carefully, I extracted the child from his seat and proceeded to shake his clothes off of him onto the parking lot while she shrieked with laughter.
(At the time my friend had no children of her own and felt no need to intervene, only heckle!! She actually has a brilliant photography business, check some of her work out here.)
She laughed at me and the baby as I held him at arm’s length walking through the restaurant to the bathroom. She laughed at me as I wadded soiled clothes up into a plastic bag, and she continued to laugh at me as I gagged over the smell, the color, and the sheer volume of the excrement.
It was disgusting. A great memory for sure. But, disgusting. I won’t miss the blowouts, and I doubt you will either!
8. CAR SEATS
Of course my kids ride in car seats, but I can tell you that I will gladly throw them into the fire with my pump and my law school notes.
Car seats are a cruel joke on millennial parents.
Having been raised without a car seat, at least not after age 1, in an era when an arm across the seat sufficed as a seatbelt, I am frustrated by car seats.
To add insult to injury, given my children’s size, height, and weight (they are all small for their ages), they might not size out of car seats until they are in high school.
Do you know that the estimated age for my child not to need a car seat as a result of his height and weight is? 12. 12!
If you were 12 and riding in a car seat, how many of your middle school friends would make fun of you?
And, who’s to say that they won’t change the regulations again. The car seat that was top of the line for my infant only 6 years ago is now an apparent death trap wrought from careless and ignorant racketeers. I’m going bankrupt on car seats not to mention the back pain!
Yes, I know; I know; they keep my kids safe. Before you get too bent out of shape, I am not proposing that I rebel against car seats. I am just saying that I am glad that I will never have to lug a baby seat around again. Further, I am grateful that nearly all of my children are now in booster seats.
I will be glad to put the car seats in my rear view mirror (hahaha!)
Sure, you will miss the baby giggles and coos from the back seat, but I bet you won’t miss working into a sweat each time you have to move a car seat or buckle a toddler.
MAYBE NOT HAVING ANYMORE BABIES WON’T BE SO BAD
So, yes, I still struggle with baby fever. I still feel the pangs of wanting another baby. I look back with dreamy longing at those midnight feedings, the first smiles, and the coos.
I didn’t even mind the diapers, the spit up, or the sleeplessness.
But, maybe, giving it up won’t be so bad. There are certainly parts of new motherhood that you can admit that you can gladly give up.
If you are a mom who is struggling with the idea of not having another baby, maybe this list will help you.
One of these days you will wake up after a full night’s sleep, without a pump, and without the constant nagging of strangers in the grocery store.
Won’t that be nice?