Like most SAHM’s, I don’t generally watch television because… well, there just isn’t enough time in the day, but I do check my email and browse my FB at least once a day (mainly as an outlet when I’m needing a break from the monotony that can be my weekday), somewhere between kitchen cleaning duties and checking under my children’s furniture for mysteriously hidden dirty laundry.
I recently stumbled upon an article posted in the Parents section of today.com, in regards to a piece done on the Today Show to promote the new Bad Moms Christmas movie starring Mila Kunis. Kunis spoke to the show and was quoted saying, “I literally drove myself crazy with my first kid.” I must admit that upon reading this one little line, I kind-a, sort-a laughed… a lot… inside.
I didn’t really have to read anything else in that article or interview to understand what she meant. Inside, my heart was just saying, “I know,” in that warm, soft, understanding tone that you would use when trying to console a friend.
I tell everyone that going from zero children to one is a BIG deal! I personally think that the adjustment of going from zero to one is the biggest and most difficult adjustment. That first baby has the potential to drive us women sh*t crazy and change us completely to where we don’t even recognize ourselves anymore!
One minute you’re barefoot and carefree not bothering to waste a dime on antibacterial anything. Suddenly, the next minute you’re clinically OCD and trying to control the universe!
I remember all too clearly the pressure and stress I put myself under as a first-time mom and I see it all the time in other moms. I didn’t want too many people touching my baby. I didn’t want people coughing or sneezing in the same room as my baby. I didn’t want my baby to put ANYTHING in its mouth that wasn’t my nipple. I didn’t want my baby’s hands to touch ANYTHING because we all know where babies hands end up. I didn’t want my baby to cry. I didn’t want my baby to touch the floor… ever. I didn’t want my baby to share toys because sharing toys equals sharing germs. I tried to schedule everything perfectly and keep it consistent – feedings, outings, naps, baths, bedtimes. Breastmilk exclusively, no tv, natural, organic, homemade baby puree, early exposure to books, classical music, etc…
It was CRAZY!
Needless to say, I remember that time as being VERY difficult. The worst part is that I remember being incredibly stressed, on edge. I remember being grumpy, moody, and let me not even get into how critical I was with my husband (poor thing); he couldn’t do anything right so, I just had to do it all myself.
I think every mom can relate to these things to some extent. We all go out and buy the most expensive diaper and wipes brand for the first kid. We all stress over so much stupid and irrelevant crap with the first kid. Some mom’s never even recover! I know women whose friends just claim plain and simple, “she just changed… didn’t used to be like that… I don’t know what happened.” Well, I know. I know because I’ve been there and done that. However, most of us do snap out of it… THANKFULLY!
I really can’t say for sure what it was that got me over that “crazy” hill, but after my second was born, I decided that my sanity was more valuable to me than the germs on the floor that might give my child a cold, but most likely won’t kill her. It was SO different with the second and we put so much less pressure on ourselves with each child because we live and learn. Ahhh… the beauty of wisdom!
I realized that germs don’t necessarily kill (most of the time) and everyone is happier when things aren’t so perfect. I learned to breathe, relax a bit, and let things play out. I learned to let my kids explore and figure things out for themselves. I learned to take care of myself and value my sanity above my need for perfection. I admit that it doesn’t happen automatically and I still have to be intentional about my intent to be more ‘relaxed,’ but it’s made me happier with myself. It’s made me a happier mom and I think it’s healthier for our kids when they are given some space to figure things out for themselves.
So, Mila Kunis, I KNOW! I’ve been there too and if I weren’t pregnant right now, I’d raise a beer to that perfect little line!