An Introduction to Single Mom Life: The First Week as a New Mom
Adjusting to life with a new baby
Coming home from the hospital with this perfect tiny human was pretty emotional. I was tired, hurting, hungry, and yet it all didn't matter. My new life as a mom was beginning, and I couldn't wait to settle in. After the 25 minute car ride home, I brought him upstairs to change his diaper. Of course the first thing my son did after I placed him on his changing table and took his outfit off, was mark the wall in his room with projectile pee. Yup, welcome to boymom-ville!
After he was changed, and I cleaned everything up, I fed my son and cuddled with him. I listened closely to his gurgling noises and felt him melt into my arms. I was exhausted as I held my sleeping baby, but I propped myself up so I didn't fall asleep. My son spent a lot of that first day sleeping. For some reason my son preferred the night life.
Questions I pondered during my first week as a new mom
1. When was the last time I showered?
2. When was the last time I washed my hair?
3. When did I last eat?
4. Did I change my son's diaper before or after I fed him?
5. Is it humanly possible to function on so little sleep?
6. Will I ever sleep again?
7. When was the last time I peed?
8.What day is this?
9. Is that sound normal?
10. Is my son eating enough?
11. Am I doing everything right?
12. Is my son warm enough?
13. Is he too warm?
14. How do I handle his baths? What if he poops?
"What is sleep? Baby don't leave me, don't leave me...I need you."
If you're solely responsible for your newborn, and you have no one to assist you, be prepared to live on very little sleep for the foreseeable future. Before I had my son, if I didn't sleep, I would get very sick (nausea, vomiting, etc). After I had my son, I had this second strength that got me through those sleepless nights. I think I netted 45 mins of sleep that whole week. I lived on mass amounts of coffee for most of that summer. Those of you who are single moms, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. Like I said, there is a second strength that you get once you become a mom. It's like a backup battery. You keep going, regardless of how tired you are. After all, you have a tiny human depending on you for survival.
My week one menu (it was pretty bad)
1. Lots of coffee
3. Granola bars
4. Protein bars
5. Frozen dinners.
Anything I ate had to be quick. I didn't have the time or energy to make something of quality for myself. I don't recommend that you eat like this. Please prepare your meals and freeze them before you give birth. It will make your life easier.
6 days postpartum
During pregnancy, I gained 40 pounds. While I was in the hospital, getting dressed and ready to go home with my son, I wondered what will happen to my body. I wondered if I would stay like this forever, or if my tummy would go down. I spent the entire week wearing my comfy maternity clothes. My stomach did deflate a little bit, but I wasn't fitting in my normal clothes just yet.
I'm a typical woman, I wanted to get my body back. In fact, I wanted to have an even better body. I wanted to get in shape so I could be an energetic and healthy mom to my son. As a single mom, I need to be in top condition. I'm playing dual roles of both mom and dad. I can't be in bad shape, I can't have injuries, and I can't be sick. I vowed during my first week as a new mom that I would get into the best shape of my life. A lot of people said it would be impossible. I wanted to prove them wrong.
A picture's worth 1,000 words
During my sleep deprivation, I spent my time making sure he was fed at regular intervals and changed. One thing I did (a lot) was take pictures. I must've taken hundreds of pictures in week one alone. I was in awe of this beautiful human that I created. I couldn't figure out for the life of me how I got so lucky. He is all mine, which is one thing I like about being a single mom. I'm responsible for making sure he is healthy, and that he is raised with the proper morals and values. It is a lot of work, but if I am the one who is responsible for creating an incredible human being who loves with all his heart and treats everyone with respect, all of that work is worth it. Bring it on!
Fellow single mama: "You're doing great, mama."
© 2019 Shauna Silva