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Does it get easier?

I was out running a few errands with Grey yesterday. We pulled into a store and I hopped out of my car, heading to the backseat to get Grey. There was a woman by the car next to me, close to my age, struggling to lift a carseat carrying a newborn into her backseat. I waited until she was finished so that I could get Grey out of the car. When she noticed that I was waiting, she apologized for taking so long, then smiled as she realized I was getting my own infant out of the car. There is something about meeting other mothers, it’s like you have something in common that makes you feel like old girlfriends, like you dont have to explain why you look like you haven’t slept or showered in several days. I told her, of course, not to apologize. This girl, she looked frazzled, she was wearing pajamas; you could tell she felt like she was struggling. I almost said to her, “Don’t worry! It’s get easier,” but then I realized that I don’t want to lie to this poor girl. In my experience so far, it doesn’t exactly get easier, just different.

A newborn is very portable, you can carry them around in their carseat that so conveniently clicks into the travel stroller. Or just strap them to you in the Bjorn. A newborn also sleeps a lot (if you’re lucky…..) so shopping trips and outings can usually be done without waking them. On the other hand, newborns don’t care that you are in the middle of Bed Bath and Beyond and do not understand that showcasing your breasts for a quick snack to the employee helping you choose new curtains isn’t ideal. A baby like Grey at ten months old is much easier to feed on the go, however he now thinks that whether or not he sits in the cart is a choice. Sometimes he gives me this look like I am a horrible person for not letting him crawl up and down the aisles of Wegmans next to me. Clearly, making your child sit strapped into a cart for 20 minutes is borderline abusive in their eyes.

Seeing this woman also made me remember my first outing with Grey. My husband and I took him out for lunch. He was nine days old. He was bundled up in his snowsuit, sleeping peacefully strapped in his carseat. Unfortunately, he needed a diaper change. I was ready to attempt my first public restroom change. I didn’t anticipate that getting a newborn out of their carseat, snowsuit, and clothes while under pressure in a public restroom would be tough. My husband called me three times from outside the bathroom to check on me. I literally think it took me something ridiculous like twenty minutes to change his damn diaper. My soup was cold, I was sweating – it was a disaster. Here’s some advice, screw the snowsuit and buy a Bundleme. Much easier.

I’ve come a long way since that day, but even when kids get older, there are still tons of challenges to manage when you are out. Check back with me when Grey is like two an a half… I’m sure I’ll be able to name a few.

Anyways, I guess what I should have told the girl I met is that it doesn’t exactly get easier, but as a mother, you get better at it. You learn to multi-task, you learn to carry 100 things at a time, you learn not to care if your kid is screaming at the checkout. You learn to change a diaper in the backseat, to mix a bottle while stopped at a red light, and to always leave an extra diaper and change of clothes in the car (I wish someone would have told me that sooner, because some day, you will forget the diaper bag). After ten crazy months in this position as a work at home mom, it definitely hasn’t gotten easier, but I must admit that I am getting a hell of a lot better at it.

#parenting #motherhood #itgetseasier #sahm

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