Today, we have Dianna from Our Sweetened Life chatting about some of the biggest life changes she encountered when she became a Mama. I really enjoyed reading her story because it is so relatable and true. Being a Mother is the most beautiful thing, but it is hard, and not many stories or tips can really prepare you for everything. I hope you enjoy her story today and are able to get some insight on how life changes once you bring your little one home.
Hello! I’m Dianna, over at Our Sweetened Life and I’m thrilled to be here on Southern Mama + Child! I’m a first time mama to a beautiful, squishy and captivating daughter, Laina Rose. She was born January 14, 2014, which was a day that marked a whole new life for me, in the most amazing ways imaginable.
One of the biggest changes for me is that I’ve learned to slow down. (Don’t get me wrong, I still have a very ambitious “to‐do” list every day…whether things get checked off or not is another thing). I no longer energetically wake up early on my day off, hit 90 minutes of power yoga, clean my house top to bottom (including windows some days!), clean myself up, and go out with my husband that night. My day off now consists of: not sleeping in with Laina, playing on the floor, feeding her, putting her down for a nap (this is where I attempt to check some things off my list and I always want to squeeze in a shower), feed again, play some more, maybe hit the food store or some kind of errand, a second nap for Laina (read: mom might vacuum or throw in some laundry), then play some more when she wakes up, and then our cherished nighttime routine around 6:30. Our social life has taken a bit of a hit, but we are totally and completely fine with that. My husband, Phillip and I have had a lot of years of freedom and being able to do whatever we wanted whenever we wanted. I actually thought that would be the biggest difficulty for me. Not being able to just get up and go. Having a baby at 32, I was afraid I wouldn’t adjust well to the change in lifestyle. But to be perfectly honest, I don’t remember it any other way! I love sitting and watching her roll around, sing songs to make her smile, and snuggle on the floor. We enjoy putting her to bed, having a meal together, talking, writing or watching TV, all while staring at her video monitor! We don’t feel like we are missing out on anything.
We’ve had some funny moments early on. I’ll never forget the first night of sleep when we brought Laina home from the hospital. For the first few months, she slept in her Pack N Play in our bedroom, to make nursing easier for both me and her. The first night, I remember saying to Phillip, “We have to set the alarms! We can’t risk not waking up for a feeding!” Ha. Um, yea, as if we would actually sleep through the baby crying who was right next to us! But we happily set our alarms to go off every three hours. That lasted one night only! We very quickly realized that if we actually managed to fall asleep ourselves, there was no way we would seriously sleep through her crying. But hey, it was our first night and we really didn’t know how things would roll!
I never expected the amount of love I have for Laina. I’m still amazed (and probably always will be) at how much these little babies are so dependent on us, for absolutely everything. It’s the most awesome responsibility in existence, to become a parent. When I look at Laina, who now knows who I am, who smiles when she sees me, pulls at my shirt to drink milk, I feel so lucky and honored that I am HER mother. I’m amazed that my heart can love someone this much.
I never expected my marriage to get stronger. Honestly! I can’t count how many friends have shared with me that they argue more with their partners since they’ve had their babies. Phillip and I haven’t had that. Neither of us thinks we are right about everything, or claim to know everything when it comes to these unpredictable babies. Since Phillip has already had a child (my stepson, Finn who is now 8), I tend to look to him for answers sometimes. He reminds me that he’s since forgotten a lot of those newborn changes, so he can’t always help. Plus, Laina is a whole new bag of tricks. Whenever Laina is going through a change or a milestone, we work through it together. For example, if she’s really fussy going to bed, both of us will try a few different things to soothe her. Then, every time, we sit at the top of the steps and talk (whisper, really) about it. I consciously keep an open mind about what he thinks or how he might feel about something and I think he’s does the same. Neither of us have all the answers and we are both learning Laina more each day.
Since Laina was born, she’s reminded me that I’m still a student. We take each day, change and milestone one at a time. Laina teaches me something new every day; at least she keeps me on my toes, for sure! Just when I think I have her figured out, she goes and changes something again! She is by far, the most interesting person I’ve ever had in my life. I love my new, slower lifestyle. It’s a welcome change from the busy body I used to be.