Yes, motherhood changes you, but for the better

Embrace the good ways that you've changed, like getting smarter.

Yes, motherhood changes you, but for the better

Motherhood is tough, but good. As a mom who also writes about Millennial life, I have discovered three essential elements to help modern women embrace these changes, lessons that I pass along to new moms I know and meet along the way. Here are three things I've learned about how to make motherhood work today:

1. Embrace the good ways that you've changed, like getting smarter. Sure, college broadened my interests in various subjects, and helped me to grow in my chosen field of study. Being married has taught me how to live in-tune with another complex human being. But being a mom has helped me organize and problem-solve faster than I could before. When you have a little ball of chaos constantly threatening order you learn to identify the key factors, take variables into account and execute more quickly. It’s like I can divide how many hours of running errands by how many stops, and arrive to a perfect number of diapers, crackers and fruit snacks to put in my purse.

2. Find friends who love being a parent. I actually haven’t run into many people who don’t like being a parent, but I’m just sayin’ find the ones who really enjoy it. I talked with a couple I ran into in Santa Monica a while ago with two sons. One parent said to me “It’s just awesome, isn’t it? We love it.” I paused for a second, sort of surprised by the spontaneous candor, and replied “Yea, it really is, actually.” It made me feel good to see other parents taking their parenting experience seriously, and also enjoying it. I also have a couple friends I hang out with often who have kids around my sons age. The more you see other parents enjoying the ride, and sharing the bumps along the way, the more you’re able to enjoy it as well. Plus, your kid will make friends too, and there is nothing cuter than your little kid’s “buddies.”

3. Still be you. Having a kid will change your life. It will change the amount you have of the following: time, emotional energy, physical energy, money, to name a few. Before you’re a parent you fear an identity crisis, but really it’s not the end of the world (or you), just time to re-route. For many moms and dads, there is a fear that you might just not be the “parenting type”. . . whatever that is.
If you’re a creative type you might be scared that your inspiration will suffer from lack of time or too much regimented living (which is required when you have a kid). Find inspiration from your kid. Sure you have to have a bedtime routine, but you also have a crazy uninhibited little muse on your hands now. Who knows what they’ll do!

If you’re a planner plan plan plan to the smallest detail in order to get a good grasp on the parenting thing. Having a kid is chaotic but it doesn’t mean you can’t give up a sense of functionality. In fact, kids thrive on structure. Even if they are constantly trying to prove otherwise by coloring with your lipstick all over the couch.

If you’re a creature of comfort
find ways to help your kids get energy out as you recharge your natural zen state. They may need to climb up and go down a slide 80 times, but at the end of the day you’re the one to hold them as they go to sleep. Gentleness and patience are totally underrated parenting qualities.

If you’ve been diagnosed with ADHD, or are an adrenaline-junkie you may find in your kids the only people in your life that have the same level of energy that you do. Of course you can’t go skydiving or extreme rock-climbing with them, but they may surprise you with the level of ridiculousness they naturally possess. Just make sure to get the basics down of child-raising: food, diaper changes, doctor appointments, bed time and bath time. And, of course, make sure the kids are safe at all times.

I know “2.5 kids” is included in the American Dream, and it’s not for everyone. But I hope that Millennials won’t gloss over the having kids part of the dream over fear of what they might lose. You gain so much more. It’s just awesome, actually.

This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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Sorry, you can’t meet our baby yet

Thank you for understanding. ❤️

In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

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A few years ago, while my wife's baby bump got bigger and my daddy reading list grew longer, I felt cautiously optimistic that this parenthood thing would, somehow, suddenly click one day. The baby would come, instincts would kick in, and the transition from established couple to a new family would be tiring but not baffling.

Boy was I wrong.

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