One of the things I love about the Choice Mom memoir by Stacey MacGlashan, Just You and Me, Kid, is the insight she offers to other Choice Moms about the reality of the newborn days. Her kind reminder to women like us that attempting to be superwoman is just plain dumb. And her warning to pre-moms that you need a certain kind of stamina — that most of us do have — in order to succeed.
I know a lot of women, myself included, who found this stage to be very isolating — simultaneous with being magical. In my story, my single friends in New York City weren’t particularly interested in hanging out with me and a baby. So I found that first year with Sophia as probably my loneliest. My first year with Dylan, while I was exhausted because he wouldn’t let me sleep more than three hours for the first year, was considerably easier because there were so many people to share the experience with.
Stacey does a wonderful job conveying the reality of Choice Motherhood with a newborn…with humor and the basic common sense required. Here are excerpts, with her permission.
“No doubt there will be times throughout this process…when you feel overwhelmed and unsure about your decision. You’ll wish someone was there to hold the baby so you could go to the bathroom without balancing him in your arms or so you could have a meal that took more than five minutes to prepare and that required two hands and actual utensils to eat.
“This might be a good time to suggest that if you haven’t, in the past, been a woman accustomed to carrying her own crap, you become one now. And by crap I don’t mean just your wallet, cell phone and keys, which is all I used to carry most days.
“I mean, when you travel you carry your own luggage. When you ski, you carry your own skis, poles and boots….That kind of crap. Because now you’ll have to get used to carrying your crap and your baby’s…This might also be a good time to get over being an ‘I can get it all in one trip’ kind of woman. Those days are over as well. I’m sure you’ve done quite well carrying upwards of a dozen grocery bags over your arms in the past…But for now, the baby — and maybe the diaper bag and your Starbucks — are about the best you can do at one time. Deal with it…
“But back to the benefits of single parenting: there’s no one around to make you dinner or watch the baby while you shower or sleep an extra couple of minutes. Then again, there’s no one to complain you haven’t made dinner or showered or that you’re awfully crabby when you don’t sleep.”