As parents, we'd like to think we're the ones calling the shots. After all, we're the "grown ups" and we're the ones providing a loving home and stable environment and food and clothing and all the other necessities for our child (or children). We're paying the bills and making the big decisions and writing the day-to-day (and bit picture) plans. So, I mean, we're in charge, right? Sure, until you experience one of many moments that make you realize your baby's the one in charge, and not you. The control you think you have is, well, an allusion (probably brought on by lack of sleep, but that's neither here nor there).
As an adult, and like many adults, I like to be in charge of my own life. I like to be able to control my own schedule and change it or alter it whenever I want, however I want. Then, well, I became a mom, and I discovered I could no longer do whatever I wanted or make my own schedule. When I entered motherhood I realized I had to put my daughter's needs in front of my own agenda, regardless of how exhausting, frustrating, or just plain upsetting it was. I was no longer in charge of my schedule (and in a way, my own life). Instead, my newborn daughter was.
Sacrifices are to be expected, and I don't think there's a pregnant woman in the world who doesn't know that in one way or another, her life and routine are going to change once she becomes a mom. However, I will also go so far as to say that most parents are pretty shocked when they realize just how much changes, and how little control they really have over things as simple as eating and sleeping and running a quick errand. So, because no one likes to be surprised when they're postpartum and sleep deprived and hormonal and sore, here are just a few ways your baby will remind you that, whether you like it or not, they're calling the shots.
When You Put Off Showering For Your Baby
Yeah, your self-care is going to suffer those first few weeks (or months) of postpartum life. I remember being so infatuated with my brand new baby — and so busy feeding her and changing her and burping her and putting her to sleep and then just staring at her — that showering was the least of my concern. Plus, you try to find time to shower for a few seconds when you have a newborn to take care of, along with a slew of other responsibilities you can't just throw by the wayside.
When You Change Your Eating Schedule To Accommodate Your Baby...
Before you have a baby, you could eat whenever you wanted. You could stay home and make food or go out and you actually had the time to sit and wait on food at a restaurant (or actually enjoy a meal once it was finally prepared).
Now that you have a baby? Yeah, that's over. There's no time for you to sit and enjoy the quick meal you popped into the microwave, because you have a hungry newborn to either breastfeed or bottle feed. There's no sitting peacefully at a restaurant. Going out is nothing short of an anxiety-fueled nightmare. So, you alter the times (and way) you eat, because baby's eating schedule is the only one that matters now.
...And You Alter Your Eating Habits For Their Benefit
I don't think I really and truly cared about what I was putting inside my body, until there was a baby growing inside my body. You take the best care of yourself when you're pregnant because, by proxy, you're taking care of your baby. Then, of course, once they're born and out into the world, you want to eat healthy if you're breastfeeding (or not, because eating healthy will also help you heal from labor and delivery) and you'll want to promote healthy eating habits by setting a good example.
So, yeah, your baby now controls what you eat, and when and for how long. That's power, my friends.
When You Cancel Plans Because Of Your Baby
You're not one to disturb your baby's eating or sleeping schedule, so you won't take a single solitary trip outdoors if there's even a slight possibility that your baby's schedule will be impeded. Nope. Not going to chance it.
More than a few times I decided not to go to the grocery store or run a quick errand or do a little shopping, because doing so would have impacted my daughter's schedule. Before I knew it, she was the one in charge of day-to-day activities (and she couldn't even crawl yet).
When You Bounce And Rock When You Stand, Even When You're Not Holding Your Baby
You know your baby is the one in charge when you sway and bop and bounce, even though you're not holding them. They're literally controlling your body without even touching you. If that's not a super power, I don't know what is.
When You Leave Your House A Toy-Filled Mess Because There's No Use Cleaning It Up
Before I had a baby, I cleaned up any and every mess my house may or may not have had. Instantly. Now? Yeah, now there's no point. My kid has literally turned this Type A clean-freak, into an "Eh, I'll get to it when I get to it." There are only so many hours in the day and so much energy I can tap into and, honestly, most of that time and energy goes to my kid.
When Your Kid Keeps You From Experiencing An Ounce Of Sleep
Goodbye sleep. Goodbye sweet, sweet dreams. Goodbye hours upon hours of uninterrupted unconsciousness. Nothing says, "I own you and your entire life," like the ability to keep someone else from sleeping.
When You Realize You're Obsessed With Your Baby's Poop
If that's not love, I don't know what is.
I mean, it's not like I go inspecting someone else's feces. However, when it comes to my newborn, I would stare at her poop just to make sure she was healthy and seating enough and all was well, internally. She made me obsessed with poop, you guys. That's power.
When You Whisper Even After The Baby Is Asleep
Your kid is literally controlling the volume of your voice while they're sleeping. They're like tiny little dictators, you guys. Of course, they're also really adorable and wonderful and you love them entirely so, in the end, I guess it balances out.