I have to admit that I was a little worried about bringing my baby home from the hospital. Our home is not like the sterile hospital room he was used to. My partner and I have four other kids, so it's loud, messy, and always a bit chaotic. I was pleasantly surprised when our newest addition seemed to fit in without missing a beat, though. In fact, I've realized there were so many ways my baby was telling me they felt at home.
For me, the saying "home is where the heart is" is absolutely true. I am such a stereotypical homebody, and feel best when I walk in my front door, take off my bra, and snuggle on the couch. And on the days when I don't have to leave the house at all? That's heaven, my friends. But becoming a mom has forced me to reevaluate what "home" really means and, now, it's less of a location and more of wherever my kids are. My children carry a piece of me with them, wherever they go.
Lucky for me, it's clear that my happy place and my baby's happy place coincides. In a way, it makes me feel good to know that my son feels safe and comfortable in the place I like the best. Sometimes, though, it can make it tempting to simply stay home in my pajamas all day and, you know, never leave the house. I mean, taking a baby in public is difficult, so if I don't have to leave my comfort-zone I probably won't. So, it's a good thing my baby loves being at home, and I love it when he shows me I've made our house his happy place to, and in the following ways:
When They Finally Fall Asleep...
My first clue that my babies felt at home was the fact that they were finally able to fall asleep. After a few nights of no sleep at the hospital, and lots of anxiety, it seemed like, at home, we finally found our groove. It felt so good to be home, and to have a chance to figure out motherhood without an audience of doctors and nurses. Even though I was still scared, my son's tiny snores made me feel like I knew what I was doing.
... Or They're Too Excited To Sleep
I mean, in a way, I'm glad my baby liked his bassinet in the corner of our bedroom. So much so, apparently, that he sometimes couldn't sleep. He spent hours taking it all in, especially if his brothers and sisters were home. I think he likes being home so much, in fact, that he's afraid to fall asleep and miss something important.
When They Pee On The Floor
Home is where I let everything hang out. Apparently, my baby feels the same way. I just wish that didn't mean him literally taking off his diaper and peeing on the floor. See also: pooping on my bed during diaper changes, spiting up all over the couch, and putting everything in his slobbery mouth. I guess it was just his way of marking his territory.
When They Cry After You Finally Leave The House
Leaving the house with a newborn — or honestly, a baby of any age — takes courage and fortitude. In my experience, the entire ordeal is made even more challenging when your baby cries or screams as soon as you cross the threshold and leave the house.
When my baby cried as soon as we walked out the door, I would second-guess my decision to leave the house that day. I am a little ashamed to admit how easy it is to give up, turn around, and take off my bra. If baby wants to stay, so do I.
When They Poop
I mean, I totally don't blame him for this one. I, myself, hate pooping anyplace other than my master bathroom. My baby usually saves his poops for me, and generally fills his diaper right before I plan to leave the house. Oh well, I guess it's another sign that we should just stay in.
When They Only Take Naps At Home
Leaving your baby at grandma's house or daycare is hard. Leaving a baby that refuses to sleep anywhere but home can feel impossible. It took my babies a long time to be comfortable enough to sleep anywhere but their cribs (or in my arms) at home.
When They Refuse To Eat In Public
Feeding my kids in public is always stressful. Worse, my babies are shy about mealtime. So, no matter if I was breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, or both, they really hated doing it in public and, instead, preferred our usual spot on the couch to virtually any other place on the planet. It made me feel so isolated, and like I had to plan our day around their meals, because I totally did.
When They Make Messes
Since my baby has been old enough to grab and chew on toys, he's made huge messes everywhere he goes. I've learned that it's pretty futile to try to keep things clean and tidy, especially when there's a mobile baby on the loose.
When They Smile As Soon As You Walk In The Door
My youngest is a homebody, just like me. He thrives on routine and loves to be in familiar places, especially his home. Whenever my partner and I walk in the door after we've spent some time away, he smiles so big... like he's breathing a sigh of relief and letting me know how glad he is to have everyone at home.