When I became a mom I assumed maternity leave was going to be a magical time filled with bonding, snuggling, and playing with my baby. And it was, but it was also mind-numbingly boring. And while I was privileged to even have leave and appreciated the time I had to recover from childbirth and bond with my baby, I had no idea how monotonous the entire process would be. In my experience, there are so many quintessential new mom experiences that are incredibly boring.
If we're being honest, us moms have to admit that babies are dull. I mean, they're cute and all, but for the first few months of their lives they're basically human potatoes As a result, as a mom your day revolves around a schedule of eating, sleeping, and pooping. Not exactly my idea of an exciting time, my friends. Why do you think moms are so obsessed with their babies' bowel movements? That's all we have to talk about, people.
To be clear, I didn't hate staying home with my babies. Hell, I loved it and, again, was very grateful for it. But the drastic change I experienced in what seemed like a mere moment was a shock to my system, and when I brought my baby home I realized motherhood wasn't what I had expected. Life with a newborn was a blur, punctuated by "exciting" moments like getting the mail or discovering a lost baby sock. Discussing the monotony of postpartum life doesn't mean I, or any other mom, is ungrateful. It just means me recognize that so many new mom experiences can be boring, including the following:
When You're Home Alone With The Baby
Thankfully, on my very first day alone with my baby I found my groove. I woke up early, fed her, changed her diaper, made coffee, showered, changed my clothes, fed her again, ate something, gave her a bath, and snuggled with her. And I remember looking at the clock feeling an overwhelming sense of accomplishment, only to realize it was 9:00 a.m. and hardly any time had passed at all.
What in the world was I going to do for the next nine hours and until my husband came home from work?
When The Baby Falls Asleep On You
I spent the first few months of my baby's life holding her for hours and hours while she slept. I felt guilty that I couldn't seem to put her down and get stuff done around the house, but when I tried she would cry as soon as she left my chest. I loved the snuggles, yes, but I was so bored.
When You're "Playing" With Your Baby
Newborn babies can't and don't do anything. You are told to give them plenty of tummy time, and buy them "play mats" and toys, but they pretty much just lie there and either cry or look at you as if you have betrayed them by setting them down on the floor. Babies are so boring, my friends, so "playing" with them is really just staring at them for hours on end.
When You Attend A Mommy Group
I attended a mommy group thinking it would be so nice to meet other new moms and have real, adult conversations with human beings who weren't my husband. While no two mommy groups are the same, the one I attended turned out to be, well, disappointing. The moms were focused on humble-bragging about their infant's achievements or talking about poop and diaper rashes. I wanted real adult contact. I wanted to talk about something that wasn't really baby related. So, yeah, I was bored.
When You're Handling Late-Night Feedings
In my experience, late-night feedings are the worst kind of boring. You either sit in silence, hoping to get the job done quickly so you can go back to sleep, or you just doze off in the process. If you do attempt to do anything mildly interesting, like put on an episode of your favorite television show, your baby will inevitably wake up and you'll have to start the process all over again.
When You're Handling Bedtime
My partner and I tried to create a bedtime schedule for our baby, which included a bath, a book, and a whole lot of boredom. Yes, sometimes I could risk playing on my phone, but most of the time I had to sit in the dark holding my baby and willing her to go to sleep. I'm over nine years into this parenting gig, and I still think bedtime is just about the most boring hour of my daily life.
When You Take Your Baby For A Walk
Taking my baby for a walk in her stroller or baby carrier was so nice... the first few times. But after a while I grew bored of the same old walk in the same old neighborhood. Even listening to audio books or podcasts couldn't stave off my boredom.
When You Read To Your Baby
I had heard it was important to read to my new baby each day to build her love of reading and literacy skills. And I did it. But, folks, reading to a baby is so incredibly boring.
When You Take Your Baby Swimming
I love to swim, so I thought taking my baby swimming would be fun. Personally, I didn't think it was. All I did was walk back and forth in the water holding a slippery baby. Not my idea of a good time.
When You're Pumping
I hated pumping. Hated it. But,since I was trying to increase my supply, and later went back to work, I was committed to the excruciatingly monotonous routine of setting up my pump, pumping, and cleaning up all the parts and pieces several times a day. It sucked. Literally.
When You Introduce Your Baby To New People
Everyone is so excited to "meet" your new baby for the first time. And I was just so starved for adult interaction that I invited just about anyone who showed interest in my child (who had their flu shot, of course) to come over. But even those visits turned out to be pretty boring. All I did was re-count my birth story over and over again, or talk about my day or lament about my baby's poop schedule. Again, not the most exciting topics of conversations.