Before Cora came I wondered how having a baby in our lives would change things. I didn't really dwell on it, but knew that a major change was coming. I remember in the first couple of weeks really craving some normalcy from our childless lives but that soon passed. Now that we're almost four months into being parents, I'd say that "normal" is back. It isn't exactly the same normal as before, but I love this normal more because I have my daughter in it. (Honestly, if the holidays hadn't been thrown into the mix in these 4 months, I'd say that we probably could have made it to 'normal' a month ago but let's be honest, there's nothing normal around the holidays).
Since Cora was born many things have changed but much of the changes better me as a person and make me a better mom. I don't sleep in anymore. Once upon a time in the not very distant past it was not unheard of for me to sleep until noon when my schedule allowed it. With my new job and added commute, 3 days a week I'm awake at 5 am. On weekends and my days at home with Cora, I rarely sleep past 8 and that's after having been awake at 5 to feed. I'm pleasently surprised to find that while I'm tired pretty much all the time, I'm not fall over in the floor exhausted...
...Likely thanks to my new found appreciation of a respectable bed time! I'm a night owl at heart but late nights are for the birds! I really feel it when I don't get to bed on time (usually no later than 10), because it isn't just needing to hit the snooze button in the mornings - it's a grinning little girl that wants to nurse, I can't ignore that and sleep in.
In some ways our house is messier than before, but in others it's cleaner! On a cleanliness level, I'd say we're keeping the house cleaner than before we had a kiddo. We've just got a good routine going and we're home more often so we do a better job picking up after ourselves. Tidiness however, not so much. Toys are generally everywhere, cast off passifiers, burp rags, dollies and such lay scattered everywhere. It's really somewhat overwhelming but such is the life. Each night I make a pass through the living room and kitchen and tidy up a bit, at least tossing all the baby related stuff into her pack n' play in the corner of the room. Sundays we do a more thorough picking up and cleaning in an attempt to start the week fresh.
Towards the end of pregnancy I really worried about how having a baby would affect my relationship with John. I knew that we would still love each other but I was concerned that stress and a lack of sleep would put an extra strain on our relationship. My worries were for naught, John and I are doing great! He is such an amazing Daddy to Cora and seeing him in that role with our daughter makes my heart swell with love and pride. Yes, we're more tired over all but we appreciate our time together just the two of us more and have really learned to appreciate all that each other does for the family.
At almost four months as a family of three, we have enough of a normal routine going that I'm finally finishing some long ignored projects! I started working this past week on unpacking the office; aka the room with stacks of boxes we didn't get around to unpacking from our move in July. I am also (finally) finishing up the thank you cards from all the thoughtful gifts we received for Cora. I'm going to return to my volunteer work with Abused Children next week (I've been out since September). It feels so great to have a handle on my life and immediate family enough to manage more than the bare essentials for daily life.
We've left the survival mode that is a side effect of life altering adjustments and have again started looking towards what our future will look like. Like any other major change in life, it just takes time to establish what the new normal will be. I'm just so happy that it isn't as hard as I once imagined it could be!