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Today? I went out! To lunch! With a friend! And the baby!!! Do you have any idea how huge this is? No? Well, let me just mention that Mia will be 14 weeks old tomorrow and that was the first time I have gone out since she was born. Well obviously, I have gone out, but only to run quick errands and a couple of family gatherings and one very fast dinner with Chris, but in the last 14 weeks this is the first time I have taken the baby to a restaurant and the first time I have sat down with a friend and talked and just been regular old me, but with a baby.

I think I know why I have been going a little nutso.

See, at first, it just seemed almost impossible to take Mia anywhere. I was a very skittish new mom (I'm getting better) and was so worried that she would be hungry or tired or would cry or poop in her hair and I wouldn't be able to cope. She's been more predicable lately, but still sometimes wants to eat 30 minutes after I feed her and she refuses to take a bottle (and please don't give me a bunch of advice about that) and I was a little uncomfortable breastfeeding in public, but I think doing it at rest stops on our beach trip cured me of that.

So anyway, I was nervous about taking her out today, but I just did it. She was wonderful - didn't make a peep the entire time and even allowed my friend to hold her. And I? Well, I realized that maybe I really can live this life, maybe I can even have a life. I gave up more than I expected to when I gave up my job, and as much as I love being the mommy, it was good for an hour to be a little less mommy and a little more just plain old Beth with a baby on my lap.

Comments (46)

That's fantastic. I'm glad that you and Mia both had a lovely time and that you found that you really haven't lost who you are.

It is a constant struggle to find the person who you used to be after you become a mom. It will always be part of you but never "who you are". I have to make an effort daily (sometimes hourly) to remember that I am Jennifer first, mommy second.

I have no advice. I am just happy you had a great day. :)

ditto what elektra said.

When our first son, Christopher, was born, I had a bit of breakdown; the enormity of the whole parent thing and the thought that my old life was gone forever kind of got to me. I was worried that I'd never get to do the things I really love to do. Almost two years later I've found that my life has changed and that sometimes I don't get very much time to myself, however my wife and I try to make time for ourselves and to spend with each other. I think that this "me" and "us" time is what keeps us sane.
Enjoy your daughter, but don't forget to do things just for you as I believe that in the end you'll be a better parent for it. Oh and congrats on your successful lunch out.

would never give you advise on that because I am nursing my third child and still haven't figured out how to get them to take a bottle!! So tell us if you ever figure out the unsolved mystery of how to get a baby who refuses bottles to take one!!

So glad you enjoyed you lunch, I remember those first couple months and they are tough.

yay for lunches out with friends. and adult conversation, cuz although i know you're not mentioning it, that is one of the joys of going out for lunches with friends. and although i've not experienced the new motherhood thing, i know my mom has mentioned NUMEROUS times over the course of my almost 30 years that what she missed most while being a SAHM was the adult conversation. seriously, she still talks about how hard it was with a baby and no adults to talk to all day. she took it hard... :)

Out of all the parents I've seen, the happiest ones seem to be the ones that know their babies are PORTABLE!! I think it's the whole 'dog wagging the tail verse the tail wagging the dog thing'. And getting out will get easier and easier.

I always breastfeed and gave my kids bottles. They seemed to turn out ok. And since Paige asked... Heidi was my only baby that refused to take a bottle. I needed to wean her at 8 months and I was very worried about her not getting enough milk. After her 2nd day of screaming, Len took the bottle to the kitchen, reappeared, popped the bottle in her mouth and she drank it down. The secret ingredient was honey. Breast milk is said to be much sweeter than formula. These days you get shouted down for giving children under the age of 1 (sometimes 2) honey, but within 3 day the amount of honey was reduced to nothing and she had learned to take the bottle... The honey never hurt her.

Wonderfully written!

does she often poop in her hair???? because that seems quite the feat!

seriously, though, it's amazing when you realize that you can be both a mommy and a person too!! i'm very excited for you. here's to many more stress-free lunches out!

That's one of the joys of being a SAHM with just one- they are very portable. You have only one schedule to deal with and babies will often be as flexible as you make them.

And she will continue to surprise you with her adaptation skills. And yours. :)

That's great Beth! It sounds like a big weight has been lifted off your shoulders. I don't have kids so it's difficult for me to completely understand but I think I can get the general drift of it and think that I will probably feel much the same thing. It's something that I've witnessed in friends and offered my shoulder for on a couple of occasions. The good news....anyone I've ever known has naturally transitionned out of their nervousness, quite gracefully as well, if I might add.

Anyway, I am glad that she's becoming a bit more predictable. I am told by several friends that the first 2 months are the craziest for those things.

Keep up posted with pictures of all three members of the fish-cactus-bean family.

Have a good weekend!

good for you, beth! glad to hear things are going so much better. :)

you go!

Yes. Portable babies, washable babies. They forgive us lots and lots of things.
They are like Bumbles - they bounce.
(Old Rudolph reference there)
But Mommy adult time? The reason I worked post child and continued was the adult contact. I needed it. Its ok to say you need it.

But its best when you actually go out and DO it. AND it's really good for Mia to know that Mommy is happy and laughing and interacting with other people her size.

I can TOTALLY relate. It is so hard to figure out what to pack (to avoid any diasters). Once I even got to the gym (without a child) and REALLY felt like the old me. Very strange sensation. My experience has been when they hit 3 months it gets better and 6 months it is acutally fun having a baby!

That's awesome! Take this time to go out with her alot - because when they get just a touch older you lose that ability. We now have to scurry through meals like mad men if we go out with our little one - he gets tired of waiting, sitting at the table, or waiting on food. Many times I am asking for the check as they bring us the food because I know my "time" is running out. I miss the days of the infant carrier and just being able to bring him anywhere! Sounds like a great time and am glad you enjoyed yourself!

fantastic baby!
absolutely fantastic that you got out and about!

I am so impressed. You did it, and now you know you can do it again.

(I love going out to lunch. It makes me feel like such a grown up!)

Babies are pretty portable from now until when they start to walk. Enjoy it!

Congrats on your day out -- it's so nice when you start feeling comfy enough to pack up the kid and the diaper bag and get out into the world. Took me a little while too, worrying about all the "what-ifs" (though admittedly poop in the hair never crossed my mind :-)) The fun begins!

Incredible feeling, isn't it? Hullo, Beth! Nice to see you back!

So to get her to take a bottle...JUST KIDDING! I really am glad you were able to go out. It was probably good for Mia too. :-)

Hey, that is great! You do need to take care of yourself too.

I'm glad for you. It is always nice to go out for lunch.

Wow, 14 weeks. It's amazing how quickly time passes. Congrats on leaving the house. I had my first this April (geeze, Will's 6 months old already) and it took me a while to feel comfortable in public, particularly while breastfeeding.

Just remember: it all gets so much easier!

I agree, it just keeps getting easier to think of yourself as a mom and as a person -- and sometimes you can be both at once. Congratulations on a big step!

I SO can relate to this... count back (using my fingers and toes) almost 3 years ago today... that was me. Nursing in publish (gasp?!?1 what? how the hell can I do that? He'll unlatch and spray my friend! What about the other restaraunt patrons?) I didn't want to flash a nipple to the world.

And you know what? I survived... and that part of me that went away (or so I thought) when the little guy was born-- well she comes out a little more often now. :-) Yours will too... I promise.

Good for you, mama. I was super-skittish myownself. It just takes practice, and it'll get a lot easier.

Yay for first baby outings! I think it will be months before I dare to go anywhere where I can't quickly escape (i.e. fast food vs. sit down with waiter). GOOD FOR YOU! :)

Whoa, she can poop in her HAIR?
How? Is this one of those things that I'm not going to find out until I have children?

Oh CONGRATULATIONS! I'm jealous. My little guy is only five weeks old and just strapping him into his car seat to go to the grocery store is a big feat. I know that I'll get more comfortable with it as he gets older but I can't fathom going to a restaurant. I'm glad to know it's possible :)

Hurray for a day out! And Hurray for bringing your little girl!

Keep it up, bringing babies out is much easier than you think it should be. And feeling human again is fun. Well done Beth!

I'm so happy for you! They're quite portable, aren't they? Keep testing her limits - me and Roo are able to go out all day sometimes!

And cheers go up for Beth Fish! I'm so glad you got to have a little time for just you, and am now combating those twinges of jealousy - I wanna hold Mia, too! She's so delicious.

I was reading Husband Chris' latest entry and he said, Now who is that? And I said, you know, they have the baby with all the hair. It's now your claim to fame, I'm afraid. Well, that and the fact that you have a smokin' hot ass. ;)

Good for you!

You're right, you CAN have a life! Just don't have more than one kid! LOL Seriously, isn't it a great feeling? I remember the worrying, the not wanting to breastfeed in public (I have no idea how many hours I spent sitting in cars, nursing, after having fled the restaurant or store or whatever. Thank God I got over that with kid #2). This is so trite and you can just whack me upside the head with the cliche stick, but it just takes time. You've just had the most major upheaval you will ever have but you sound like you are settling in nicely.

I hear you on the bottle thing. My first child would've drunk motor oil out of a rusty can, so un-finicky was she. Then my son came along and I spent four months trying to get the little twit to take a bottle. Nothing doing. I about went bald from the stress. All I wanted was a frigging evening out. Oddly enough this same child whose oh-so-delicate sensibilities were offended by a silicone nipple was just caught rooting through the litter boxes last night. Go figure.

Great to hear you made it out. You will be running around town like a crazy mom, with Mia balancing on your hip in no time.

Getting out is awesome. I need to do it more often. But, it's hard sometimes when they're so little. It gets (somewhat) easier when they get older and all you have to really worry about is the temper tantrums - and a lollipop or some other cavity producing product will usually shut that right up.

But YAY! to Mia for doing so well while you were out. You deserve the socializing time. A lot of people think stay at home mom's have it MADE, and I'm not complaining, but they don't get that it's rough being couped up in the house all day.

Some babies are just so much happier on the go. Maybe you have a party girl on your hands! Mine were ever so much more pleasant when we were out. Once you conquer getting the stoller in and out of the car, you are a free woman! Go Beth!

wahoo. what great's all cake from here on out!!
*lol, dont' know if thats true, but it sounded good, hehee!!

Glad you are enjoying this time!

Inspired by this post I just went out for sushi with The Husband and The Baby. Um, let me say, flying across the country alone with a five weeker was less stressful. I am in awe of your lunch.

My child is almost EXACTLY the same age as yours. And I haven't been able to go to lunch yet. I'm jealous. :)

YAY = good for you.

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So the Fish Said...

Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem, I whisper with my lips close to your ear.

- Walt Whitman

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I want to get a pet duck and keep it in the bathtub.
I am addicted to chap stick and altoids.
I am freakishly flexible.

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