After a requisite hunkering down with a new baby, there comes a time to get oneself out of the house. This has been a gradual process for us, starting with walks around the neighborhood and a quick trip to the store for a missing ingredient. Only now, two months later, are we attempting longer errands and meeting people for coffee and such. Why did it take so long? And why does it continue to be so difficult sometimes?
One reason is that life is still very unpredictable, particularly when it comes to feeding: we don’t have a set feeding schedule yet. There is still cluster feeding on some days, which can lead to screaming bloody murder in the produce department, even though I just fed her and I am sure I have a couple of hours to get things done.
Another reason that we have stayed in is that I was wary about my frumptastic appearance. My hair color had grown out and I was sporting a perma-pony tail. I was stuck in maternity clothes that I was SICK of. (My mommy uniform had consisted of a nursing tank top, maternity jeans that were falling down, and a hooded sweatshirt. Every day. Lather, rinse, repeat.) And I’m not even going to bore you with my anxiety about the extra 20 pounds. While I have been lucky not to have experienced serious post partum depression, I was still suffering from low confidence. I finally went in and got my hair re-colored and cut and purchased some reasonably-priced transitional clothes at the gap that I’m not embarassed about. Something about suiting up in clothes that fit and a teeny bit of makeup to cover up the undereye circles- now I feel confident and ready to bump into people I know.
Finally, I am just figuring out what to bring with us and how to manage an infant in public spaces. I always bring our Woobee blanket, and it has been handy when we’ve been caught in the rain and to keep Quinn cozy in her stroller and car seat when it’s chilly. BabyLegs leg warmers are always in the diaper bag of course, in case she needs an extra layer or has a diaper blow-out. And way more diapers and wipes than you ever think you’ll need. Feeling comfortable nursing in public and changing diapers wherever has also been an adjustment, though it turns out that nobody really seems to notice much or mind.
So, we hope to see you out and about. If you bump into me, I promise to have the confidence not to shrink off in the other direction, as long as you don’t give me dirty looks if Quinn is hungry or has a wet diaper!