How I Survived New Motherhood

** I wrote this post a month ago. It's taken me that long to actually upload my iPhone pictures and hit publish. For the record the second month of motherhood has been pretty much the same. Except with more fast food and takeout. **

St. Patricks day was Thomas's first holiday so I wasn't about to let it pass
without our annual corned beef and cabbage. 
(This year we also added a toasted coconut pistachio pie with a chocolate crust into the mix.
It's not traditional Irish fare, but it's green, so it definitely counts as st. Patty's worthy.)
It was the first time I cooked dinner in over a month. 
I'm not kidding.

I'm still trying to figure out how moms prepare meals, clean the house, do laundry, get groceries, and simultaneously take care of children.
Thomas is such an adorable (and occasionally loud) distraction! 
I spend entire days gazing at him. And hours counting the slowly appearing chub rolls on his arms and legs. I genuinely can't get enough of his little cooing sounds, and I've made up more ridiculous songs about his pudgy body parts than I can count.
So that pretty much takes up the bulk of my day. 

But there have been a few things I've done, and so many things other people have done, that have quite literally enabled us all to survive this first transition month. Or at the very least helped us come out of it better fed and much much happier about life.

1. A clean house.
This was mostly for my own sanity and it was so nice to bring our newborn home to a clean house. Because of the unexpected 3-day notice before our birth mom was induced, we went ahead and hired some cleaning professionals to come get it done. 100 percent worth every penny!

2. Fully-stocked everything.
I got us stocked up on essentials like toilet paper, hand soap, laundry detergent etc. and stocked our freezer with ready-made meals. It's been a lifesaver that totally rescued us this month, making not cooking for thirty days possible, supplemented with only a couple take-out meals along the way. 

3. Flowers.  
 Nobody gets you flowers when you adopt a baby, so I just went right ahead and bought myself some.
Twice, actually. It seems like such a little thing but having fresh flowers around the house does wonders for my spirit. It makes my whole mood lighter and happier. And, along with a couple bottles of bubbly, really helped establish a feeling of celebration and excitement about finally bringing our son home. Because I may not have birthed him, but it was still a freaking long hard road to get us all here.

4. Time.
Ryan took two weeks off of work, and that first week we selfishly kept all to ourselves as a sort of baby-moon. A chance for us to soak it all in, get to know each other, and figure out this parenting thing a little bit on our own before any visitors came to help. Those were some pretty hard nights but some insanely lovely days with just the three of us. I'm so glad we did it.

We even hung a little sign on our door announcing our baby-moon and how excited we were to welcome visitors in a couple of weeks. A little perk to that was that while we were hermit-ing away we were getting quite a few fun packages, and the mail man would deliver them daily with a "Congratulations!" "How are things going?" "Getting any sleep?" and "You've got some good ones today." He was really cute about it all. 

And we are blessed to have some truly amazing people in our lives, without which I simply cannot imagine making it through this first glorious and harrowing month.
It all would have been so-so-so much harder without them.

1. We had friends who drove four hours round trip and completely surprised us with a decorated home full of balloons, streamers, treats, and  photographs of our new son. They left signs, and gifts, and frozen dinners, and desserts, and salads, and some sparkling cider to make it all feel like a big celebration. Friends who just knew we'd be getting home late at night after one of the longest and most emotional and difficult and exciting and overwhelming days of our lives and who didn't let us come home to a dark and empty house, knowing we don't have any family close by to do it. It was incredible, and it made us laugh and it made us cry. 

2. We had family who drove twelve hours through a snowstorm to come stay with us during our second week and help us adjust to the sleeplessness and strangeness of new parenthood. Family who cooked, and cleaned, and bought groceries for us. Who walked, and talked, and shopped with us, and who let us run errands on our own one night to help everything feel a little bit more normal. Who loved on our little Thomas like nobodies business and made us feel like we had just won the baby lottery (which indeed we have.) Who never let us clean a single dish the entire time they were here,
and left our house cleaner than when they arrived.

Especially a mom who scrubbed our toilets for us, and vacuumed, and dusted. Which was genuinely one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me, ever. Perhaps surpassed only by the night she stayed up with Thomas the entire night and let us both get a full nights sleep. We've had some pretty great nights together, Ryan and I, but this was perhaps the greatest. I kid you not. Sleep is such a precious commodity these days.

3. We had a friend come visit from salt lake bringing giant bags full of snacks and all sorts of tasty no-fuss sustenance, including freshly baked bread, coconut dusted almonds, fancy drinks, gourmet popcorn, an awesome cinnamon/sugar grinder, chocolate croissants, cookies, and most important of all, a fresh supply of wipes. A friend who spoiled me with long talks, and extra love, and tons of support, and more gifts than any baby boy will ever need but meant so very much to his weary mama. 

4. We had a brother (and soon to be sister) drive all they way from salt lake armed with all the ingredients to cook us dinner, including fancy drinks and desserts (yes, plural). Who showed up at our door with arms fully loaded (seriously, loaded!) with all sorts of baby essentials we had not yet got around to getting but which we so desperately needed. Who spent the night loving on our little Tommy, watching movies with us, and basically making the whole night feel like an incredibly fun double date.

5. We've had people bring us warm home-made dinners, people who dropped off boxes of diapers unexpectedly, people who folded our laundry unsolicited, and really lovely people who threw us incredible showers to help celebrate the long awaited arrival of baby boy Reigle, arming us with baby essentials. And so many other people who came long distances just to meet our new little fellow.   

Basically, we have all sorts of insanely kind, thoughtful, and generous people in our lives who have had me questioning why I have not been hugely more attentive to all my friends who've had babies in the past. Who basically made me feel both incredibly spoiled and also a lot like the worlds most selfish human being. And it's definitely given me a fresh perspective and some great ideas on how to help new moms in the future. 

But honestly, we've been so touched! And more grateful than we could ever possibly say.
We'll never forget any of it you guys. You are amazing! Truly.


  1. So wonderful to hear! Congrats again! It sounds like you have a plethora of support , help and love! So glad. Keep loving that little one! Can't wait to meet you family.

  2. I love that idea of decorating the house to welcome everyone home! Thanks for sharing, I have a few friends expecting right now and I'll be more mindful of them for sure.

  3. Hi Leah! I'm Heather and I wanted to know if you could answer a question about your blog! My email is Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com :-)


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