Expectation Vs. Reality #2 feat. Lani Weisinger

BEFORE (Expectation):

I’m not finding out the gender because I truly think I’m not going to be ultra disappointed with whatever I have. If it was super important to me, I would know. I have expectations, of course. I have two little boys so would it be nice to have a little girl? Sure. But I’m also fully preparing myself to be that mom of boys which I feel like is on brand for me too. It’s so funny how I’m feeling differently in this pregnancy but is it a placebo effect? I have two kids home with me so it’s obviously different than the first time around and I’m also four years older. But I get so in my head sometimes like, is this a real thing or is it fully BS and I’m making it up that I’m feeling this way because I’m having a girl. I posted a picture in a bathing suit and every comment back was “you look like you’re carrying differently” or “it really looks like you’re having a girl.” It’s crazy that just the way you’re carrying makes people think that but then it gets in your head and you’re like, maybe I am. 

Lauren, who is a big role model in my life and someone I run the business with, is a completely different personality from me. She has four kids, she pushed them out very easily and they are all under the age of eight. She is very relaxed so to see her as a mom is very inspiring to me but I also have to realize that I’m a very different person from her. I deal with things differently and I’m a bit more anxious. We are different breeds. She makes it look like a breeze. I'm not saying it is, we all have our challenges, but she has got that laissez faire temperament where having chaos doesn't seem to aggravate her. She has a lot of love to give and more patience than anyone I've ever met. I can be more irritable. I’m pretty A-type so when things are out of place for me, I feel uneasy. Right now, I feel like it’s under control. We have two kids and it’s me and my husband and we have a nanny so it’s pretty manageable. My expectation is that I'm going to have to up my patience level and be ok with the chaos that’s going to come with the lack of control. I thrive on control and it’s a positive part of my personality but it's also a weakness so I'm a bit nervous about that because I'm going to be busy times three. I expect it to be more chaotic but I also think this may be my last baby. Four seems like a lot. So, knowing that this will be my last, I'm looking forward to the baby stage. 

In terms of sleep training, I'm a tough cookie. At 3 - 3.5 months, I'm pretty good about calling it and doing what it takes to make the house good. I always have that timeline in mind so even if things feel overwhelming at the beginning, knowing that you can have your nights back at that time really calms me a bit. When there are a lot of unknowns and not knowing when your life will go back to normal is a very overwhelming feeling especially for an A-type person who likes to be organized. So for me, there is that time reference. I know I'll sleep a bit more, I’ll have more time with my husband and kids. Hopefully I’ll have an easy baby who will commit to that timeline but you never know.

We don’t know what’s going to happen in the fall with Covid and kids going back to school etc. so I'm keeping my expectations low. My mindset for the hospital and delivery is hopefully my husband can be there and I'm assuming otherwise no one else will be able to visit me. If they can, great but I'm going in thinking this time will be very different. I have a night nurse set up which I'm very excited about but once again, we will have to see. I know myself and I can't hold back from work and I feel like I can't be absent. The more sleep I get, the better version I am of myself so I’m hoping I will have help at night but I'm also going into it knowing I might not so I'm managing my expectations. It is a difficult time to bring a new baby home but I work in maternity and I've seen people doing it in the heart of when it all happened and it made me feel more at ease. I feel better equipped because we've all been through it now. It's not a normal circumstance. Are my nieces and nephews going to hold the baby? I don't know. I think I just have to use my intuition. I'm trying not to make any decisions right now because depending on the circumstances, things will change so I'm keeping my expectations low to manage them.

AFTER (Reality):

I definitely thought I was having a girl but obviously I had a boy. I didn’t care and I don’t care. I think it was more that everyone was in my head about it that made me care. It really makes no difference to me and I think it’s a vibe that I have three boys. I think it’s just hard to separate your own feelings and what everyone is saying to you and that’s what happened prior to having him. Every single person would just chirp in my ear and it convinced me I was having a girl. Since giving birth, everyone and their mother’s have said “are you going to try again for a girl?” I laugh because I get why people are just like that. Other people would take it personally but I think it’s straight up comical. It’s just their own shit. They are thinking if I was in that situation, I’d be unhappy so they’re projecting. You just have to laugh at these idiots who are saying it. 

The first week was pretty brutal because my middle guy had a pretty bad cold and it was horrible. It wasn't covid but it was a bad viral thing that no one was having because no one was going anywhere so I was anxious and I couldn't touch him for literally a week. We were living at my parents' condo and it’s very small so I was isolated in the bedroom with the baby and I couldn't see him and that was heartbreaking for me because… middle child. Day one and it was already happening. That was hard for me because in that moment, it was so literal that my time was so split and divided. And I couldn't pick him up because I was so scared that I would get the baby sick. When a kid is sick, they need more TLC. He couldn't sleep by himself, he couldn't breathe so that was a rough start but the baby was pretty good that week so that balanced it out.

Coming home to the chaos was chaos. It was divide and conquer. We had to learn on the fly. People always say you’re outnumbered but it really feels that way. We weren't really doing anything so the stress of getting places would have been way worse like getting to an activity or program. I think about that a lot because being on time is a huge stress for me - but we had nowhere to go. But even figuring things out around the house. Like how do I physically do this with three kids. I got a carrier very quickly- i never used one with the other kids but I got one that I felt cute about and I wear it every day and it got me through. I needed my hands and I needed to be present and plus, he was pretty cry-y and wanted to be held all day. 

The transition from 2 -3 was way harder for me than any of the other transitions. I’m someone that needs time for myself. I really need those independent moments in a day whether it’s pampering or just listening to a podcast, I just need that to feel centered and normal and being home I got none of it. My anxiety was heightened because there was less for myself. I had my night nurse so I had the nights to myself but I was still nursing and feeding so I was still up. I was very anxious for the first few months. I had a lot of energy but I didn't know where to place it. It was an odd, exciting time. Something always had to get neglected and it was usually me. Having a baby and being the one doing everything for the baby - you're so present that you can't give your time. 

He’s been a dream sleeper and I feel like an asshole even talking about it. My other kids were not like this so I anticipated the screaming every few hours. My eldest would cry for five hours straight. I think because he cried so much when he was little, he’s making it up to us now. He’s made it so easy on us. I did nap training and sleep training at the same time and now he is sleeping for two hours every morning. If I want to do something, I can fully do something and have no guilt over it. I have guilt when my kids are awake and I’m not with them but when they are napping, I wouldn't be spending time with them anyways so I feel less guilt. Now that we've established this routine I feel such a huge weight lifted. The bonding time feels so much more genuine between those moments. It was hard to have those peaceful moments with him and it’s hard when you’re dealing with other things and other kids. You hear a baby crying and it just triggers you and I don’t know how to be relaxed at that moment. I can't even hear what anyone is saying because the baby is screaming. Now he’s happy so when he’s awake, he’s just smiling and it is so lovely. It's important to remember that there are all these different stages and there are always going to be so when they are good or bad, just acknowledge it and move on. But give me a four month sleep trained baby any day of the week. 

I think my mindset was right to have no expectations because you can't really predict what could happen. It was shitty because it was right before the second wave and things shut down again. There was no release for me because everything was shut down. My husband is also very covid cautious so I didn't see anyone. I was isolated and there was no break. Mentally, it was hard but I'm proud of me and my husband that we are together and we still respect each other and we did it. Not every day was a walk in the park but it was a testament to our relationship that we were able to juggle it. There was a lot of beautiful bonding time in those moments. It was nice to just be home together and have lunch together. I tried to see the silver lining in those moments. My anxiety was high and my mental health was mediocre. I just felt like I couldn't relax. Not having a schedule is very hard for me. So not having a schedule AND being home all the time was difficult. That is the reality. It was learning how to roll with it and not let it get to me. But I think I let it get to me…