Guestpost #31: Kate Ledgley – Ten things I’ve learned since having a newborn

Kate Ledgley is the Director of Operations at Second Harvest and a very quirky and passionate person. She is in charge of managing our entire direct food delivery program with a small but dedicated staff, and I cannot undersell what a momentous job that is. Kate also has a pretty cool family, so she must have done something right.

  1. You will be nothing but a feed bag 24/7: When they say “your newborn will feed up to 8 times a day, every three hours” they really mean “your baby will feed 12-14 times a day, every 1.5 to two hours, and will take an hour to feed each time – do the math on when you think you’ll be getting any sleep”.
  2. Sleep deprivation will make you crazy, but it won’t kill you: If you think you’ve ever been tired – think again. Fortunately, as the ER doctor told me, “Honey – you aren’t dying from a pulmonary embolism – you’re just tired and I promise it won’t kill you.” I read somewhere that if you go more than 48 hours without sleep, you are clinically insane. I now believe this to be true. The light at the end of the tunnel – you will sleep again and when you finally sleep for more than two hours in a row, it is glorious. You’ll never take sleep for granted ever again.
  3. Burn the Baby Whisperer: One of the best days is when you finally start listening to your own intuition and toss the books. Eventually you will learn that mom does know best and you know your baby better than anyone.
  4. Babies aren’t robots – they’re human: We go in with an image that babies eat, sleep and poop on cue and that life will resemble a perfect schedule. While it eventually does develop, you’ll drive yourself nutty trying to force it.
  5. You’ll do many things you said you never would: I was sure that “As soon as the baby gets teeth – no more breastfeeding” – until I had a baby who got teeth at four months and refused a bottle from day one. I also said “I will never let my baby become dependent on in-motion sleep” – until I had a baby that would ONLY sleep in the stroller no matter what I tried. I continue to tick boxes on the list of things I’ll never do, and I would like to personally apologize to every parent I ever judged before having a child.
  6. It’s ok if you don’t love being a mom right away: I was convinced that any woman who said from day one “I love every moment!” was either lying, heavily medicated or had live-in help. I now realize some people do truly love it from the start – but not everyone does, and that’s ok.
  7. You’ll run out to buy stuff you previously thought was ridiculous: When we were registering I scoffed at the video monitor and said to my husband, “What parents need this?!” About two months in, I turned to him and said, “It’s the $300 video monitor or expensive therapy – your pick.”
  8. You will be on the dating scene again: Meeting mom friends is like dating (but is essential to survival). The best thing is to find someone the same level of crazy as you are. My mom-dating ad would have gone something like “New, sleep deprived, overwhelmed mom seeking equally scattered mom-friend. Those who use words like “Ferberize”, whose newborn already sleeps through the night and who says their baby never cries need not apply.”
  9. You don’t become a different person – you become a redefined and stronger you: Your strength, resilience and confidence will be tested. You will question your abilities and think you are going to ruin your child. You will feel uncertain, lonely and scared. You will also come out the other side with a new sense of self, a more complete view of life and a heart so full of love it might burst.
  10. It’s the hardest thing you will ever do – but it’s worth it: For all the difficult times, the tears and the anguish – I wouldn’t change a single moment.

2 Comments

Filed under tenthingsivelearned, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Guestpost #31: Kate Ledgley – Ten things I’ve learned since having a newborn

  1. I love this she nailed it on the head! Katie you are brilliant and thank you for sharing the reality of being a Mom!

  2. Pingback: Top Ten Guestposts from 2011 | tenthingsivelearned

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