Five ways being a mom changed me that I didn’t expect

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I am so pleased to introduce a local favorite at the Bangor Daily News, Pattie Reaves from After the Couch, a blog that documents are journey toward living a healthy lifestyle after losing a remarkable 50 pounds! Pattie’s blog is inspiring and fabulous. If you haven’t already then I invite you to pop over and check it out here.

If you are just tuning in, the House Guest series introduces emerging and established voices in the mom blogger world to the Housewife Plus audience. The writers featured here share their stories about parenting, marriage, and life in general. They are sometimes serious, other times funny, but always real.

By After the Couch

Hi! My name is Pattie, and I blog at After the Couch about figuring out how to live a healthy lifestyle after losing 50 pounds.

pattieI became a new mom a month and a half ago and shortly after that, Sarah asked me to write a guest post for her blog. Thankfully she gave me a lot of time to think about what to write. ‘Cause she knows what having a newborn is like.

I spent a lot of time reading before my daughter Felicity was born, but no amount of reading prepares you for how having a baby is going to change you. I don’t even know if the Pattie of 2013 would even recognize myself. Some of this stuff still surprises me even, like …

1. There is now an acceptable amount of vomit on the clothes I’m wearing.

Sometime after my freshman year of college, but before I became a mom, that amount was none. I would continue to wear clothing with bodily fluids on it. Like a reasonable person. However, in the first few days of momhood, I realized that my standards would have to change, or I would be spending all my precious “free” time doing laundry.

2. Instead of counting the bars I can walk to, I count playgrounds.

parkWhen my husband and I found out we were pregnant, we knew we’d need more room than our two-bedroom apartment could provide. The selling point of our new house? Right by a brand new school (with what has to be the newest, most beautiful, cushiest running track in the state of Maine) and walking distance to seven — count ‘em, seven — playgrounds. We walk to playgrounds now, but we don’t do much playing on them yet. 

And zero bars. Zero bars I see myself actually getting the chance to frequent as a new mother.

3. I get excited about four hours of uninterrupted sleep.

sleepOk, you moms, you can laugh at me. I doubt that a “full night’s sleep” is something I’ll experience again for many years.

Finished? Good.

By now sleep deprivation has adjusted my standards, because I was SO EXCITED when my six-week old slept until 3 a.m. last week.

… except I woke up at 2 a.m. anyway, my shirt soaking wet, staring over the edge of her bassinet wondering when she was going to wake up so I could feed her and get back to sleep.

4. I buy clothes without trying anything on.

Clothes shopping used to be a luxury that would take all afternoon. Now a two-hour trip out of the house with a newborn is a very carefully timed feat.

It will probably be many weeks months before I will fit into my pre-pregnancy pants again. And I was getting tired of yanking up my elastic pants.  So we headed to Old Navy last week. I grabbed a style of jeans that was flattering on me … once  …  in a size somewhere between 40-weeks-pregnant and my former trim marathon runner self.

The result ended up being a baggy, mom-jean mess, but the effort of returning the clothes with a squalling newborn in tow made me cringe. So I’m wearing ‘em anyway!

(Sarah has informed me that actually, yoga pants are the new mom jeans, so clearly this was my mistake, as it’s impossible to get stretch pants in the wrong size.)

5. I bought a mom car.

mom_carI have an active disdain for cars. I never thought I would replace my 14-year-old Chevy Cavalier (that I barely drove) until I realized I’d have to maneuver a car seat into it. So right before she was born we traded it in for a light blue Honda CRV. Completely practical.

I have no idea how my husband and I went for week-long road trips in our two-door coupe because our gear for the 30-hour trip to grandma’s house a few weekends ago filled the entire trunk and back seat. Of an SUV. 

But the most surprising way being a mom changed me …

is that I never could have imagined being more in love.


And that nothing in the world could ever be more important to me. 🙂

For more stories about losing the baby weight and figuring out the baby, subscribe to my blog or like After The Couch on Facebook.

preavesBIO: By day, Pattie is the User Experience and Audience Manager for the Bangor Daily News. By night, Pattie is a first-time mom and renegade fitness blogger at After the Couch. I live in Brewer with my husband, Tony, and our two pugs, Georgia and Scoop.

** What a lot of friends of Housewife Plus do not know is that if it were not for Pattie and her generosity then my little blog would still be hiding in the musty dark seas of the Internet!



Sarah Cottrell

About Sarah Cottrell

Maine-based writer Sarah Cottrell is the voice behind Housewife Plus at the Bangor Daily News and is a regular contributor to Disney’s Babble and Momtastic. She is a co-author in six books including I Still Just Want To Pee Alone from the New York Times Bestselling series. Sarah’s work has also been highlighted and featured by SELF Magazine, National Public Radio, Washington Post, and VICE Tonic.