THIS IS NORMAL

08-04-2019

Elizabeth Ball

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m an artist and a new mother to a six-week-old boy. In the past I have worked from home; however, my art studio is now my son’s nursery. Right now I am taking time off from art to take care of Charles full time. I am not yet sure what the future looks like for my art career and am taking things day by day.

What 3 words best describe your parenting experience to date?

Emotional, protective, exhausting

What’s one of the hardest or most surprising things about being a parent that people wouldn’t expect or don’t usually talk about?

For me, the hardest thing about being a parent is not having time for myself or for my husband. Every minute of every day revolves around our baby, and I miss the simple things that I used to take for granted like getting my nails done, running to a last minute yoga class, getting a blow out, and quiet week nights watching shows or cooking dinner with my husband.

What were some of your “wait...is this normal??” moments once you became a parent?

I wondered if it was normal to long for the way that things were.  There was a moment in the middle of the night in the hospital when we were going on more than 48 hours of no sleep because Charlie wanted to nurse on me every 15 min —  I was so tired and knew this was my new normal for as far as I could see. I started sobbing that our old life had slipped away forever. I now realize that I can be obsessed and head over heels in love with my baby and still miss our old life. When I was pregnant, it seems like everyone would say “you won’t remember what life was like before him.” However, as crazy as I am over this baby, I can very vividly remember what life was like before him and there are moments I long for a quiet hotel room, a care- free vacation, an uninterrupted evening with my husband or an 8 hour stretch of sleep!

What’s one of your favorite parenting hacks that helps keep you sane (that other parents should know about and start doing ASAP)?

If you’re a stay at home parent, make it a point to get outside with the baby every single day no matter what! Fresh air and a change of scenery does wonders!