The other day I returned to this blog after a longish break, and was dismayed to find it covered with cobwebs. Once I dusted it off, I realized that I haven’t written here in ELEVEN months! Does the Internet even let you keep a blog that’s been neglected for so long? What have I been doing for the past (almost) year that has prevented me from rolling out even the most cursory post?
Well. It could have something to do with the little being strapped to my chest and whining as we speak. Yes – my girl Little Lark arrived in the world in late October, and as I exit the haze of the fourth trimester, I finally have a moment to breathe.
Returning to mothering a newborn after SIX years has been an incredible gift. It has also been hard. But I – we – are floundering through as a family. I’ve been thinking a lot about the wisdom I’ve gleaned along the way. And now – whether you like it or not – I’m going to share with you some tips in keeping both you and your newborn happy. And alive.
1. Never say to yourself, “There’s no way she could roll off of that.” Because one day – surprise! – she will.
2. If breastfeeding, just accept that the answer – to any problem – will almost always be to feed your baby. Even if he just ate 20 minutes ago. Or 10 minutes ago. Don’t ask why. Don’t complain. Concede defeat. Enjoy!
3. Set the bar super, super low when it comes to household tasks. Maybe give yourself one, ridiculously easy chore to do in a day. Like: today I will put these already-folded towels away in the cupboard. Then you can tick it off your list with the satisfaction of a job well-done. Pat yourself on the back.
4. Sleep is the most important thing. Repeat: Sleep is the most important thing. Whatever you need to do to get the required sleep for your baby and for you is what you need to do. Don’t worry about what people on Facebook are doing. If you’ve been up all night and feel like your eyeballs are coming out, you may need to spend the whole day trying to nap with baby. So be it. You may need to pack baby up and drive around until babe is snoozing. Fine.
5. You will attempt to do everything with one hand and it won’t work. Blog posts = limited success. Buttering toast = total fail.
6. Babies like to sleep on people. Wouldn’t you like to have a human pillow? That sounds grosser than I intended. But there’s a good anthropological reason for it. We’re carry mammals. Forget about the bouncy chair – mostly – and carry on.
7. Don’t even think about weight loss yet. Just don’t. Be forgiving – both of yourself, for eating that whole box of chocolate-covered almonds, (Hey, protein, right?) and of your belly for looking as it does. There was a tiny human in there for 40 weeks. Good job, belly.
8. When baby is sleeping on you, the thing that you want will be juuust out of arm’s reach. Your phone. The TV remote. Your glass of water, like an oasis in the desert. You will try to telekinetically move these objects closer. It won’t work. You will get up and wake your baby. Nap-time’s over. Dang.
9. The days (and nights) of early babyhood are long. But they also fly away faster than seems possible. So write everything down, because you WILL forget. Just when you’ve got something figured out, everything changes. Take a deep breath and live in the moment – as your baby does.
For some true pearls, here are a couple of articles that I like: