Babies are awesome. They are little and loving, and everything they do has the potential to be adorable. I remember when my son would kick his little legs, and I would melt.
If anyone else in my life expected a round of applause for kicking their legs, I would assume they had an ego problem.
Babies don’t really get the importance of sleep. They have ample opportunity to fall asleep and wake up. Their tiny tummies can only hold so much food. They have committed to the lifestyle of biphasic sleep.
You, on the other hand, are dragging, trying to hold yourself together while forgetting basic human needs like eating.
Sleep deprivation does different things to different people. In all cases, it does not make us better.
From one mom to another, here are some hacks to help you through the fog.
Stop the impressive game.
This is not the time to be “impressive” in any way. You are a full-time caretaker to a little person. That’s enough. You don’t need to glamorize an Instagram lifestyle or create amazing meals or even be ahead of your laundry.
You can binge-watch a show you’ve already seen before (which truly is the safest bet, because you won’t remember much of what you saw anyway). You can sit on a doughnut pillow topless, eating cereal.
Let it be. Any essence of trying to be more, at this point, is just plain exhausting and unnecessary.
Organize the offers.
People will say, “Let me know what I can do,” and then you won’t call them on it. Be different. Tell those people they can bring you a meal, or let you shower, or just clean your rug. You will do it in return.
People don’t offer unless they mean it (and if they didn’t mean it, well, that will teach them to stop making the offer in the first place.)
Take a shower.
Yes, the baby will be right there, in their bouncy seat, staring at you. No one grew up and said, “I am in therapy because my mother was selfish. She took a shower. Every single day.”
Showers are transformative – and you deserve a few minutes to yourself.
Even if it is snowing, or raining, or too hot, or a million other things that make you feel anxious when you have a newborn. Strap on that baby or get them in a stroller and get yourself in the land of the living.
Remember that there is great coffee in the outside world.
Whether that means wearing a full face of makeup or crying unabashedly in front of girlfriends, you are allowed to be you and a mom simultaneously.
This is a life lesson that seems ridiculously obvious until you have a kid. Then you will miss all of the obvious because you are so sleep deprived.
Ask for help.
My mom came and visited, and I was in full-on overwhelm mode. I couldn’t even get to sleep if I wanted to because my son was waking up so often, I had adrenaline coursing through my veins.
I asked her to let me have a nap and just knowing that she was there allowed me to sleep. We all need a little help, and asking for it can make a huge difference, especially in those early days.
Every single mom was a mom who didn’t know what the heck she was doing in the beginning.
You’ve got this ?