Babies, babies, babies!
Tammie, Christina, and Liz are having babies any day now, and there’s a humongous baby shower going on for them over at Mothergoosemouse! Games, prizes, silly little teacakes and cucumber sandwiches, the whole bit! Well, okay, I made up the teacakes and cucumber sandwiches, but the rest of the fun is over there, so go check it out!
What? You’re still here? Well, I know this is Solar System Week over here at Toddler Planet, but I do want to take just a minute to wish these ladies the VERY BEST as they deliver their babies and settle into life with a newborn. Again. (It seems like it would be easier the second time somehow, but I’m not sure that it ever is. It’s just … well … different.)
Oh, and of course you always have to bring something to a baby shower (I’m not bringing receiving blankets, Liz, don’t worry ….), so I’m bringing the best and worst advice that I received when I delivered Little Bear in January.
Lucky for me, it’s the same advice.
Sleep when the baby sleeps.
Everyone tells you to sleep when the baby sleeps, as if it’s some kind of miracle cure, or permission to let yourself luxuriate in peacefulness and silk sheets while you eat bon-bons and recover from the tsunami that was your birth experience. If only it were so. When both my boys were newborns, I tried to let myself relax and sleep when the baby slept, but I would wake up to find that the laundry fairy had not arrived, the dinner fairy was held up at the office, and the cleaning fairy was inexplicably running late. Not to mention the blogging fairy and all those fairies that were supposed to keep my husband’s job up and running while he was on paternity leave!
Clearly, there were things that had to be accomplished.
But the more I worked, the more tired I got, and the less I enjoyed the newborn days with my little ones. I found that the bad advice just kept returning as a potential solution, and it nearly became my husband’s mantra. (I would stagger downstairs at midnight, toting just one more load of laundry, to find him at the bottom of the stairs waiting for me, saying sleep. Sleep when the baby sleeps.) Even my mother kept reminding me that it was my option and my duty to rest up, so that I could recover, return to my old self, and enjoy my time as a new mom. Eventually, I discovered that they were right.
When I finally cut myself some slack, let the dishes go until the morning, and accepted the fact that there would always be another load of laundry to do, I was able to take some time for myself, relax, blog, visit with friends, and get some intellectual work done too. And it’s quite an improvement.
If only it hadn’t taken me so long to accept what I need to do.
Sleep. Sleep when the baby sleeps. Liz and Christina, I know that you’re about to have your second babies, but, believe me, the advice is even more true for you now. You’ll need all your energy to be a mom of two, so if you can hand off the toddler to Dad or a friend for a few hours, you may feel more free to sleep. Sleep when the baby sleeps.