It’s only been eight short weeks since I crossed the threshold into motherhood, but I’ve gathered a lot of insight along my journey so far. Everyone is different so my experiences may very from other’s, but there are a few pieces of advice and truth that I wish were presented to me in the beginning.
First of all everyone is going to tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps and you being a novice at this mom thing are going to think that that actually happens or works. Yes, when your baby sleeps at night you should absolutely sleep. But sleeping during the day while your baby is snoozing is just about impossible. My son only takes naps at about 20 minute intervals, so unless I am completely depleted, that brief period of time is going to do me more harm than good. And truthfully, the only time Beau does nap is in the car or the carrier. Try laying down with a baby carrier on, it’s not going to work mama. I haven’t tried to nap in the car, but that’s another level of mom life that I haven’t approached yet. When Beau is napping, that’s my time to get shit done. I’ve learned to make the bed, fold the laundry, do the dishes and tidy the house in 20 minutes! That’s what my next heads up entails; time management.
You have to try to get your baby into a routine and stick to it. I hate how ridiculous I sound when I remind my husband that Tummy time is at 8:30, but really it’s so important. Tummy time is imperative for baby’s growth and development, but it’s also mommy’s chance to brush her teeth and to do something about the bags under her eyes. Beau will normally play on his mat for a good 20 minutes, are you noticing a pattern here? This kid is like clock work too, he’s knows when he has surpassed that 20 minute limit. That being said, I know that most days, I have will a small time slot to get ready and I need to make the most of that allowance. So once again, I have learned to do my hair and makeup, brush my teeth and get dressed in 20 minutes. I feel like I’m in the military.
Everyone scared me into thinking I wasn’t going to have time to shower. Oh, you’ll find the time to shower, just know that all you will hear while you’re in there is the baby crying even if he isn’t crying at all and you’ll peek out from the curtain every 2 minutes and at some point you’re going to have to get out of the shower with soapy hair because your baby is actually crying this time and he’s having a stage five melt down. And then when you’re husband comes home from work, you hand the baby off to him, pour a glass of wine and go lay down in the shower for 20 minutes because you earned it.
Another thing about hygiene, if you don’t brush your teeth and put on deodorant first thing in the morning, you won’t at all. This is especially true for those first few weeks. I couldn’t even believe the degree of body odor I allowed myself to retain. It’s embarrassing how comfortable I become with smelling so terribly. And it seemed that a simple task such as putting deodorant on couldn’t be accomplished because my priorities just weren’t on me at that point in time and that’s one true testament of becoming a mother. Brandon used to ask me half way through the day if I remembered to put deodorant on. It does get better I promise.
And that’s brings me to my final piece of advice. Take care of yourself! Do at least one thing each day for you. My daily reward is usually a vanilla chai from Starbucks. On the days I don’t make it out of the house, I’ll take an extra long shower or do something special with my hair that’s not a mom bun and take some selfies like I would before a night out with the girls. And pretty soon, I’ll get to go out with the girls for real and maybe even have a date with my husband, but in the meantime there’s baby steps. Every day I learn a little more and it gets a little easier. Motherhood is a unique experience for all of us, but at the end of the day it is just as rewarding.