While supporting and caring for our kids is definitely important, we also need to care for ourselves. We need purpose in our lives and direction so that we can feel fulfilled. It will make us better mothers, better family members, and better people.
Having a newborn is exhausting. With round the clock feedings, it's easy to feel like a glorified beverage dispenser. Add a toddler to the mix and you are on duty 24/7. And yet for the most part, I managed to stay active on my blog , complete one graduate level math class and am in the midst of another one. Also, I haven't given up socializing to do it. Hailey, Tyler, and I have attended 2 baptisms, a baby shower, a gender reveal party, a graduation party, and 2 bbqs all in the last month. We also visited the zoo and the park. I'm not magic, I promise. So how do I do it?
First, I prioritize. Family is first. So I make sure that we spend time together and go on outings. We are lucky that my husband is home during the day, so we really get to make use of my time away from work. After that is grad school work, after all I'm paying for that education so I want to do well and learn the material. Third is the blog. While I love blogging and sharing my knowledge and experiences, family and school come first. I work hard to stay consistent, but if something has to give, it's that. I mean how much sense would it make if I prioritized blogging about being a mom over actually being one? And how useful would what I say really be?
Second, I try to get as much sleep as possible. No one likes a cranky and exhausted mommy and a sleepy mommy is inefficient. So as I mentioned in my last post, my husband and I have a schedule of who is on duty at night. While I still have to wake up for the feedings. I am able to pass the baby off to my husband to put her to sleep and I can go straight back to bed for her middle of the night feeding. Then I am on duty for her early morning feeding. I also take a nap every once in a while. Without sleep, us moms get foggy, cranky and scattered. We snap at our loved ones and forget what we need to get done. It's better to have more sleep than more hours to get stuff done. With more sleep, we can use the hours we have better!
Finally, do things while you feed the baby. When you are feeding the baby you are stuck in one place for a good amount of time. Use that time. For me, I often use that time for studying or writing blog posts. Sometimes I use it for social media. Other times I stare wonderingly at my baby girl. But with 8 feedings a day I have plenty of chances to do all of these options. You might like to use that time to read, catch up on tv, or pay bills. Whatever you can do whilst sitting or with one hand is a good option!
Obviously, there is no pressure to get everything done when you have a newborn. To be honest, the house cleaning has been lacking recently. The toys are sometimes left out and the mopping and dish washing has been inconsistent. But, I'd rather have quality time with my family than a pristine house.
I was lucky enough to have a very smooth delivery, so I didn't feel like I needed a great deal of recovery. Therefore, I was comfortable mentally and physically to get back into things. However, everybody and every delivery is different. It's important to not push yourself beyond your abilities. No matter how smooth the delivery, it was still a delivery. Your body underwent a major event and you now have a new baby to care for. It's totally ok to cut yourself some slack. If you do have something you need to get done, use these tips to help you get it done.
Next post we will be talking about a fun Fourth of July craft project. See you then.