I’m finally blogging! I’ve managed to get Reuben to go to sleep in his sling, so I sit here writing whilst trying to not drop chickpeas on his little head – got to multitask!
I love Reuben so much but it turns out having a newborn baby is no walk in the park… in fact even walking in the park has lost its charm since my little nipper isn’t massively keen on sleeping in his pram. As you can tell from the amount I’m blogging, these last few weeks have been fun – I’ve not had the brain capacity to blog, tweet, facebook, basically anything involving words and reading has been a struggle (If anyone was on my blog yesterday you would have seen that I managed to publish this post in the morning despite the fact I hadn’t even remotely finished it). In fact it’s all been about survival and I’ve only just realised that this is pretty much how it’s going to be until he’s at least 3 months old. An NCT friend found this great blog post that sums up life with a Newborn Baby and made me realise I’m in this for the long haul (well, at least the first 3 months and if my friends’ cheery comments are anything to go by, even longer!). The first line sums it up…seriously read it, it’ll cheer you up if you’re in the same no man’s land as me: “A “newborn” and a “baby” are two completely separate creatures. All new parents who tell you how awesome parenthood is, this is because they now have a baby, and have forgotten what it was like having a newborn”.
If I look on the bright side (apart from being lucky enough to have a beautiful baby, of course), I’d say it’s been interesting to discover a few things about myself. For example, at the moment I rank sleep as more important than eating or drinking. I always thought they were level. Another NCT friend pointed me towards the sleep lady. Yes, she’s real and to quote my new guru: “Sleep is not a luxury or a sign of weakness!”
Amen sista. This blog post in particular was really useful to me as it helped me articulate to Mike how much I was struggling from lack of sleep. Now he’s helping out more to make sure I at least get that precious 3 hours straight! Send the link to your loved one (and then stand over them to make sure they read it and absorb all the information!). Here’s a little summary though:
- Take sleep seriously – Done. Sleep deprivation can affect everything from your mood to your milk supply
- Don’t sleep when baby sleeps – an interesting one as it’s what everyone recommends…it worked well to begin with as he would actually sleep during the day in his cot, now if I put him down he very rarely sleeps for a while. He’ll either wake immediately or wake within 10 minutes so if I do try to sleep in the hope it’s one of his rare sleeps, I spend ages lying there expecting him to wake and if I do nod off he then wakes up without fail! So her advice is to get someone to watch the baby, asleep or otherwise, so you can actually relax and get to sleep. Heaven.
- Don’t routine your baby’s sleep – Thank god she said that I’ve spent weeks worrying about trying to get the Reubster into a routine and just getting myself worked up. For at least the first 12 weeks you’ve got to go with the flow and make sure you get enough sleep!
- Create a mum-cave – this is a heavenly place to go to shut yourself off from everything baby so you can rest. You will need: ear plugs, blackout blinds (or eyeshades if you don’t have), comfy, comfy bedding, and a book if you need to get your mind off babe. Oh the luxury!!
- Get help – I can’t paraphase as this was so beautiful and perfect it made me cry so here it is in all it’s glory: “I don’t care if two weeks before birth you were running a Fortune 500 company by yourself or covering the six war zones simultaneously for ABC NEWS. Being a new mother is, hands down, harder in many ways. And yes, your mother raised 14 kids by herself without a hair out of place, and yes your husband has “a real job” where he can’t fall asleep at his desk. But staying home with a baby full time is a “real job”, too. A 24/7, no week-ends, holidays, sick days or breaks at the water cooler kind of real job. Hiring a babysitter or a mother’s helper to watch the baby while you nap in the afternoon is key to surviving the first six months or so. Yes, baby sitters cost money but so did that nifty stroller. Trust me, (I’ve been through it three times) paying for some sleep is one of the smartest investments you can make in the future happiness and well being of the entire family.”
Moving on, I have also discovered that I am the opposite of a domestic goddess. To be honest, this is no surprise but I am surprised by the extent. I have no interest in house work or baking cakes or any of those house proud things. I’ll happily leave clothes ‘dryin’ for a week and that B&Q advert (“I did this”) is totally lost on me. It does, however, make me feel guilty and get me down if the house is a mess so I do housey things with the precious little time I have to myself and hate every minute of it wishing I was doing one of my mum missions:
1. To exercise
2. To prepare nice healthy food
3. To blog
1 and 2 are both obviously in the hope of getting my body back or actually I’d quite like to get be better body back. I decided while I was happily pregnant and unable to do anything about it that I wanted to look more like Jodie Marsh – i.e. body build and drink loads of protein shakes! I’ve sky plussed Jodie Marsh: Brawn in USA so I can get inspiration/motivation to work out and eat cleanly and while I have managed to get to the gym a few times, the only thing I have in common with Jodie is massive knockers.
The blogging side of things is something I still really want to do – I’ve really enjoyed blogging throughout my pregnancy and I want to keep this up. There are 2 main issues with this. Firstly, time. Secondly, what on earth do I blog about?! Before it was pretty simple, I blog about pregnancy! Now I have a baby and to be honest I have lost my blog identity. Is it about me? Him? And does what I write now make what I’ve written previously irrelevant?! I had thought I would write about how I get Jodie Marsh’s body back.
But is that even interesting? In any case it all comes back to time. Time to sleep, time to get fit and time to blog. All while looking after my hansom little chappy!
If you have any thoughts on what you’d like me to talk about, what might be of interest to you, what you liked previously, etc. please let me know as my baby brain needs your help!!
Yours sleepily xxxx
p.s. I should say we have a cleaner who I love to bits – she comes in for 2 hours a week to hoover, do the bathroom, kitchen, that kind of thing and we’ve just decided we want her to come in twice a week for 1 and a half hours each time. You might think that makes me a bad mother/wife but I personally worship the ground she walks on and think it’s the best £30 I spend!