Becoming a mama can feel like a whirlwind: new emotions, new responsibilities, new relationships (with your body, spouse, family, the world), and a new schedule.
One thing I experienced before and after Lincoln’s birth, was this weird feeling like I had to do it all or have it all together as a mom right away. This was an absolutely ridiculous expectation although it was a completely valid feeling. No new parent has it all together. I would even say that few seasoned parents have it all together. The phases of your child’s development are always shifting and growing and with that comes new challenges.
This blog is about something that it’s taken me 3 years to realize. Being a parent is probably going to suck unless you’re taking care of some of the basics: sleep, food, connection, and movement. In this 4-part post series we’ll cover each one.
When I was pregnant with Lincoln, people warned me to get rest while I could because I was never going to sleep again. The smugness with which they said this was just as infuriating as was the advice. I don’t always get good sleep, even now that he’s 3, and I have found pockets of time in which to sleep. Sleep when you can-even if it’s during the day. Leave your laundry, dishes, and other projects so that you can sleep. There are very few things more important than getting sleep. Without sleep, you’ll increase your risk of getting sick, slowing your recovery (if we’re talking right after birth) and losing your mind. Having an upset parent won’t help the upset baby. Your baby doesn’t care if house is clean-he needs your care. Ask a friend or family member to come over and hold your baby so you can nap. From what I’ve found, people who love you are almost always willing to come hold your new baby. If there isn’t anybody near by, hire somebody. It will be worth it.
I’ve noticed in this pregnancy that I feel tired earlier at night, and while my circumstances are completely different now, (I have a 3 year old to keep up with), I know that it’s vital for me to be getting as much rest as possible. This is different than the first time, when I wanted to pretend that nothing was different, and I was the same person, capable of doing the same things, and often times pushed myself past limits and made myself sick. (I think I probably had 6 colds during my first pregnancy).
Shifting this in my life has resulted in me not being able to do everything I want to do all the time, like exercise, spend time with all the people I would like to be able to, and turn other social engagements down. And for now that’s ok. Being able to feel good day to day is worth the time spent in rest.
Is this one of the basics you need to work on? Even if you aren’t a parent or pregnant, giving yourself the time and the space to rest is vital in restoring all the systems of your body.