When you’re pregnant you spend your life dreaming of all the newborn baby cuddles and Baby Centre tells you that newborns need 18 hours of sleep a day so really, how tiring can it be? You’ve read every article and blog post about acing motherhood and you’re ready. Then you’re handed this tiny, perfect human and everything you have planned goes out the window.
Thankfully Theodore is well beyond the newborn stage, mind you having a one year old comes with a whole other set of challenges! I thought I’d put together a few honest tips on how to survive those oh so exhausting newborn days.
Sleep when the baby sleeps
I will shout this from the roof tops and try my upmost to hammer it in to any pregnant woman I see. Yes you’re told to do this by plenty of people when you’re pregnant and you look at them and say yeah yeah but truly, take note! The washing, dishes and other stupid jobs will wait. Make the most of every second of precious sleep because if your baby is anything like Theodore then he or she will think they live in Australia and be up for most of the night (18 hours my bum BabyCentre!) so whenever your baby decides to take a random two hour nap that there’s no way they’d do any time after 7pm then hop straight into bed, or the sofa, or the floor wherever you can and catch some zzz’s! You’ll be thanking yourself later while you watch the hours of 2, 3 and 4am go by in a haze of feeds, nappy changes and cuddles.
Yes you want to be super mum and do it all yourself but you’ve just gone through labour and now you’ve to care for a whole other person so if someone offers to pop round to give you a hand make the most of every second! Get them to make you lunch and while they’re in the kitchen get them to prep some dinner for you and do those dishes that have been sitting there for 4 days that you’ve been meaning to get to.
Don’t be scared to say no
Whenever you’ve just had a baby every single person you’ve ever known, even that girl from school that you haven’t spoken to in 6 years, wants to pop round and see the baby. Don’t be scared to say no! If they’re truly a good friend they’ll realise that having a baby is a complete shock to the system no matter how much you preped and prepared and having visitors and playing house is the last thing on your mind! If they’re really that interested they’ll still be there in a month or two when you’re back on your feet and getting used to your new normal.
This may seem like a strange one but be kind to yourself. It’s so difficult when you’re in the moment but I remember so often feeling like a failure because it was 4pm and I still wasn’t dressed and the washing I’d planned to get done was still sitting in the basket. Looking back now even only a few months later I realise how silly that was. I should have just sat and enjoyed all those incredible newborn cuddles because trust me they don’t stay small forever!
Celebrate the small victories
Finally, along with being kind to yourself, celebrate yourself when you’ve aced it. Got dressed today? Well done you, reward yourself with an extra biscuit or two. Made it to the shops to pick up some essentials? You go girl! Having a newborn is so overwhelming but you’ll adjust to your new normal soon!
Did you find it overwhelming becoming a mama?