I’ve had this Motherhood gig for just over 12 weeks now, I don’t claim to know it all. In fact most days I feel like a complete and utter failure. If ever there was anything to etch away at your self esteem it’s a newborn baby. For the most part the inside of my head is an abyss of self doubt.
Did I do that right? Is she getting enough food? Is that pain because of the way I fed her? Did she just drink bath water? Great now she’s choking on it.
The first few weeks were hard, I have no shame in admitting how much I struggled (let me clarify that I was NO less grateful for my daughter). It’s a difficult mix of emotions to process. I was drowning in depression, completely overwhelmed with the new work load, incredibly guilty for all of that but also bursting with love for my newborn baby. How is that possible all at once?
I was surviving not thriving and it was making me so sad that by being so preoccupied with the negative was making me miss that time with my baby. By the time all my family help was gone and it was just me and her, things got better. That’s not to say that help wasn’t productive or required – it was. It was just coincidental that at that time my fog lifted and I found my feet as a mother. Since then we have been BFFs and I love every moment of Motherhood.
During my most difficult times in the early days the smallest things would have helped me a lot but I just wasn’t thinking clearly. You may read this list and think ‘duh, that’s obvious’ and maybe so but to me it wasn’t. If this list helps anyone have an easier day then my job is done.
Diapers, Diapers Everywhere!
If possible, have multiple changing areas. Or at least one downstairs as well as up. Stock up your changing stations BEFORE you have the baby (I did not and had an actual meltdown having to set up diapers and wipes at 22.00 after arriving home from the hospital – yes it was THAT late, don’t ask!)
Avoid outfits with buttons. WHY do teeny tiny newborn outfits have real buttons, not even snaps, real life buttons?! So silly! For the first few weeks try to find snap onesies or sleep suits with zips.
Utilize the shoulder flaps on bodysuits. Most babies are not fans of pulling stuff over their heads. Plus you’re being mindful of the soft spots. Roll the onesie downward and even pull it up that way. Also, roll it down in the event of any poop-splosion!
The moment you come home from an outing with baby re-stock the baby bag with any item you used while out. ALWAYS make sure there’s a spare onesie, outfit and pair of socks replaced after use. And wipes, dear Lord don’t forget to replace the wipes. What a horror show…
Bib-ity, Bobity, Burp
Use bibs and keep burp cloths EVERYWHERE. Even while nursing, use bibs to catch spit-up and save the outfit. I do this not because I’m so fussy that the outfit might get dirty but because it saves a ton of laundry and prevents those adorable little outfits from shrinking due to excessive washing. Unfortunately no bib or burp cloth can prevent what may or may not come out the other end…
Change baby before feeding. Yes I know, I know baby may need a fresh diaper right after feeding but if he/she doesn’t then you don’t have to put them flat down and risk throwing it all back up.
New babies are hard work! However, nothing can compare to the joy they bring. If you’re drowning in overwhelm don’t be afraid to reach out for help, if that help is unavailable then sit back and leave the dishes dirty and the floor unwashed. You can vacuum at any time in your life but baby will only be this tiny today. It’s only a season!