Last week I talked about how it’s okay to ask for help when you have it (check out our post “It’s Okay to Ask for Help”). I have definitely missed having so much help, especially at night when Tory’s gone off to work (there’s no such thing as a break time when it’s just you and baby-just like that commercial for Nyquil: moms and dads don’t take sick days).
For the past month we had a lot of help from my mom. She came from Houston to stay with us and to help me recover and take care of Bryan. To be honest, she did a lot when it came to bathing, feeding and watching Bryan.
Mom created his daily routine. A routine that he has gotten used to and I’ve tried my best to continue it so that this transition is a lot easier for him (and for me).
It’s been a week since she returned to Houston (and Bryan’s a month old now) and we survived! Survived? I sound like I just came out of some sort of battle! Well, it is! It’s a battle against your own thoughts of failure. It’s a battle against your fears. It’s a battle between sleepless nights and curbing your frustration (baby feels everything you feel).
Growing up I used to love the idea of being a stay-at-home mom (don’t get me wrong, I still do and want to when the time is right). It is definitely NOT as glorified as it’s made out to be by society!
Stay-at-home parents (we can’t forget those dads; it’s not just a job for mom. Or quite frankly even those few grandparents who have changed their lifestyles to be parents again-but don’t get me started on that) don’t just sit around all day and wait for the baby to wake up or the kids to get out of school (HA! I now laugh at people who think that’s what it’s all about). They don’t go on extravagant shopping sprees, lunch dates with their friends and makeovers (well at least not 95% of them-there’s always the exceptions). It’s a full-time job!
I may have only had to do it on my own as a stay-at-home mom for the last week
(and for the next couple weeks until I return to work) but my hat goes off to all the parents who do this 24/7, 365 days a year! You guys are the best and so amazing for all you do (I hope someone has told you that today, if not, I am)!
I’ve learned that it’s all about establishing a routine and sticking to it. Yes, Bryan is only a month old and his routine may change each day based on his feedings, but there are still some things that are consistently done the same and at certain times of the day in order for him (and honestly mommy) to stay happy (and sane for mommy)! It’s never too early to start a routine with baby, whether it be bath time, bed time or tummy time.
I’ve accepted that dinners will be separate (occasionally Bryan will sleep long enough that Tory and I can eat dinner together). I’ve accepted that my dinner may go cold because Bryan needs a bottle. I’ve accepted that my coffee will be microwaved several times throughout the day before it’s finished (I now understand why my mom’s coffee was always cold or forgotten in the microwave).
I’ve accepted that I no longer have 8-hour sleeps and that I’m working on 2-3 hour naps throughout the day (lets face it, there’s still chores to be done when the baby sleeps). I used to be a heavy sleeper, but now even the slightest sound from Bryan and I pop out of bed like a pop tart out of the toaster to his side. I used to roll around in bed a lot but on the nights when Bryan sleeps in our bed, I’ve stopped moving and I’ve learned to stay on my side of the bed. I’ve accepted the idea that going to the bathroom is like a race against the clock (more like hoping and praying the baby doesn’t start crying).
In this first week alone, I’ve learned a lot about what a parent will do or has to change in their lifestyle to care for his/her child because I’ve changed a lot in my own routine to work with Bryan’s. Ive learned how to do most things one-handed while holding Bryan in the other.
I’ve started to slowly get the hang of things on my own when Tory’s at work. The first night, I’ll be honest, I was so terrified of being alone with Bryan.
Caffeine has definitely become my best friend! I used to be able to check my emails, texts and pick up phone calls whenever I wanted, but now it takes me hours to respond and days to check my email just because I’m trying to squeeze in a nap, run to the bathroom or try to finish up the dishes before Bryan wakes up.
Would I trade it in for my old lifestyle? Not at all! Every sleepless night, duration of fussiness or cold dinner has been worth every second with Bryan. I have a whole new appreciation for all the stay-at-home parents!
I welcome all their advice because they’ve gotten it down to a science! I only hope that what I’ve done for Bryan has been the best for him. Everything else for me, can come second (definitely the opposite of how I felt weeks ago. Check out our post “Newlyweds to New Parents”).