My newborn is 6 weeks old. Now that I feel like I can get out of hiding and not wear pajama pants all day (well, it's Sunday), I can't help but feel relieved that the first six weeks are over. Sleep deprivation, making sure your baby is fed, clean, safe and sleeping is a lot of work! I'm not going to lie; these six weeks have been tough!
These 8 things really helped me get through the hardest 6 weeks:
If someone asks if they can do something for you while the baby is at home, say yes. It's naturally hard for me to agree to help, but this time I let myself get help, which is a great thing. I agreed to bring dinner into our house; I agreed to my mother and mother-in-law's offer to hold the baby while I slept or bathe; I agreed to a friend who took my older child to play. I said yes to my friend who delivered lunch. I even agreed with my husband to take out every other night.
Let go of something
If you are like me, you like clean houses. But, you know what? Dishes can sit in the sink, laundry can wait to be folded, and toys can last longer than usual. Dusting, mopping, scrubbing the bathroom, vacuuming—it's easy to do, but these tasks can be done later! real. These things can wait and you can let go of the idea that your house has to be kept clean all the time.
Speaking of vegetables, buy paper products to get you through the first few weeks. Paper plates and bowls will help you avoid filling the sink with dirty dishes. Don't worry - it's great that you'll be able to get your plates back in no time, but not deal with dirty ones and just focus on making sure you have a meal between feedings and babysitting.
For me, my guilt is a good TV show or a good book. I was finally able to catch a TV show on my DVR and find a good show on Netflix. While feeding my baby, I watch these shows to get me through those late nights with my baby.
Something to look forward to
You may be able to live with it every day for these six weeks, but it's good for you to have some expectations. Whether it's a family dinner to get you out of the house, a date night, or even takeout and a movie you want to see, plan it!
You keep hearing the advice "Baby sleeps when he sleeps!" For some, this is unrealistic and difficult to do, especially if you have other kids in the family. But if Dad comes home from get off work, go take a break. Rest if your child is playing. If your child wants to watch a movie in the middle of the day, close their eyes and rest. Take advantage of any rest time of the day.
Let go of mom's guilt
After my husband got back to work, I texted my sisters and said, "My kids watch so much TV today! I feel so bad!" But, looking back, if they could just watch their favorite show, and I'm trying to get a new baby Breastfeeding, it's not the end of the world. I know I won't be forever dependent on TV, and right now, it's a useful resource, so I'm trying to get rid of the guilt that nagging my mom. I know I'll play, read, play outside, and take them to the library whenever I'm ready. You will too.
Know it will get easier
You'll be able to catch up on sleep knowing that your days won't always be so tiring. Now, enjoy that little baby as much as you can.