When you have a baby you are usually given the same old run-of-the-mill advice. The advice, though well intentioned, is often verging on mythical! Although in the ideal world it would work, in real terms it simply doesn’t.
The Dishes Can Wait
There are a few reason why this doesn’t work out in the real world.
Some mothers simply cannot tolerate mess. Maybe you can’t relax if there is mess. Which makes leaving the dishes an impossibility.
Other mothers are quite happy to let the dishes wait, but the fact of the matter is, they’ve been waiting for so long that it’s impossible to find anything clean. Your house is verging on a biological hazard and when you want to eat you have to trawl through the piles of dishes and wash a crusty spoon before you can scoop some leftovers out of the tub.
I know this won’t work for everyone, but here are a few suggestions that may work better for you.
- Put your husband to work. Women still do 80% of the housework even when we work for money.
- Get a cleaner. Whilst this may not be financially possible for everyone I strongly recommend you try your best to make it work.
Sleep When The Baby Sleeps
I’m a fan of napping. A HUGE fan. If you can grab 20 minutes at some point that’s awesome.
But seriously when else are you meant to shower/eat/pee?!? Unless the person giving this advice is actually offering to hold the awake baby at some point so you can take care of your health and hygiene then it’s really unrealistic advice.
My suggestion? Ask for help. Ask that person to hold the baby for a bit. Or better still stack the dishwasher whilst you hold the baby.
They Grow Up So Fast - Enjoy Every Moment!
Retrospectively, sure, it seems like a blink of the eye. The days are long, the nights are longer, but the years fly by. At 3 am there is no light at the end of the tunnel, that the darkness goes on forever.
It’s really hard to appreciate the darkness, the tunnel, before you have emerged.
Maybe it feels more like A Tale of Two Cities; “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”
As a parent the highs are higher and the lows are lower. The happiness scale got rearranged. There are more extremes of emotion, nothing is steady or familiar. There is more boredom, loneliness, suffering. But there is also more joy, peace and bliss.
When your baby enjoys her first heart-melting giggle. Watching your partner soothe the baby to sleep. Enjoying that rare, hot cup of tea, alone.
My advice? Those transcendent moments are what keep you going, refuel you until the next pit stop, wherever the hell that is.