Milo at 3 weeks.
Photography by Leah Watkins Photography.
I mentioned this before, but having a baby this time around has been different.
It is still hard, and I still stress out every day, but there has also been a lot of joy.
I don’t mean to say that there wasn’t joy when Owen was born,
but I let the stress get to me.
It took me a long, long time to get back to feeling like myself again.
I look at Owen and I can’t believe how big he is.
I almost can’t remember his first few months
because I spent that time looking forward to when it would be easier again.
I don’t want that to happen this time.
I want to enjoy Milo as a teeny baby.
I want to push aside the really hard things that come with taking care of a newborn,
and make more room for all of the amazingly good things.
I came up with a few things that have made my life a little easier these past few weeks.
Maybe they will be helpful to others,
but I really just wanted to write it all down in case I forget next time around.
1. Accept help. What’s the point in pretending like you can do it all on your own, when you know you can’t? No body will think less of you for it. I have been blessed to have so many friends and family members offering meals, help, and play dates for the older boys. When Owen was born, I said “we’re good!” when people asked to bring food over, etc. This time, I’m gladly accepting, and it really has been a huge help! (Thank you!)
2. Sleep when the baby sleeps. I know. Everyone says this. It’s just so hard to actually do, especially when you have other children. But you need it. I have been going to bed with Milo at around 9 every night, and it has made those late night feedings so much easier to wake up for.
3. Keep up with basic hygiene. It really does get easy to forget the basics when you have a newborn around. Your needs get set aside, and his needs become priority. If you make time each day to do the basics (brush teeth, brush hair, shower, shave, get dressed), you will feel more energized. The days when I am still in my pj’s at 4pm and can’t remember the last time I showered are the days that I feel exhausted and spent. When I make an effort, I feel better about myself and have more energy to get things done.
4. Pick one accessory. You don’t need to get all dolled up every day. Just pick one thing…earrings, mascara, a necklace, cute shoes, a scarf, etc.
5. Exercise. Go for walks around the neighborhood, or join a gym. I am a huge advocate for the YMCA. That place is my haven. Exercising makes me feel great and the children are taken care of in the nursery by the best people.
What lessons have you learned from having kids?
Is there anything you would do differently next time?