Monday, October 13, 2008

Great Expectations

I've read a million times in every parenting magazine and book ever written to set your expectations low for the first couple months of your baby's life in terms of getting anything done during the day other than caring for your newborn - feeding, changing, burping, bathing, rocking to sleep. Even showering becomes a luxury that might have to be put off until reinforcements come home from work.

My initial thought was: for as much as newborns are supposed to sleep during the day, how can this be reality?!

The truth is, I was spoiled for the first several weeks. Between the NICU and coming home with premies who slept all the time, I was feeling good about my skills as a stay-at-homer... but now that they are a little older and more awake, I've gone back to being not so sure of myself. I had been able to get several pages done in my scrapbook, order prints from September, make cookies, keep up with thank you notes, blog daily, and even keep the house clean and organized. Please understand that I don't say this wanting to be congratulated, more just to prove the point that things are vastly different now. I think God makes newborns sleep so much at first just to help ease you into bring a parent before the real action begins.

I keep thinking that the crying fits will be much easier to handle once they hit the stage when they can also temper their outbursts with some intentional smiles and giggles.

Maybe my expectations aren't too high though. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on this. Is it just a matter of prioritizing better? Instead of blogging and emailing everyday, what if I used this time to do other things that I like to do instead? Or instead of watching TLC and the Food Network all day, what if I read a book instead while nursing? I have a free hand afterall. Or, what if I spent 20 minutes just croping my pictures so I could lay them out in the scrapbook the next day. Or loaded the boys into their carseats to go for a walk during thier nap so I could get out of the house...

These are just a few ideas I had to break up the monotony of the day, but I'm looking for other things to do that aren't big time commitments and are LOW stress. Has anyone else felt similar? And if so, what did you do to break up the day? [Note: and I DON'T mean ways to get the housework done... I want FUN things. Feel free to tell me too that you think I'm crazy and I just need to wait for this phase to pass!]


Luke and Trisha said...

Hmm, this is a tough one Beth. I just try to get out of the house...especially on the days when I feel myself getting so frustrated when Sam is fussy or not napping. I love to walk around Target, Babies R Us (which has a nursing room) or the mall to just window shop or look for good deals. I also go to MOPS meetings and I just started going to a baby music/story class (for free!) at the library once a week. Occasionally I try to do "play dates" with other moms from MOPS or church just for a change of scenery and someone to talk to. Now, this is all with one child, so I am not sure if getting out of the house that often is as feasible for you. I am usually exhausted by the time I get home just from getting Sam in and out of the car numerous times :) BUT, I have faith in you...and am sure you can do it with two :) love you...let me know what you try!

suzannah said...

yeah, i'd say get out of the house! i stayed home a lot when dylan was little, but back then she could have napped anywhere and i wished i'd realized that, at least with regard to sleep, how flexible she once was! now, taking her out often disrupts the one or two naps she takes a day, and i usually feel like i pay for it later:(

definitely keep doing whatever you love so you don't feel like a milk machine;)

by the way, i left ya somethin' over my way...