Remember when you were pregnant and your body was magically making a human being while you did whatever you felt like doing? You weren’t even thinking about that eyeball or that hair follicle and yet it was being created. You could eat, jog, shop, read, cook all while making that cute little angel. Talk about multitasking!
Now that baby is here, it’s easy, even natural to want to keep on multitasking like the overachieving goddess you are, but it’s important to remember that KEEPING ANOTHER HUMAN ALIVE IS DOING SOMETHING!
But the laundry…? you say.
But the dishes! My email!
We hear you, we get it. Take a deep breath and say this with us: Keeping my baby alive is doing something. Snuggling with my baby is doing something. Staring at my sleeping baby is doing something. Repeat it til you believe it. Keeping a tiny human person who just got here and doesn’t even have the muscle tone to hold their own head up and can’t take care of themselves in any way whatsoever alive is doing something! In fact, it’s doing lots of somethings. And it’s the most important something. Does it provide the same level of instant satisfaction that folding tiny onesies or emptying the dishwasher provides? Maybe not, but remember -keeping this tiny human alive is a long game. (And frankly the dishes/laundry are endless and eternal.)
One caveat to all of this calls to mind another saying, put on your own oxygen mask first.
Meaning, while you lean in to all of this doing something that may feel like not doing something at first, don’t forget to take care of your basic needs so that you are able to take care of your baby. We're not talking about “self-care,” we're talking about food, water, rest, bathroom breaks, breaks in general, deep breaths and rest. Get help if you can to achieve this: baby carriers or wraps to give tired arms a rest, refillable water bottles near your bed or couch, Instacart or a food delivery service like Grubhub if available, (easily reheated foods also works), and helpful friends or family members. Keeping another human alive is doing something, but you have to be alive to do it.
This advice is ten thousand times easier to give than to take. Our culture is so geared towards being busy busy busy and capital “P” productive that slowing down or single-tasking can feel foreign. A friend suggests you spend an entire day gazing into the eyes of your sweet babe may send you into a full panic! How dare she suggest that you just chill? You have so much to DO. But guess what? Keeping another human alive is doing something.
Repeat it til you believe it.
Now, as a blog on deadline is written from the front seat of your parked car (again) while your little angel dreams away in the back seat, doing something? Asking for a friend.
Article by: Jessica Kivnik