One of the most frustrating things people told me before I gave birth was “You think you’re tired now? HAH. Just wait.”
First of all, who says it like that? 😒
Second of all, though it upset me at the time, they were right. The most exhausting thing in the universe is being a parent, this is the one job where you rarely ever feel satisfied with yourself, almost always are sacrificing for your children, and usually are running on less than optimal sleep. The sleep deprivation gets less severe as your little one grows up, but that newborn phase is enough to make a grown manly-man bawl from exhaustion.
When Aiden was about a week and a half, Bryce and I decided to take shifts watching him, so for the nights Bryce would be awake with our sweet boy and only wake me up if Aiden needed milk, and some nights when he knew I was too tired to wake up, he would just give him bottles. During the day while Bryce worked or slept, I would stay up and clean, care for Aiden, and once in a blue moon, I would actually sleep when he did.
I don’t know why I was so stubborn about staying up when the baby was sleeping. I think I was trying to overcompensate for PPD and clean/do something productive so I could boost my confidence, but honestly I felt worse and worse doing that, and next baby I’m just gonna take it easy at home the first two months and get that rest to heal mentally and physically. I wish I had listened to my grandma! She is so wise about so much.
Now, that doesn’t mean she’s the most up-to-date, she was the first person to suggest infant cereal in the bottle to make Aiden sleep through the night (at 2 weeks), so wise, yes, but just stuck in the traditions of her generation. She told me I should be sleeping whenever I can, and SHE WAS SO RIGHT. I put myself through way too much unnecessary stress and exhaustion, why? Pride 😬
Moms to be, please take the first few months with new baby seriously and sleep up, your body heals when you’re in REM sleep surprisingly, and you need that to be the best mommy you can be. Being too tired can make you irritable and depressed, no one needs that on top of a constantly needy newborn. Unless you’re one of those moms whose newborn sleeps 90% of the day and is super laid back, then I guess you were blessed and don’t need to take any of this advice because you get a full night’s sleep. I envy you, to be honest. 😑
Once you’re out of the newborn phase you’re usually golden until like 4 months, then sleep regression rears its’ ugly head and your child is back to waking every couple hours for a week or two. And the beauty of this, is that there are constant periods of time like this, where they just regress due to growth spurts, big life changes, stress, or teething. IT CONTINUES for YEARS. Well into their toddler years to be exact. 😭 But hey, if we can handle the newborn phase, this should be a walk in the park, right? We should get trophies for each sleep regression our littles put us through! And every milestone in parenthood, actually! Here’s a mini example of what they would say:
Why aren’t these real yet??????? Regardless of if they’re physical or not, we earned ’em.