*This post begins completely tongue-in-cheek. Please read this in a lighthearted frame of mind*
Let’s talk about doing it all. Moms, you know you have one of the hardest jobs on the planet, raising those kids, but let’s get real. That isn’t your only job these days.
Your body spent nine months growing a human – now that it’s done with all of that, it’s time to get back to the real work! Everyone knows that maternity leave is the time the mom is supposed to spend getting her house back in order and focusing on helping the father adjust to having a newborn in his life. I mean, come on, you grew the child for nine months, so you already have a relationship developed – what is the dad supposed to do with this relative stranger?
Everyone always says “sleep when the baby sleeps.” You don’t need sleep. Spend the time that the baby is sleeping to accomplish the important things in life: laundry, dishes, keeping your house tidy.
“Let people help you” they say. People aren’t there to help you. They are there to drink coffee or wine and hold your baby – especially when he or she is tired and hungry and all he or she wants is mommy. Your visitors can help fix that.
Those well-meaning people also tell you to “let the little things go,” especially household chores or making dinner. But come on, you’re home all day, can’t you at least pick up the house? The baby takes several naps a day, right? Why can’t you spend a few minutes a day picking up around the house? It’s not like you have anything else to do.
But truly, moms, let’s take a few minutes to cut ourselves some slack. “Doing it all” seems so enticing and sometimes even attainable, but let’s take a step back. After #babyD2 was born, I felt like I had it all pretty much under control. #BabyD was thriving at daycare, I was able to go back to work part-time (bringing #babyD2 with me until his babysitter was able to start), and I was still running a mile per day.
This didn’t last long. The night my running streak ended, after more than 150 days, #babyD2 and I got the most sleep we had to date. We fell asleep together, he didn’t wake up when I transferred him to his crib, and I felt quasi-rejuvenated when I got up the next day. I was disappointed about my streak, but I had gotten SLEEP – something my body had been missing out on since before #babyD2 was born.
Since #babyD2 has arrived, I’ve had emotional meltdowns, minor freak outs, and have let the laundry pile up so much that there aren’t any clean socks, and I have to work to not to let myself feel guilty. There are things so much more important than our housework, moms. Those nights that you stay up comforting your children, stroking their foreheads and kissing them in the wee hours of the morning, are infinitely more important those loads of laundry waiting for attention. That evening you spent with your husband rather than doing the dishes and sweeping up the dog hair (wait, is that just my life?) is far more significant to your well being than you may think.
“Doing it all” is intriguing and sounds appealing, but please, please keep in mind the important things. Your family, your child, your relationships, and your own sanity are far more important than any of those nagging things you feel you “should” be doing. Take care of yourself. Take care of your children and your spouse. Get rest. Do it “all,” but realize that your “all” should simply be caring for yourself and your family.