If you’re like me, you were dreading it. Maybe you were lucky and your husband was on “paternity” leave with you, or maybe you weren’t and he was just home for like a week.. either one is equally as difficult. I was different with each, my husband was off for a little with Cabrey because the winter is his slower time, but then with Danny it wasn’t long because the summer is his busy season. Either way, whether it’s a long time home with your husband and new baby, or just a short time ..the dread of thinking of having to do it all by yourself eventually, doesn’t go away. Those days of happily waking up together with your new baby, possibly even with other ones running around (one gets one kid – one gets the other) are OVER. And you’re all like, holy shit.. I gotta do this by myself. You literally have to keep humans alive all by yourself (really only maybe like 8-9 hours until your husband gets home, but you get it) and it’s terrifying. I mean there’s no handing over the baby while it’s crying to your husband to try and figure out why they’re crying – you are officially alone in figuring it out.
Thinking about my time alone with the kids, I figured I’d try and help you out by giving some advice on what helped me get through it.
Rule #1: don’t panic. It’s going to be okay. Millions of mothers have done it before you and survived, you will too. One is hanging on you yelling “mommy” while you’re trying to nurse the other one and your milk supply is low and you’re already down on yourself because those lactation cookies you spent hours making got burnt.. put your crying baby down in its crib for 3 minutes while you go into the bathroom and collect yourself – that’s 100% OKAY to do. Take a shower if you need to! Grab the tablet, put on Blippi (it’s 2018 my kids use tablets, whatever, judge me) put one in one crib and one in the other crib. Let them cry, I don’t know about you but I’ve never heard of something bad happening to a baby because they cried in their crib too long. 9 times out of 10 I would bet that baby’s asleep when you get out of the shower anyway.
You will get frustrated – we’re talking about a baby not a 10 year old kid who can tell you what’s wrong with them. If you don’t get frustrated then great for you, you should be on the cover of magazines somewhere because you’re a fucking mother unicorn. But, for you unmother unicorns, embrace the frustration. Take it in, accept that it may be a new normal for you and breathe. Don’t forget to tell yourself that you’re doing a great job – it’s been 2 months and your kids are still alive.
Rule #2: you’re not perfect. Yeah, before having kids you may have had your shit together but you don’t anymore, get over it. Stop scrolling through IG looking at these perfectly filtered pictures of newborns and their perfectly put together moms and judging yourself. That could literally destroy a person. Take it from me, if only you knew what went on to get that perfect IG picture, you’d be shocked. You’re gonna wake up one day and not want to put on jeans, fuck it – don’t. No make up? Who cares. Let yourself live for 5 minutes. You didn’t work out today because you were too busy with the baby? Cry me a river, you’ll be fine.
Rule #3: have fun. I look back at the beginning when I was home alone for the first time and just wish that I had tried to have more fun and let loose. Your baby is refusing to take a nap: “Alexa, put on Perm by Bruno Mars” – and dance around your kitchen with your newborn. Smile, these days with them this little go by SO FAST (cliché AF) but they do.
Rule #4: get out of the house once in a while. Even if you need to just take a walk around the block with the babes, fresh air will do you so good. Confining yourself to a house all day could drive you crazy. Go to Target and buy some shit you don’t need if that’s going to make you happy, just get out. And I know, sometimes if you have more than one going to the store is a lot to handle, but after the first time you quickly find what works best for you to be able to be comfortable getting them out of the house. Plus, getting out of the house is a big deal for them too, I bet when you get home the baby has a much better nap from all of that chaos that just ensued during your trip.
Rule #5: don’t feel bad doing something for yourself. start a blog if you have to (worked for me). get your nails done, just go sit at your friends house alone, without the kids. you’ll feel so selfish and guilty for being able to live without them glued to your side, but I promise your kids will live without you for an hour. you’ll never hear, “mom remember that time you left us go to get your nails done”
I’m over a year into being home with the kids alone and I still struggle with all of these things myself. I’m learning new things about my kids every day, but it gets easier, I promise. Some take longer than others for that easiness to settle in, but it’s a learning process. Every month that goes by I keep telling myself that was my favorite month so far and I know the next will be my favorite. pretty soon you’ll be THAT MOM planning monthly get togethers with your new mom group of friends that you met on the local Facebook Group.