Ever had yourself put on a clock, so tight? No Mamas, watching a 3 hour movie, writing an exam, bowling nights, window shopping and all of the 3 hour tasks we did are not the same anymore. This is real. This is exhausting. This is not just one day or one night. This is forever. Or at least it feels like forever. My dear beautiful zombie Mamas, I see you and I get it!
And the 3 hours that I speak of, sometimes are 2 or 2.5 hours. But Mamas trust me, this is not going to be forever. I remember in those days, anyone who told me it won’t be forever, I would look at them with my always tired, drowsy, dark circles covered, shut at any moment, eyes and think to myself , no it won’t. Now I know, that wasn’t untrue.
It gets easier. Or maybe we master ourselves to do better.
I would change diaper, feed the baby and burp and hold him upright for a few minutes, all when the clock is ticking and there, one hour has flown by the time baby goes back to sleep. In the remaining 2 hours, I needed to eat and drink, remember I just fed the baby! And then I needed to do some household chores or take a quick shower or fold laundry or do baby’s laundry or cook, or maybe just call a friend to tell her how daunting these 3 hours have become to me! It is amazing how much work a Mama could do in these 3 hours and it is beyond my capacity to explain how much Mamas could do in 24 hours. Well, they say motherhood is a 24/7 job and it is true!
Many would tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps, I wouldn’t know how? Sleep when the baby sleeps and cook when the baby cooks and fold laundry when the baby folds laundry? I looked at other moms and wished I would know how they did that. Now I know, that phase is just not easy. We have to deal with it, live in it and nurture our baby and do whatever it takes to go through it. By the way, you sleep when you can and not “when the baby sleeps”.
Post partum recovery is not just the physical you getting back in shape. It is also hormonal and we all know what that does to us. You are always sleepy and yet so emotional for your little baby, irritated on smallest of things and often do silly things. Remind yourself to cut some slack, time and again! I remember I would watch my baby sleep for hours. If he wouldn’t wake up to feed, I would look at him to make sure he was fine. There were lot of external voices that said sleep, sleep, sleep! My internal voice warned me, okay, enough watching him and doing chores, now sleep or be awake till the next 3 hour segment. And then I couldn’t sleep thinking about sleep!
These 3 hour segments not just causes you to never get a straight full night sleep, it also isolates you from doing what everyone else can, isolates you from your own self, isolates you from thinking anything other than milk and poop and isolates you from hanging out with friends who come to visit you and the baby. New Mamas are on a constant diaper change, feed, burp, sleep, repeat cycle!
It’s hard to live your life in 3 hourly increments, especially when you are healing. But trust me Mamas you will get there! I did and we all do! The baby will one day feed enough and sleep the whole night. So when the day seems unending, just stop and ask for help and know that it is okay to ask for help, it is okay to say that I cannot do it anymore and it is okay to feel too tired to feed the baby. Just know that everyone feels that way and Mamas you are human to feel that way. Because the biggest truth is, Mamas, how much ever tired and sleepy you are, one hunger cry from your baby and you will move mountains if you have to, again! That’s how beautiful motherhood is!