For a while it seemed like every time I had Matilda loaded in her car seat and was (finally) ready to get out the door she would poop! Then I’d have to unload her, change her and get her back in the seat before we could go. I’m a believer that you can’t control everything that happens to you in life, but you can control how you react to it. When I’m in a hurry it’s natural to feel a bit frustrated at the delay, but really, that’s silly. Who cares if I’m a bit late? I’ve found the best way to react is to just laugh it off, deal with it, and keep going.
I don’t even want to admit how many times I’ve eaten at Arby’s and Burgerville since having Matilda. (Definitely more in the past 8 months than I ever have in my life!) But when you’re lugging a baby in a carseat everywhere you go, taking her in and out of the car, it really does a number on your back! Each stop on my errand trips is carefully considered and only the most necessary triumph. Enter the brilliance of the drive-thru. I can go to the bank without getting out of my car…get some coffee or tea…a snack…lunch…you get the idea. And you know what I really wish existed? Drive-thru post offices! (or atleast a drive-up stamp dispensing machine)
You want to know how to look more awake than you feel? Blush! Or as my Grammy calls it, Rouge! Not one to generally wear a full face of makeup, I kept trying to put on more and more eyeliner to look alive, but it turns out that blush is a girl’s best friend. (as recently discovered in the makeover from tip #4) I’m using one from Nars that does triple duty – blush, eyeshadow and lip color. It comes in a stick so it’s portable and you don’t need any brushes. How handy!
There’s nothing like months of sleep deprivation to make a girl feel schlumpy. Set aside some money and treat yourself to whatever makes you feel good…a makeover, a mani/pedi, massage, shopping spree, etc. (Or all of the aforementioned things!) I recently had my eyebrows shaped followed by my second ever makeover. (The first was just before our wedding.) I’ve been wearing the same makeup colors since, well…(ahem) high school. And I don’t want to be that lady who’s stuck in a time warp! So I splurged on some nice new makeup with totally different colors and even if my husband didn’t notice until I pointed it out (and even then could hardly tell), it felt really good! Now if I could just find someone to cut my bangs well.
One thing I learned very quickly after Matilda was born is that the duration of nap time is ever changing. It’s hard to say just how long I’ll have both hands free at once. Sometimes I dawdle and take too long doing silly things and then run out of time before I can make myself lunch. Other times I go through tasks with lightning speed and an “it’s now or never” attitude.
So here’s my tip for you new moms to keep yourselves sane… decide what is the ONE most important thing on your to-do list each day and make it your goal to get it done when you have your hands free. (Maybe your #1 is to take a nice shower and actually blow dry your hair! Some days it should be…it feels like such a luxury now!) When you do have both hands free, if you have the choice between two tasks, always start with the most important in case you run out of time. You can also choose a couple of extra tasks to focus on if you get your #1 done, but don’t beat yourselves up if you don’t make it to items #2 and 3 on the list. Remember, you’re taking good care of your baby and that’s your real #1 priority! (And much more fun than checking things off your to-do list!)
There’s no shortage of baby carriers out there, and I have yet to try them all, but I can tell you that the Ergo baby carrier is phenomenal. What I love most about it is the thick band that straps around my hips, supporting a good portion of the baby’s weight and giving my aching back and shoulders a rest. They also make an infant insert to use with the pack for the first few months of your baby’s life and Matilda just loves it. Every time I put her in there she falls asleep and it’s so nice to have her with me so we can move freely around the house. Maybe you’ll be lucky like we were and receive an Ergo as a gift, but if not, it is highly worth the investment!
I’m new at this whole mommy thing, so I thought I’d share all sorts of stuff that I’m learning with you! My first tip for all the new mommies and mommies-to-be out there is about leaving the house for the first couple times. Matilda and I had our very first solo outing 2 weeks after we came home from the hospital. (Yes, it took me 2 weeks to actually leave the house, and boy, did it feel good! I totally drove slower than a granny, though!) We went to BiMart for some supplies, to the video store for candy and some 30 Rock, and then to the library to drop off a book. In the BiMart parking lot, some a**hole honked at me to move out of the empty parking space I was standing in while fixing Matilda’s hat. It was cold and windy and I was not about to let my new baby’s head get cold on our first outing. I was so angry at the insensitivity that I didn’t dare lift my eyes. I knew the look on my face said, “I would kill you with this glare if I could.” Rude people aside, we had a wonderful first adventure and just running a couple of errands really helped me build my confidence.
So here are my tips for you:
* Keep it short, sweet, and close to home (you’ll be much happier about it if it goes smoothly, and not too far from home in case it doesn’t)
* Make sure your baby has a full tummy and a clean diaper before leaving. This should buy you at least an hour of happy or sleeping baby.
* Pack your diaper bag like a girl scout. You probably won’t need an entire change of clothes for the baby, an extra blanket, 2 burp cloths, or 5 diapers, but it will help you feel more relaxed about leaving if you know all your bases are covered.
* Each small outing you go on will help build your confidence for longer outings!
* Have fun!!