Hamish has been an outside baby for 4 weeks now, and it's been a busy time! Here's some thoughts on the experience...not particularly organised but I wanted to jot them down.
It's a common thought that although new mums are sleep deprived and going through a major life adjustment, the fact that they have a cute baby makes it all worthwhile. I guess this is true on one level, but going without sleep for a long time tends to block out any cutesy feelings I might have. I think it's survival instinct - your body tells you it needs sleep and blocks other stuff out to force you to rest. At best, I have had 5 hrs sleep at a time, more often 2 or 3 hours. At worst, I have fallen asleep sitting up in a chair whilst breastfeeding, and stayed asleep for over an hour!
The most helpful comments I've heard from more experienced mums are along the lines of "it was just really hard work and I didn't really enjoy it at all to start with" and "it isn't like the Huggies commercials!". Also helpful was "don't ask me for advice, I don't think I was very good at it!" and "I felt like I was living with a ticking time bomb for the first four weeks". Someone else told me they really don't like newborns - a very honest remark and perhaps hard to understand until you've had to look after one.
Everyone seems to agree that it does get better. I have found myself wondering why God made it so hard to look after a newborn but He's got the big picture, not me, so I'm sure there's a reason.
While on one level I am usually very tired and stressed at the moment, and it's certainly one of the hardest things I've been through, on another level I am deeply satisfied and content. So it's all ok, but I don't like looking at it as "one thing is great so the other thing is worthwhile". I prefer to see them as separate experiences - one really really hard, one really really special.
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