April 7, 2013

Newborn Woes

I know that I’m not the only one out there who has recently had a baby. My little guy is a week shy of being 6 months old. I tell you what, that is hard to believe! I know that the time went by fast when I had my first one (now 5), but I swear it’s going by even faster with the second one.

Regardless of how fast time is going by this time around, there are days when I give in to the newborn woes. You know, the fact that I feel like I’m not getting anything done because I’m constantly having to stop what I’m doing to change a dirty diaper, feed the little guy or move him because he’s bored (and fussing) and wants to be moved.
Sometimes, having a newborn isn’t all that fun and on those days, I just want to throw up my hands and say, “no one told me about this part of it!” You know, what happened to the fulfillment of picking out those adorable baby clothes, little dress shoes, bottles and other baby items? Instead, I’m trying to figure out when I’m going to have time to wash and FOLD all those tiny little clothes…and don’t get me started on the bottles. The truth is parenthood is hard and there is such a thing as newborn woes.
Surely, you know what I’m talking about? Luckily, I’ve found a few things that relieve the stress when I feel like giving up and throwing myself a pity-party. Below are the things that help me and hopefully, they will help you too.
1.      Drive away. That’s right. There are times when the walls close in and I feel like the house is too small and dark and I’m just cranky because of it. Especially, when I have a screaming baby. If the child has been fed and has a clean diaper, this is when I load him up in his carrier (screaming and all), put him in the car and get in the car and drive away.

Generally, the vibrations of the vehicle calm my little guy and he eventually falls asleep. For me, just driving around improves my mood. Even if I don’t actually go into a store, I feel like I’ve interacted with the world and I’ve gotten out in the sun (who cares if it’s streaming in through my tinted windows?). If I want to talk to another adult, I pull through a drive-thru somewhere and order myself an ice-cream shake! By the time I get back home, the baby and I both are in better moods.

2.      Lock myself in the bathroom. There are times when I can’t just jump in the car and go for a drive. This is when I put my little guy in his crib and head to the bathroom for a long, hot bath. I honestly don’t care if it is 2 o’clock in the afternoon. There’s just something about soaking in a tub full of hot, steaming water that helps melt away the day’s stress.

3.      Take a nap. Finally, if my little man is snoozing in the swing or has actually fallen asleep for his morning nap in the crib, I will take advantage of this time and steal a nap myself. It doesn’t matter how bad I feel, I usually feel refreshed after a mid-day nap. Even a quick, 30 minute nap rejuvenates me.
If you have a newborn at home, it’s important that you find the time to do the little things that helps you de-stress. If you can find a way to improve your mood when you find yourself getting down, it will have a positive impact on your baby too. It’s not good for parents to be upset around their newborns because they can sense that negative energy. So, do what you can to stay positive and refreshed.