23 May 2017

The First Few Weeks

Bringing a Newborn Home

Those first few weeks at home with a newborn are so many things, they are magical, they are exciting, they are surreal, they are wonderful but let's be honest, they are so hard!  When every second you are needed to feed, change, rock, burp, hold, entertain a small one AND keep the rest of your life in order (pay bills, buy food, cook meals, keep the other kids alive) it starts to dawn on you how massive the task of a newborn can be.

Here is just a quick post on how not only to simply survive those first few weeks, but to even thrive a little.  God has given you this amazing task of parenthood.  Your baby that you've held in heart/mind/body is now HERE in the flesh.  Make the most of every moment and be able to take a shower and smell good too.

Step 1-

Let others help you!

Do you even know how exciting it is for others to see you and the baby right now?  You are it sweetheart!  You did it!  You had this baby and people want to help you, cook meals for you, bring you gifts, hear your birth story (however wonderful or traumatic it was), hold your baby, clean your toilets.  We will do just about anything to help you at this time and the biggest mistake you could make at this time is to say, no.  Don't do it.  Let people stop by and bring a meal.  This doesn't mean you let people stay over for hours on end, have boundaries, but please dear one, let people in.  Let mamas spoil you... let people make you chili, let people fold your laundry, let people do your dishes or watch your other kids.  If they offer say YES!  Because after a few months the newness will be gone and it will be you and your little one alone on the couch wondering where all the people are!  This is good not only for the other kids in your house to see how loved you are, to feel the support, for your husband to have extra help too is wonderful, but it will brighten your days, it feels so good to share your birth story with friends, it is so cool to see your family and friends bond with your baby.  

Step 2-

Use paper products!

You are not Martha Stewart.  You are not Joanna Gaines.  You just had a baby and you need rest, you need to bond with your baby, and you need to put your feet up when that baby closes his/her eyelids.  I never knew how much I needed to rest until after I had a newborn.  My body was so tired and instead of listening to my body every time Julia or Mark slept I thought it was my lot in life to clean the house, cook the next meal, and do yet another load of laundry.  Girlfriend, it took me until I had Micah to actually R. E. S. T.  Paper products may be bad for the planet, but for 3-4 weeks it's not a big deal.  Use paper plates, napkins, and paper cups.  The less you have to wash, the less you have to put in the dish washer, the less you have to put away the BETTER.  If people who are bringing you a meal ask do you need me to bring anything else say, "Would you mind brining paper plates by?"  And they will and you will be so thankful.  Trust me.  I have learned that the less cleaning I do the more family quality time I have and that my sweet is more precious to me than gold.

Step 3-

Take a million pictures!

Listen, sweet pants, this new baby is going to be so well fed and so well rested and be in size 3 months clothing and size 1 diapers before you know it!  Now is the time to take pictures of them in their crib, in their siblings laps, on their Daddy's chest.  Now is the time to paint their hand and make finger prints and foot prints and frame them.  Now is the time to take a picture of them propped up by a window where they are getting extra sunlight because they are jaundice.  Now is the time to take 2 million selfies with them.  There is no such thing as over posting when you have a newborn.  People love to see babies.  They are all so sweet and beautiful.  Take a million pictures because once they start crawling picture taking is a whole different ball game.

Step 4-

Don't worry about the Weight!

Hey, it took 9 months to put the 30 something (more or less) pounds on, and it's completely ok for it to take 9 months to get it all off.  Don't stress about baby weight.  Nobody cares.  Really, nobody is thinking how you need to lose weight.  All they care about is you and that sweet baby you brought into the world.  Seriously don't get hung up on things like fitting back into all your clothes at a certain point.  You either will or you won't and if you have to get some new clothes down the line you will.  Take care of you and the baby and really your body will do a great job for you.  Put everything into perspective.  You are beautiful.  You are loved.  And God has blessed you with a family to care for.

Step 5-

Cherish Every Minute.

I used to hate when people would say that to me after I had Julia.  Like really?  Cherish the fact that I can't sleep for 8 hours anymore?  Cherish the fact that I have leaky boobs on my clean shirts.  Cherish the fact that I now have double the amount of laundry/work in my life?  Cherish the fact that my nipples are sore and I'm tired all of the time.  Yup.  Want to know why?  In a few weeks you are going to be completely in a rhythm.  You got this mom thing!  You were made to be a Mom.  And when you cherish the moment you realize how quickly this baby will be a kid.  This is just a season in the parent hood life.  It doesn't stay like this for long.  In a few months it will be a new thing to cherish...teething, rolling over, crawling, eating solids, sitting up, talking...it keeps changing, they keep growing, and the thing is you will too.  You will grow and change and cherish each season and then you can look back on the memories with fondness and joy and remember how great it was to sit on the couch holding a sweet newborn that just spit up all over you.  Trust me.  It's all in perspective. Cherish this time.  Be so thankful for every minute.  God is so good.  He is bigger than any of your problems or issues you may be facing.  He is there with you in these moments.  And He loves you.  He will guide you every step of the way on your parenthood journey!  Just allow Him to.


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