Posted by Fitz

 

I have the privilege to spend most of each week at home with The Bean.  While I’ve settled into a routine now, the first several months were enough to drive me out of my tree.  Every single day was the same – wake up, bottle, play a little, nap, rinse, and repeat.  It didn’t matter what day of the week it was, or what time of day it was; my life was regulated by this teeny little girl who was trying her best to keep me on track with her so-called routine.

I was assured by several very intelligent and experienced Moms that this would pass, as any good phase does.  They regaled me with stories of long walks to the beach, coffee with friends, and bouts of playtime on a colorful activity mat.  I wanted to believe them so badly….wanted to buy into this notion of a day where things weren’t a variety of the same old, same old.  But I didn’t.  And to some extent, I still don’t!

Here’s the thing: SuperNanny, the Baby Whisperer, and just about any other baby expert worth his or her salt will tell you that a baby needs some sort of a routine in order to thrive.  They need to be able to sense what’s coming next to feel comfortable, and let’s face it – they need a lot of food and a lot of sleep!  All of these needs combine into a schedule that can feel very rote to a new mom (or at least to me, as a new mom).  You’re basically doing the same things at just about the same time every day.  The routine doesn’t stop for holidays, and it won’t stop for you.  To help you keep your sanity in the midst of this routine, here are some tips that you might find helpful:

  • Have a variety of toys and activities at the ready for playtime – while your baby might not appreciate the variety just yet, you certainly will!
  • Plan to do something different for yourself during at least one naptime every day.  Whether it’s taking a nap, doing a load of laundry, writing thank you notes, or just hanging out online, it will give you something to look forward to and keep you from getting bored.
  • Learn more than one song to sing to your baby.  Anyone would lose their mind if they had to sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider ad infinitum.
  • Keep a calendar within close reach.  It is important for your sanity to know what day it is, every day.
  • Maintain human contact.  If you can’t meet with someone face to face, call her.  It really helps to have contact with someone other than your spouse and your bean.
  • Plan a few “outside” activities every week with friends.  You can catch up with girlfriends at the mall or on a walk, and feel re-energized afterwards.  If the kid has to nap in the stroller, so be it.
  • Change your clothes!  Don’t fall into the mom rut – putting on an entire set of new clothes every day will help you feel fresh and attractive, not to mention remind you that it’s not still yesterday.   This rule is most applicable to very new moms, and we’ll talk more about it in future posts.
  • Don’t wear sweats when you are meeting people out, unless the outing is centered around exercise.  Get it together, woman.  No one wants to see you in your ratty sweats.

As Kate from Jon and Kate Plus 8 said in a recent episode, “Every day is painfully the same but vastly different.”  It’s the mom’s version of Groundhog Day, the movie.

What’s your best tip for helping the days feel more interesting and engaging?  Please tell us your stories by adding a comment below!

Photo credit: Twi-NYC.com

 

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