Thursday, May 1, 2014

Sleep When the Baby Sleeps... Really???

The nine months of pregnancy, somewhat, prepare you for motherhood. Each trimester, in fact, each month, brings on new challenges and your body and you learn to cope with them. However, one thing that no one is probably prepared for are the long days and nights ahead.

When I was expecting, the 'experienced ones' said it's my honeymoon period and I should enjoy it while it lasts. Little did I understand then what they meant. And now, there are endless days and no nights. So much so that sometimes, rather most of the times,  I lose track of the day and date.

So, when a friend, also a new Maa, said the other day that she needed time management tips from me, I got thinking. Was I really managing things properly?

On returning home with my little bundle of joy, one advice that everyone gave me was to sleep while the baby slept. The truth is I didn't sleep for days after that. I was only napping, rather 'power napping', to get the energy to get through another long day. This is what most of us new mothers do. To regulate your body clock according to your baby's is an impossible thing to do.

It certainly is one of the most irritating advices you're given as a new mom. After all, no one knows when and for how long a baby would sleep. And then, you sure have so many other things to do as well, bathe, eat, clean, and so many other house chores. You can hire people to help you with most of the things, but not all. I certainly cannot hand over the keys of my wardrobe and home to someone else, while I 'sleep when the baby sleeps'.

True, that I have helps for the house chores, but when it comes to my baby, I take care of every little thing. Massaging, bathing, feeding, diaper change, putting him to sleep, I'm one hands-on mother who's been doing all this by herself just fine. So while my baby is my topmost priority and controls me completely, the other important aspect that I cannot ignore is my work, my home and my husband (P.S. in no particular order). 

My son surprised us by arriving a couple weeks early and I had yet not planned my maternity. A typical Virgo, I was unsure whether I'd be able to hand over things to anyone else for some time. And hence, I was working even in the hospital (Thanks to my Smartphone!) the day after my son was born, which was a Sunday. So, yes, I'm yet to take a maternity leave. Though, technically, in the corporate language, I did get the weekend off. And now, I don't only work from home, but am a work-from-home mom who, too, has deadlines to meet. The upside of this is that while I work, I'm right next to my son.

No, I'm no super woman. I'm as sleep deprived as any other new mother and as overwhelmed too. I have only learned to take one moment at a time and work it that way. There are days when my home looks like a storm just passed by and one of the most difficult tasks for me, these days, seem to be able to find anything in my wardrobe (it resembles a honeycomb). To plan even a day ahead is a task for me. But all that can wait! I make a to-do list in my mind, prioritize and proceed with what's most important. When my baby sleeps, I try and complete other things. And when he's up, I'm with him, enjoying every bit of motherhood. Even now, he's napping and I'm writing on my phone. All thanks to technology!

Hence, there's nothing called time management when you're a Maa and a new one at that. Your child is your boss who controls you, your schedule and even your mood. I'd say take it easy on yourself. Outsource whatever work you can such as cleaning, cooking, etc. and focus on other important things and your new phase of life. Don't hesitate to ask for help either. Your family and friends would be only too happy to do something for you at this time. My sisters and my aunt have been my saviors and had it not been for them, I'd have lost my sanity within week 1!

You could also invest in a good baby wrap or sling. I have one and it's so much easier to do other things while my baby sleeps snugly close to me. Another thing that works for me is online shopping. Whether it's diapers, clothes, birthday gifts or anything else, I take the online route. Convenient and quick! 

Moreover, with the hoards of advices and do's and don'ts that people pile on you along with lack of sleep, you're bound to lose it some time or another. This is where your partner comes in. While, the phase is equally new and overwhelming for my hubs too, we have been able to sail through it together smoothly. With help at hand for diaper changes and rocking the baby post midnight, things sure get better. There have been nights when he's up just to give me company :) 

So, you see, I don't sleep when the baby sleeps. And it's absolutely okay. I'd rather take my time to adjust to my new life. And while I do that, I am taking everything one at a time. I guess that is the key - One At A Time!

Another tried and tested formula - Smile and kiss your baby now for an instant boost of energy. Don't believe me? Try it :) I just did!!!

Be back soon with more. Till then, take care and stay precious. 


  1. Very sweet blog and good hands-on advice! Thankfully, I only had to look after my baby as my mom-in-law took care of everything else. I never slept as much as I did after my baby was born.

  2. Just one more thing - is it possible to sleep when the baby is awake? No, right? So I guess when these people advised you to sleep when the baby sleeps, they were referring to your power naps. Even those you can only take when the baby is sleeping.

  3. Enjoyed reading this post new age Maa and how you multi task in an efficient manner. I'm sure it will be helpful on new Maa and Paa who read this one.

  4. Yes these power naps do help (especially when the baby is small)