“Sleep while the baby sleeps” was by far the biggest piece of advice I received throughout my entire (noticeable) pregnancy. If that was the case, I would have also eaten when the baby ate and washed the dishes when the baby washed the dishes. Right?
C’mon folks…it’s 2019, let’s start sharing more realistic, heart-to-heart, truthful advice with one another. We don’t need to keep hearing “sleep when the baby sleeps” and “it goes by so fast”…we, as Mama’s in 2019, know this or have heard it enough.
I know what you’re thinking, all you pregnant Mama’s currently reading this…you don’t need (or want) another piece of advice. I can literally *hear* you thinking that in your head right now. So, here is your opportunity to either keep reading OR leave and read my previous (or next) post. Thanks for the support!
My one and only piece of advice that I now give to all new and expecting Mama’s I encounter is to take ALL of the time you need…in every aspect. You need to take a longer shower? DO IT. You need to go to Starbucks by yourself, without the baby, once you’re allowed to drive again post-delivery? DO IT. You need longer then the standard 6-week maternity leave from work? DO IT. See where I’m going here?
No one, that I can remember, gave me this piece of advice while I was pregnant or shortly after delivery. I spent my short 5-1/2 weeks home post-delivery trying to learn how to be a Mom, how to survive on limited amounts of sleep and how to try and maintain a “normal” lifestyle with a newborn.
I was 5-1/2 weeks post-delivery when I went back to work. FIVE AND A HALF WEEKS. Trust me, I absolutely adored my job, and if you asked me 12 months ago, I would have told you: “of course I’m still working there!” (spoiler alert: I’m no longer working there, but that’s another story for another time).
Any-who, 5-1/2 weeks. You’re probably thinking to yourself “standard, legal (blah-blah-blah) maternity week grants you 6-weeks”. You’re right! However, it is per the companies discretion whether that 6-weeks is from the last day you worked BEFORE your maternity leave started or 6-weeks from the day your child is born. Read your employee handbooks, folks.
I was 38+4 days and I had a pre-natal OB-GYN appointment to check my relatively high blood pressure and left the appointment with a “strict” warning that this were to be my last day of work pre-baby unless I wanted to deliver THAT day. (Did you read my previous post? That was NOT going to happen). I went back to work after my appointment, gave my “maternity leave notice” (as if everyone didn’t know I was very much pregnant), set my ‘out of office’, cleaned my desk and left. FAST FORWARD. Then I returned…groggy, tired and probably kind-of smelly (sorry guys), 5-1/2 weeks later.
I don’t ever want to blame MY postpartum journey on a person, or an event, but I strongly feel that if I took more time to figure out motherhood, to really enjoy my brand new baby, to spend more time with my husband, to not have to worry about the meetings, workload and over-pouring emails, my healing would have been easier. Not perfect…but easier.
So, Mama’s (and Dad’s, you guys are important, too)…please, take as much time as you need. Don’t rush these precious moments. Your desk, your office and your coworkers can all wait…but, your baby? Your baby is growing up faster than you could ever imagine! (Remember that useless “advice” from above? There ya go!).
Always remember…you’re never alone!