When it comes to mom life, there are some times we need to just sit down and take a gulp of a hot cup of good old common sense. Sometimes the best place to find it is directly from the little ones you’re raising! Welcome to Advice to My Mommy, From Baby.
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When I got married and moved to SoCal, I’d been on a payroll since the age of 15, and before that I volunteered where I hoped to eventually get a job. Needless to say, I was used to working. Once I was married and moved in, I took 6 months to acclimate to the busy, fast-paced empire surrounded by mountains, and then I was recklessly tearing my house apart and putting it back together again. I needed to go back to work.
I loved my SoCal job. I’d worked hard to get where I was. When I got the happy news that I was pregnant, I began to prepare myself for the idea that I would be staying home with my little for at least the next several years. It was a happy change, but a different one. I was excited about it. I naively created a list of all the things I would do to stay busy, since I would be home full time.
I had zero idea what being home with a baby would mean. To make a long story short, I cannot remember, for the life of me, what was on that “keep busy” list.
Being a mother has been the busiest, most exhausting and rewarding job I’ve ever worked. For someone like me, who was used to clocking in and then effectively clocking out, it was a rude awakening to my type-A control of my time. There is no clocking out. There is no receiving a paycheck for all this work.
Instead, there’s payment of immense pressure that you have a human being in your care and you are responsible for their every need, and, when the day comes, you are going to grade how well you did by how well they turned out. Accurate or not, it’s what we feel.
And the weird thing? I love my new job. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I have been taught enough by my 10-month-old to make me feel like he is the professor of all things life-related and inside his little body is the wisdom of the ages and the power to impart utter exhaustion and grief, incomparable joy and fulfillment.
To maintain a passing grade-point average, I’ve also realized the need for self care. Before my little, there was hardly a thought about paying for a massage. I think I’d had maybe 3 during my entire life, and it was usually because I had a headache and a knot the size of a tennis ball. Taking a day for myself consisted of running around town completing tasks or a fun dinner with friends.
Getting sleep was like, “oh, yeah. I should probably do that.” It was easy to make up for a late night.
Oh, those long ago days…
Self-Care is Important!
Whether or not this is your story, it’s safe to say that as a mother, you could probably use some time to yourself. By the time the day has ended, the laundry has been put away (or the basket at least shoved out of the walkway), the dishes are done (hopefully you got to eat, too), everyone is clean and in bed, you collapse on your pillow with the acceptance that you came last on the list.
There’s no permanent cure for this. It’s just being a mom. And it’s a happy sacrifice, most of the time. But I also learned that in order to do a good job with my little, and feel like I can keep up with everything (because–gasp–I also have a busy life outside of my house), I need to make time to take care of me.
I’m not a pro at this. I’m learning and have many years to go. But, as I said, I’m being taught by an incredible little professor. Which is where Advice to My Mommy, From Baby comes in.
I’m now turning the rest of this article over to him.
Advice to My Mommy, From Baby
Hello, mama! This is baby. Because you’re so exhausted and haven’t taken the time to listen to yourself, I’m going to step in and help you. I know, after all, the signs of exhaustion and when you’re not quite yourself. So, go get yourself a cup of hot tea, put on some fuzzy socks, and read this advice to my mommy, from Baby.
Sincerely, your Little.
1: Mom, Go Find A Sitter
I can survive for a day with my grandparents or a good babysitter. In fact, It’s fun and interesting to see new faces. They have more energy than you do, mom, so they do all sorts of fun things when I hang out with them.
I might get sad when you kiss me good-bye, but I know you’re coming back, and pretty soon I’ll be having so much fun I’ll have forgotten that you’re not here (no offense). So, seriously, you can let me hang out with someone else for a day without feeling like you’ve failed as a parent.
2: Mom, Go Get A Massage
Seriously, the knots are getting ridiculous. It’s getting really old when you hold me and you groan because you’re sore and don’t even realize it. I find it quite absurd that Dad had to buy and schedule your massage for you because you were too busy to do it yourself and wouldn’t take the time.
I mean, how are you supposed to hold and cuddle me when your neck is so stiff and you have all those headaches? I know when your head hurts because you don’t smile as often and you even get grouchy. When you come back from your massage, you’re so much more relaxed and comfortable. I enjoy being around you more, and, let’s just face it, Dad does too.
Mom–stop. Just go get that massage. For me, and for Dad.
3: Mom, Just Go to Bed
When you drop me off for the day, I know what you’re planning to do. You have a textbook-sized list of things you need to do. I get it. I watch you running around the house while I’m playing, and it’s like watching something in fast-forward. It’s comical. I feel like I should cry and need something so that you’ll slow down for a second.
So, Mom, here’s the deal. You should drop me off, go home and crash for a little while. I cry during the night. I’m still learning to sleep by myself and to get through the night. I’m probably going to take a while to learn it, too, just to give you fair warning. Your sleep is now at a 50% discount at least for the foreseeable future.
When I’m not there, why don’t you do the obvious thing and take care of your basic needs? Take a nap. Seriously.
Even if you can’t always drop me off, let me play with Dad and all my favorite toys and just go disappear. I may not look like it, but I can totally survive an hour or two without you. Besides, I have plenty I need to teach Dad right now, anyway.
4: Mom, Go On A Date
When was the last time you and Dad went out? I don’t get this whole idea that just because I’m around you feel guilty for going out without me. I mean, I don’t like to admit this because it’s all about me, but he’s pretty important. So are you. You don’t always believe it, or stop to think about it, but you’re the most important human in my life. If you’re happy, I’m happy, too.
5: Mom, Do Something That Brings You Joy
I love how when you decide to go shopping, we go to the store and you end up buying everything for me. I’m not going to lie–I love getting all the new stuff. But, as my Mom, it wouldn’t hurt to get something for you, too.
Even if it isn’t clothes. If it’s your favorite treat, a song by your favorite artist, or the new book by your favorite author, it wouldn’t kill you to invest in your own happiness and do something you enjoy.
You give so much, all the time. I know I don’t say anything, and I’m not going to for a while because we know it’s all about me, but doing something that brings you happiness is healthy.
I may be a tot, but I know about investment! I’ve got this figured out. By you investing a little in yourself, the return is huge, and who gets to reap the benefits? Yours Truly.
So, Mom, I’m saying that you should totally do this. Why wouldn’t I? It always works out for my benefit in the long run, and we know how this really works.
We know that it’s really all about me.
See? Didn’t I tell you about this kid? He’s a professor. He’s got the wisdom of the ages.
Thanks for reading Advice to My Mommy, From Baby! If you’re looking for more helpful advice, head on over to my Fearless Inspiration page for more posts about fearless pregnancy and motherhood.