Life With Little Ones

With a son-in-law in Afghanistan, our daughter and 8-month-old granddaughter are living in our home. We’re navigating diapers, bottles, and the needs of an infant once again!

No matter what anyone says, when you have children newborn through two years, it is the most demanding season of parenthood. The physical demands of getting up at night, having a child attached to your hip during the day, feeding yourself and baby at the same time all play into the physically exhausting season of life.

So what can a mom do to thrive in this season of motherhood? Here are a few strategies to consider:

Lower the expectations: You simply cannot accomplish as much as you think you can when it comes to housework.

Trust yourself. Relax and enjoy your little one rather than fretting over every little thing.

Marie loves Nana's tupperware cabinet!

Take time for yourself: When the baby takes a nap, rather than rushing around trying to do all the things you have wanted to get done, allow for a portion of the naptime to do something that fills you up.

Allow more time: With young children, we need to double our preparation time. It takes twice as long to leave to go somewhere.

Cut yourself some slack. You will make mistakes. When you do, forgive yourself and move on.

Get out once a week. Arrange with a friend or your husband for an afternoon or evening out once a week. Nobody is going to give it to you. You have to ask for it and make the arrangements to make it happen.

Stop the comparisons. Your baby is unique. You are unique. Your baby will develop at different speeds than someone else’s baby. You will find different routines that work for you. Don’t compare your baby to another baby you know.

Find a moms group. You need to be with other women who understand what your life is like. You can start your search at www.MOPS.org.

Keep the marriage first. When the baby comes along it becomes so easy to become child-focused. Even one or two hours out once a week can keep you marriage a priority.

Most importantly, be flexible. Just when you think your baby has a routine, be prepared for it to change.  Little ones are growing and changing week by week. Even though the days feel long, this season of motherhood will fly by faster than you’ll realize!

What about you? What suggestions can you offer to a mom of a infant? 

Photobucket

This entry was posted in Parenting. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Life With Little Ones

  1. One of the most important parts of my day is spending a few quiet moments with God. You can even do this while nursing…I love the Logos app on my phone (which is free). I try to also spend 30 resting (even if I can’t sleep) for time to quiet the noise in my head. If I lay down at the beginning of naptime I can reflect on what I just read in my Bible too…which gives me something to think about. I really enjoy the stress relief running gives me too, so I attempt to run 3 times a week, but try not to stress too much if something happens to interrupt me…and with 5 kids that happens a lot.:-)

  2. Heather F. says:

    My baby turned 5 yesterday….so I agree, lower the expectations and take time to enjoy this season…it goes so FAST! I didn’t believe it when someone said it to me when the days seemed so long, but it’s true….The days are long, but the years are short! My second baby didn’t sleep through the night until he was 18 months old, due to a medical condition, so I learned early on to ask for a “night off”. Yes it can even be done when nursing. I exclusively breastfed my boys until over 12 months of age (well with baby food added in). But both were taught to take a bottle and I would pump some milk and hand my boys off to my mom and dad who would take them overnight for us about once a month. My husband and I would drop off the boys, grab dinner out and then return home to go to sleep by 9 pm….the uninterrupted sleep was heavenly and gave me the stamina to keep going.

  3. Jane says:

    What an awesome list, Jill! I especially relate to the comparisons. I think this has become particularly mean-spirited between working moms and stay-at-home moms. I wish we could show a little more grace to one another!

    I would also just say that I sorely neglected my Bible reading when our kids were very little. I always felt too tired or just too behind in my house work. But now that I’m part of a dynamic Bible study group, I can see how much stronger I would have been had I been diligent to pursue God’s Word earlier. Many groups (like MOPS and BSF) offer childcare so that Mama can learn and catch her breath. I encourage new moms to take advantage of this gift! I wish I would have!

  4. Rachael H says:

    I’m right in the middle of all this with three toddlers. A 2 ½yr old son, Twin 17 month old girls and baby due in November.
    An older lady encouraged me to put our son to bed an HR or two before we went to bed. This time in the evenings has become a treasured time for me. I love spending time snuggled up to my hubby on the couch. 🙂 It helps both of us to relax and unwind. From time to time Hubby will read me stories, watch movies, eat ice cream, talk, and enjoy the quietness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *