Did you get a book when you first had a baby about the stuff that parents need?
I wish my ‘stuff parents need’ list had had an ear thermometer on it. I spent a lot of time trying to use an under arm one which is not the most fun in the world when you’re already worried whether your baby or toddler has a raging temperature or not!
Babies and toddlers tend to be a bit wriggly and that does not work well with underarm thermometers.
Here is some stuff that parents need that is not on the usual ‘stuff’ list:
Yes, I know they say to nap when your baby naps, but how many people actually do that?
The amount of washing and housework that ‘needed’ done seems to have increased massively. There is loads of feeding to do and in between the feeding time there seems to be the tiniest amounts of time.
How do you take time to rest in all of that?
What if you have a hugger?
Hugger (noun) a baby that loves hugs and will move over from the bedside cot to hug on your bed, completely defeating the point of the bedside cot which lays empty while the baby is all squidged up beside you in their hug position.
You really need to believe the people who say you will look back and be GLAD that you prioritised your rest.
They’re right, really.
Even the ones who have tidy organised houses now and forget all the baby feeding time and washing pile that grows and grows are right.
It is HARD to get time to rest, but intend to make it a priority over other things when you can.
Time on your own
Remember before you had a child when you know you were an introvert and you needed time on your own? You still are one! Do what you can to honour that, even if you can only do it in small ways.
aka someone else who gets what you’re going through. You’ll have friends who would not have been your friends before having a child, but if they’re in the same parenting boat you have more in common than you thought.
With your own needs and with your intuition through mind-body connection, (I help people with this in particular), connection with your child, connection with others.
That you are enough, that you can do this, that you are doing this. It can be hard to trust but the other things on this list can help with this. I also help coaching clients with building this self-trust.
You didn’t stop being a creative being when you became a parent. Being a parent is going to need a lot of your creativity and also being a creative person models this delightful and inviting possibility for your child.
This is not always possible and perfection is absolutely not required here. (or indeed in any other aspect of this ‘stuff’ list.
In the easy times or easier times calm makes the whole thing feel grounded and enjoyable.
In the hard times calm is the lighthouse that guides your ship to shore. The mind-body connection coaching I do helps you to guide your ship to this grounded shore.
A bigger lasagne
When my daughter was born a very kind neighbour baked a homemade lasagne and brought it round for us. I expect that she thought that the size of it meant that it would last us about 4 or 5 meals.
If portioned and frozen in neat little batch portions we should have been enjoying that lasagne over the coming month.
The truth was we were so exhausted and cooking had gone so low on the priority list with all the hospital time and eco nappy washing and percentile chart measure curves that the lasagne of all lasagnes lasted for just one meal! 🙂
The moral of this story – accept helpful and wonderful support when you get it. You need it! Also prioritise the nutrition you need for the crazy long hours.
An ear thermometer
Your best regular ‘Stuff’ list investment. Buy spare plastic caps too. We call the thermometer ‘Hattie’ as she wears the little disposable plastic hats. Get yourself a Hattie!
What ‘stuff’ do you think parents need?