Since my sister is having her first baby in March and I am having some emotional ‘baby fever’… however, on an intellectual level I am acutely aware that we are not ready for another child. So, to placate myself I came up with a list of things that are a new mom’s best friend.
Sleep deprivation is part of the territory so some tools to help you not look like the mess you feel are:
Benefit’s eye bright pencil. It works small miracles in making you look awake even when you don’t feel that way at all!
Some other life saving beauty products are dry shampoo and tinted moisturizer. It was a rude awakening when suddenly I couldn’t take a shower when I wanted to (or needed to) and so using dry shampoo saved me more than once. If you have dark hair, the best kind that I have found is this:
Oscar Blandi Pronto Invisible Volumizing Dry Shampoo Spray
Not only does it absorb the grease but it adds volume to your hair so it doesn’t look so flat.
What makes tinted moisturizer so great is that when you don’t have time to really apply make up you can still rub this on real quick and it evens out your skin tone and also provides SPF protection. My favorite kind is this
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 – Illuminating
As someone who has always been in school full time or worked full time (currently doing both), it was a hard adjustment for me to stay at home. I liked being busy and the tangible feeling of accomplishing something. While taking care of a baby keeps you pretty busy, it can be easy to feel like your life is a circle of diapers and feedings and things are never really finished. Once we got into a kind of routine, I decided I wanted to start tackling some projects, and that is when I learned to sew and knit and started re-doing some furniture. Finding these kinds of hobbies helped me gain that sense of accomplishment that I had missed and just provided an outlet for me to use up some energy. There are tons of great resources out there if you want to learn to sew or knit, some of the books I have used are:
One – Yard Wonders
What was cool about this book is that it included 100 patterns for all kinds of things you can make with only one yard of fabric. This book along with some online tutorials were what I used to learn to sew.
I had a friend who showed me the basics of knitting, but when I wanted to learn more about how make patterns I used this book. Stitch N Bitch
What was cool about this book is that it spelled things out for me really clearly. I’m just now learning how to use patterns, but this has been a good book so far. I have also referred to several youtube videos when reading doesn’t make sense and I need to see someone cast off or add a new ball of yarn, etc.
I don’t have a lot of other wisdom or products that will make motherhood any easier - just give yourself a lot of grace and try to remember that it really is just a stage and before you know it your baby will be doing something else you were totally unprepared for!
One of the classes I’m taking this semester is developmental psychology and we are learning all about psychological development from infancy to adulthood. We are only in infancy right now and one of the reoccurring themes is that our children teach us how to be parents. We carry around this weighty responsibility of taking care of them, providing for them, teaching them, etc. and all along at every stage of development, they are actually teaching us how to respond to their needs and be good parents. We just need to pay attention, be responsive and take care of each other. Take time for yourself to do the things that re-energize you, whether it is shopping, spending time with friends, reading, whatever it is… when you feel burnt out, give yourself permission to take a break – you will be a better parent for it. My son is only 2 and 2 months, so I still have no idea what I’m doing most of the time, but being his mom has been one of the greatest privileges of my life (preceded only by being Jeff’s wife and being a daughter of the King). Motherhood isn’t as glamorous as I thought it would be and I’m certainly not one of those parents that make it look effortless … but real life is so much better than perfection =)