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The First Six Months

Note: I may earn money or products from the companies, products, or links mentioned in this post.

Because I am still traveling and visiting with family, I am going to have a few guest posts on the blog for your reading enjoyment. Today, I have Jennifer from akathewife.com. I love her post because it is something I SO relate to and  think every mom will too! She has some great advice. Enjoy!

People, I survived the first six months of having a baby.  I think this qualifies me for my own television show a la Bear Grylls only my show would be (Wo)Man v. Child.  I would be required to show people how I survived the first eight weeks getting up in the middle of the night, nursing through sore nipples and multiple cases of matisis.  Bonus points if I do it with a British accent and I’m able to do my hair and makeup.

Even though I can safely label Sophia as an “easy baby” it still was a lot of work and at many times incredibly frustrating.  While I can’t offer any advice to fix your nighttime problems or supply issues I can share with you the things that saved my sanity these past six months.

6 Things That Saved my Sanity:

  1. Phone with internet connection.  This was a huge sanity saver in the early days when all my day consisted of was nursing and holding Sophia.  I downloaded the Google Reader app for my Droid and kept up with blogs, blogged myself using the WordPress app, cruised around Facebook, stayed current with the moms message board I belong to, and googled any weird new thing Sophia was doing.  I’ve googled more things about poop then you’ll ever want to know.
  2. A mom’s group.  In my case, it was a mom’s message board for women all due in June 2011 (although I really wish I could find a mom’s group locally).  We commiserated with one another while we were pregnant and then compared notes and offered advice on a wide variety of topics after the babies were actually here.  I probably learned more about breastfeeding from this group than I did from the class I spent forty dollars to attend or the lactation consultants that were in the hospital.
  3. A baby carrier.  I was a little late to the game on this one.  I didn’t take the plunge into baby-wearing until Sophia was about two months old.  Before then, I felt imprisoned in the house all day because it was a lot for me to lug the infant carrier in and out of the car and set up and disassemble the stroller when all I wanted to do was run to the market.  What could have been a twenty minute trip always turned into a big hour long production that I had neither the energy nor the patience for so I would scrap it all together and just stay inside.  Once I had my sling though I was out and about more times in one month than I ever was in the whole two months Sophia was alive.  Having my freedom back made a huge difference in my mood.
  4. A schedule.  I know Kathryn has written about how she set up a schedule for her baby and I’m going to echo her sentiments.  There’s a huge debate over whether or not you should “schedule” your baby but I’m not going to get into it.  For me, I don’t get anything done during the day unless I have an agenda.  I can’t just go with the flow; having a baby who didn’t know (nor seemed to care) whether it was day or night didn’t help either.  My days were just blurring by with no definition.  I heard about this “eat, play, sleep” schedule that a lot of the moms on my moms message board were adopting so I gave it a shot.  What a difference it made in our day.  I actually found time to shower and get myself dressed every day, nursing sessions became more consistent and it helped me understand what Sophia’s cues actually were.  And since there was so much less guess work into want she wanted, Sophia was happier and our days were way more productive.
  5. A trusted babysitter.  I’m lucky enough that my entire family (my side and Tim’s side) live within a five mile radius of us.  This means on any given day I’m guaranteed a babysitter.  I really should take advantage of this more because when I do it’s wonderful.  Even an hour to myself to grocery shop gives me enough time to reboot my brain and grants me a bit more patience.  It’s a huge relief just knowing I have someone who’s readily available and trustworthy.
  6. A pre-baby hobby.  For me it was blogging, for a friend of mine it was working out; whatever it is that you loved doing before baby came along find a way to work it into your post-baby days.  I didn’t want my identity to be all baby now that Sophia was here.  I still had other interests that I wanted to keep and cultivate.  It’s a nice outlet after a long day of work and baby care taking to sit down and share my thoughts with my readers.

What things helped save your sanity in those first few weeks after your baby’s arrival?  Anything you want to share with me to help me retain my sanity over the course of the next six months?

I’m Jenn or “the wife” (and now the mother). I’m fluent in sarcasm which you should remember when reading the majority of my posts.  When I’m not working (at home!) and not parenting, I love to cook and play photographer and blog.  I’m also a military wife, which has allowed me to meet some amazing people and have some great and empowering experiences.  I write about my life experiences and anything that may make the leap from brain to keyboard.

The idea for the blog name came up after my sisters-in-law constantly referred to me as “my brother’s wife” shortly after our marriage and for some reason it still goes on today.

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  1. Love this and totally agree with all of it. Especially the baby wearing, I wouldn’t get anything done without my bjorn and moby wrap. I also completely support schedules, for babies it provides a form of comfort knowing what’s coming next. I know I’m only two months in but so far it’s working out great!

  2. Having a routine saved my life with bedtime. I don’t care that I’m one of those moms
    Who won’t go out after a certain time because my girl isn’t that flexible
    With her bedtime. I know she’ll get 12-13hrs if I stick with it.
    And as I’m learning more now with Savannah learning new things.
    Even if you sound like a broken record repetition is key. She’s picked up on
    Clapping and a few other little tricks just by repeating myself all day long.
    Having kids is like a new adventure every day.
    Also I second the mommy boards. I’m an addict my husband says.

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