New mums: How much time do/ did you get to yourself?

posted 2 years ago in Babies
Post # 121
Member
908 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 1984

ClaudiaKishi :  and then they want to borrow the car . . .

Seriously, sorry for what you went through and so happy to hear that you’re doing well now πŸ˜€

Post # 122
Member
293 posts
Helper bee

My daughter will be six months old next week, she is EBF.  The first two months were extremely rough and I can barely remember them honestly.  I had bad PPA and she wasn’t able to successfully feed from the breast until she was 6 weeks old so I was EPing. The good thing about the pumping was that my husband could take a night feed so I usually had at least a 4-5 hour stretch at night.  But I vividly remember crying almost every day thinking we had made a mistake by having a baby.

Now I get plenty of time to myself! Our daughter is a very “easy” baby. She has slept through the night since she was about 3.5 months old without any feedings. Goes down between 7-730, wakes up around 8AM. I stay home with her 6 days per week and work one day; I am also in a part-time doctorate program.  I am able to shower, cook meals, and do my schoolwork with no problem, usualyl when she is napping because when she’s awake I like to be interacting with her.  Every mama’s experience is different! 

Post # 123
Member
122 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

Well…… I mean since you asked………….

My baby had to be held by me constantly (I mean this literally) for the first several months, due to misery that we eventually figured out was caused by reflux and multiple food allergies, as well as just being a newborn. Fiance was obviously at work all day. I would call friends and family out of desperation for someone else to hold her so I could shower, nap, or even eat. People wonder how I never really had “baby fat”……. well, I did nothing but bounce her and forget to eat for several months straight. Yes, showering is an issue. I’ll just be honest, since you mentioned it, and I am definitely not being catty here….. if you have to have 20 minutes to yourself a day, you probably should hold off on having kids. I love my little sweetie and she lights up our lives, but she’s 10 months old and it’s still a whirlwind of constant baby-focused activity from 6 am till whenever she finally goes to bed at night, usually right now around 7-9 pm. (This also happens only after a bedtime ritual that can last anywhere from 20 minutes to several hours, depending on her mood, health, and energy levels.) I try to *get my teeth brushed* and so on while she naps (right now her naps end up being about 2 hours a day, but who knows how those will end up being split each day), but sometimes I’m so exhausted that I just fall asleep as well. I have a part-time job that I go to a few days a week, and if I’m lucky, my mom will come watch her while I go into the bathroom and doll up so I can feel like myself. πŸ™‚ Once the baby goes to bed at night, I finally get to start my own day….. at 7-9 pm. (This is why I stay awake till about 2 am, and the dependence on coffee continues. πŸ˜‰ ) 

This isn’t me complaining, I promise, or being snarky in any way……. but since you asked, this is my average day with a baby. Babies are a roulette; you never know what personality, health issues, etc. you’re going to have to learn on your feet to contend with. 

Post # 125
Member
122 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

EllyAnne :  I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to suggest that I thought a 20 minute shower would be your priority….. I just meant having time in general. My little’s cousin is the easiest baby I’ve ever seen and it’s amazing how that just sort of happens. Of course, he has two older twin brothers who are basically just like my little girl, but split into two people, boys, and older. They call them the tornado! 😜 

I don’t mean to sound like it’s horrible, either. I will definitely continue to describe the birthing process as horrific and inhumane, and I can’t warn people enough that there is no “right way” to do pregnancy to “ensure” your baby doesn’t end up with food allergies, other issues like ADHD or whatever, etc. You obviously are going into this with a clear head and for that I commend you. She really is the light of our lives and we definitely wouldn’t trade her in for a do-over. πŸ˜‰ I just think it’s crazy how the “horror stories” don’t start until after you’re already preggo and there are no takesies-backsies! 

Post # 126
Member
58 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

My sister had “easy” babies and she was able to have time to herself, go out with the baby, leave them with anyone without any issues, etc. I on the other hand was totally naïve (thinking I would have an easy baby) but was so wrong. My baby was high needs and more high maintenance. He also had reflux issues and wanted to be held all the time (would only nap 20 mins if put down), did not tolerate baby wearing or any of the gadgets, would not tolerate anyone else’s arms, would scream/cry in social settings unless he was at home. It was rough the first 6 months! My husband had 3 weeks off and while he was off, of course it was easy to get a shower, food, etc. Once he went back to work, I could only shower when he got home and could only eat one handed while holding the baby – UNLESS I wanted to hear him screaming/crying, I literally had no time to myself if it was just me at home. At 10 months, he is crawling and getting into things so we have our own set of challenges but he is still more high maintenance than my nephews. In social settings, he still will not allow anyone else to hold him, only my husband and I (and this is with my siblings, cousins who he does see often). Now he naps 2 hours and goes down between 7 – 9, and like the previous poster, sometime it takes 10 minutes, sometimes longer depending on his mood.

I’m not saying any of this to ‘scare’ you or to make it seem like it is horrible – it is solely my experience. Like I said, my sister/friends have had a totally different experience – it’s definitely in the baby’s court. And if it’s not obvious, having a great support system, husband, friends, family makes a world of difference.

Post # 127
Member
413 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

My little guy is now 5.5 months so things are starting to get a little easier around here, but at the beginning, I felt like I hardly had time for myself. He cluster fed ALL THE TIME for the first couple months. I ended up switching to formula because my supply literally couldn’t keep up with him (he’s now around 20 lbs and 29″ long, pretty much off the charts), and that really saved my sanity because now my husband can give him a bottle if he’s hungry while I’m in the shower, cooking, or doing whatever. He also wouldn’t sleep anywhere but on my chest for naps until he was around 3 months old. Now he just hardly naps, but at least he can entertain himself in his bouncer/on his activity mat while I do things. I still don’t eat as often as I should and sometimes feel like I neglect myself, but it does get better most of the time. Everyone’s babies are different of course!

Post # 128
Member
515 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I have a 2yo and a 2 day old. When the 2yo was born, things were pretty crazy. Feeding was really hard and we were all exhausted. I was one of the posters who said I only managed a shower once a week for the first few weeks. Honestly it came down to choosing between sleeping, eating or showering, and skipping almost always won.

It’s the same story with our new baby, but somehow I’m more prepared for less sleep. I’ve so far managed multiple showers and meals, and overall I’m ok without much sleep. 

Things do get easier as they grow up and you’ll find time to do what you want. There’s often a compromise but you’ll quickly work out what’s most important to you. I’ll add that having children is the hardest, but most wonderful and rewarding experience I could ever hope for. Wishing you all the best in your TTC journey. 

Post # 129
Member
163 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

No kids yet (currently TTC), but I have to say that I hope I will make time for showering at least every other day! Or make time for me to have 15 minutes to read a book or work on a craft, etc. I understand that every kid and situation is different though. And the first few months will be crazy. I know that. πŸ™‚ So, not that it’s helpful to necessarily hear my plan since I don’t have kids yet, but here are some things I’ve been thinking about:

  • I’m in the US, and am feeling very lucky that my husband gets generous paternity leave (16 weeks) so that I can focus on resting, healing, and (hopefully) breastfeeding. He can do the laundry, diaper changes, hold the baby after feeding, and things like that. πŸ˜€ 
  • I plan on freezing plenty of ready-to-go Instant Pot meals in the two months before birth and our group of friends always puts together meal trains for new babies in our community. Hopefully these two things will last us at least 2 months without having to really worry about making dinner each day.
  • We also have an acquaintance who is a doula, and part of her package includes visits in the first week or two after birth for light housecleaning, helping/teaching if we’re having problems latching/breastfeeding, and light cooking. Not sure if we want a doula, but those services seem helpful in the first few weeks! (Also, not sure of the cost or if it’s way too much.)

I’m hoping with those things, that I’ll be able to get at least a few minutes to myself each day for self-care. Once my husband goes back to work, baby will hopefully be having decent naps so I can get some time in for chores, showers, exercise, etc.

Post # 130
Member
126 posts
Blushing bee

I got to have a bath most days. Sometimes SO or my mum would watch the little one but a lot of the time I had him in his bouncer in the bathroom with me. I’d give him a good feed and pop him in there then have a relaxing bath. You just learn to adapt and shift priorities. If a hot shower or bath helps you stay sane then you find a way, even if you only have limited time. If you feel house work is a priority then again you find a way. Usually other than a shower or bath you can baby wear to get a lot of things done. Sure it’s not the same but it’s a compromise. However, there are some days when you just gotta accept that you will do nothing expect be a pillow for your child. On those days you make sure you have plenty of snacks and dvds handy. That phase doesn’t last long and as they get older it gets a bit easier to steal a few minutes to yourself here or there. 

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