We’ve all heard the sage advice to sleep when baby sleeps – especially in those early weeks when sleep is oh-so-precious and oh-so-hard to come by. But with baby #3, here is everything I’ve caught myself doing instead:
1. Take care of the other kids.
I highly recommend this one. That whole “sleep when baby sleeps” thing is really only a possibility with the first (if even then) – and older kids and toddlers are apt to get into all sorts of mischief when left alone for even 0.2 seconds.
2. Check e-mail. Compulsively.
While technically work isn’t paying me for my maternity leave, it’s become such a habit that I can’t NOT check in. How are we doing? You still need me? Good! Wait – what? No… No, I’m not answering questions right now. Back off. You’re not paying me for this leave, remember?
3. Binge watch your favorite shows on Netflix or Amazon Prime.
Need a good show to burn an hour or two (or 20)? I can recommend some. Maybe lots. Suddenly you’re not sleep deprived because you were up all night with the baby… You’re exhausted from staying up until 4 am to see how the season finale of Scandal wrapped up (spoiler: it’s worth it!!!).
4. Watch baby sleep.
Best way to spend time. Ever. Babies are wonderful. Hours can pass by in seconds watching your little one breathe & grunt & snuggle & drool. This is the absolute best. (Just kidding – they don’t sleep for hours – but for however long it lasts, they’re absolutely beautiful!)
5. Watch baby breathe.
Isn’t this the same as watch baby sleep? NO. Watching baby breathe is a paranoid obsession! Did anyone tell you babies occasionally hold their breath when they breathe? It’s horrifying. And once you start watching them breathe, you can’t stop. You won’t sleep again until they’re 5!!!!
6. Take care of yourself.
Have you showered today? In the last 3 days? Maybe if baby takes a really good nap you can wash your hair? Paint your nails? Get dressed or brush your teeth? Be forewarned though, most babies are born with an internal sensor that triggers them to wake up fully alert the second they sense you’re doing something without them. Especially if it involves putting them down to do it (so don’t count on shaving your legs!).
7. Shop online.
It’s hard to get out and go shopping with a newborn at home. And who wants to expose a newbie to strangers and germs and whatnot if you don’t have to? Not to mention having to get dressed. You can buy pretty much anything online. And it will just magically show up a few days later!! It’s a bit like having your own personal genie. I buy things online so often now a package will show up & hubby will ask what it is. Who knows! I don’t remember. A breast pump? Mascara? A handmade tutu from Etsy? It’s a surprise every time!
I heart my Kindle. You can download any book in seconds! Even preview them for free to make sure you like them. Brilliant. And with the Kindle mobile apps, you don’t even need a Kindle device to do it. Plus you’re not trying to balance a baby and a paper book, which is a fairly impossible task. There are also blogs, online forums & great websites to read! So read up!
9. Bleach your hair!!!!
Just kidding. Baby will wake up (see item 6 above). You’ll end up with halfway processed hair. It will not be cute. Just trust me on this one and don’t get any crazy ideas!!!
Just snuggle and enjoy these moments. They grow up too fast. Everything else can wait!!!
You’ll be surprised how precious little sleep you can actually survive on!