Here is a feel good post for anyone who woke up and took the struggle bus today. Most of DJs work is out of town so it was inevitable that I would soon be left alone with Nash for a few days at a time. Day one into night one flying solo goes by smooth until the wee hours of the morning. I am woken from my 2 hour power nap in-between my boss’ 3 am and 5 am meal times to a little whine/cry. No big, I’ve been a mom for a whopping 6 weeks now, so I am pretty much an expert. I scoop him out of the bassinet and immediately feel a damp little booty (first time this has happened). I don't need to be completely awake to realize we have a blow out on our hands. Mild panic sets in, but I attempt to keep my cool. I make my way to his nursery across the hall, baby in hand, when my bare foot sinks into another slushy surprise. Eyes still adjusting to the little light that is on I make out that poor Trixie (our dog) has barfed not once, not twice, but THREE times (three separate locations) in-between our room and Nash’s nursery. On the bright side, it is not poop (not much better but we are staying positive people). Hobbling on one and a half feet toward the changing table, I opt to keep the big lights off to spare Nash’s eyes while getting through this diaper/outfit change. Finally, to top off this early morning debacle, mid stride I kick the absolute crap out of my pinky toe. WHAT IN THE ACTUAL EFF IS HAPPENING?
Parenting is hard, but I pay extreme homage to those who does it alone (permanently or periodically). The following 15 minutes were filled with tears (both Nash and I) and an overwhelming sense of failure. How was I supposed to survive the next 3 days without my sidekick? I tend to be a bit of a scatterbrained hot mess but since Nash was born I am actually a chicken with my head cut off. Don't ask how the next few hours unfolded because I am not too sure I remember it myself. It consisted mostly of frantic phone calls to DJ (4 am everyone), baby poop in my hair, band aid hunting, and snacking on Nestle cookie dough from the fridge. The first thing I do when an acceptable hour arrives is call my mom for some moral support. The second thing I do is call super mom friend (who is intermittently alone with TWO diapered hoodlums) for some guidance. I have to somehow get my sh*t together, what are all the mom secrets I don’t know yet? Well, the good news is there is not one big key to solo parenting success, it is mostly trial and error. Being the professional mom that I am (please note the sarcasm), I have a list of first-hand tricks (in addition to the “phone a friend” option) that may help any unaided parent get through those days before you feel like you need an “eject” button. Created with the input of super mom friend of course.
1)Breastfeeding bucket: once that baby is on the boob I turn statue still (Nash is a picky eater, that nipple better stay RIGHT where he wants it or all hell breaks loose). I have a little bucket with everything you may want in that moment. Items included: baby nail clippers, burp rag, nipple shield, water bottle, hand sanitizer, nasal aspirator, baby wipes, and pretzels because mama is hungry (subject to change…other favorites include Pringles and fruit snacks).
2)Prep prep prep: I finish laundry, shop for food that takes minimal prep (bagels, smoothies, granola bars), and take the longest shower before DJ leaves (needy baby won't chill even in the Rock N Play for my showers). When I don't get a chance to prep I try and catch up while the boss sleeps.
3)Find that baby’s weakness. Some babies love the swing, some love that wrap/carrier, some can’t stay awake after you nurse them. Having that little ace in your pocket can help your sanity.
4) Change expectations of yourself. This one I struggled with especially coming down from my aggressive nesting. Super mom friend highlights the importance of this, remembering even on your worst day, you are a lot better than a lot of the others in this world. The house will be messy, dishes will not be done, and you’ll be happy just to eat that bag of Cheetos for dinner (wait, this is the dream right?) But your baby is alive, healthy, happy, and SO LOVED. You go girl (or guy).
5) Two words (or maybe one, I am not sure). Amazon. Prime. Each day my fear of curious crusty strangers decreases but if I can keep my trips to big stores to a minimum I feel that’s a win. Paying for shipping is for chumps so it is actually a double win.
If you have any tips or tricks please share! Raising mini humans takes a village and we gotta stick together. Power in numbers (since one baby equals 3 drunk adults).