Thursday, February 13, 2014
7 Lessons in Laziness for Happier, Healthier Moms
We all know at least one incredibly lazy person. The person who is so lazy that it's almost a super power! You wonder how they do it. How do they manage to find ways to stay relaxed when clutter piles up around them, or how do they get the TV remote from across the room without ever getting up from the couch? You'd be impressed if you weren't too busy shaking your head at the laziness. What can moms (probably the busiest people on planet earth) possibly learn from the common couch potato? Surprisingly, a lot! Being "lazy" doesn’t have to be what we all imagine as a couch potato. What if we turned lazy into relaxation…the kind of relaxation all moms should be entitled to! Here are a few tips from the laziness handbook that can make life much easier after your baby is born:
1.) Build your own nest. Stake out a place in your home that you find most comfortable, preferably somewhere near a source of entertainment (i.e. TV or computer) and/or vacant electrical outlets for your mobile device(s). You'll be spending a lot of time there and that time will go by much slower if you're bored. Somewhere in-between your kitchen and bathroom is ideal. This way the people who live with you have to walk past you to get to the kitchen. This gives you lots of opportunities to ask someone to get you a snack or refresh your drink, you know, since they're already up. *wink* Be sure to have plenty of comfort items (blankets and pillows) and of course, snacks and drinks in addition to any baby items you'll need to have within arm's reach.
2.) Dress for success. Successful dressing for a postpartum mom requires two key qualities: comfort and boob access. Pajamas and active wear have consistently led the pack in those areas. You may have been warned as a young girl (and more recently during pregnancy) to not use motherhood as an excuse to "let yourself go". Ignore it. You're beautiful and, hello! You just had a baby! You deserve to spend your postpartum weeks snuggled in a cozy cocoon of fleece and flannel.
3.) Hunker down for the long haul. Limit all non-essential travel to the bare minimum. Make sure that if you go anywhere that it's worth the effort of packing a diaper bag, dressing yourself and your baby, getting the car seat properly installed and buckled all while taking frequent nursing, diaper changing and potty breaks (after giving birth you may find that you need to pee more often than before). If it's to visit family, ask them to come to you. If it's to run basic errands, first find out if your partner or a friend/family member can do it for you. If you need to purchase something but you can wait a few days to get it, try ordering it online instead. If you find yourself getting cabin fever and you just want to get some fresh air, ditch the diaper bag and put your baby in your sling or stroller for a walk around the neighborhood.
4.) Work smarter, not harder. There will inevitably be moments when you feel like a lot of things are piling up and there aren't any windows of opportunity to get them done. You're going to have to improvise. This is when babywearing becomes extremely handy. A ring sling or wrap can be put on quickly and allows you to cuddle your baby hands-free while you take care of business. Go to the bathroom, restock your various nest supplies, police your area and handle any small chores around the house that may be nagging at you.
5.) Put your blinders on. Unless you have a maid or very dedicated friends and family who are willing to come by day after day to help with housework, it's going to pile up. There's not much you can do about it without a huge fuss, and it's not likely to be worth the effort. It will horrify you how quickly the fruits of that labor can spoil. And contrary to conventional thinking, your success as a mother is not based on how much your house looks like the pages of "Good Housekeeping". Forget about the dishes, the dust, and the laundry for now. It's not going anywhere. But your baby is only a baby for a short time. This brings us to...
6.) Make hay while the sun shines. Soak up every beautiful moment with your child. It's okay to let an opportunity to do dishes or laundry pass you by in favor of an extra hour of baby cuddles. Breathe in the new baby smell, and enjoy their gummy grins and sleepy giggles while they last because these moments are fleeting. Plus, when you look back on this time in the future it's not like you're going to kick yourself for not doing more housework.
7.) Delegate! Recruit a team to help you and direct workflow to them. Don't force yourself to do a job you don't really have the time or energy to do if you can get someone else to do it. Remember, you're not a burden, you're a boss! How often do you see the CEO scrubbing the office toilets? Never, we assume, because they have bigger fish to fry. So do YOU. You are CEO of Mom Inc. and you need to recruit people in your circle to help you grow your business. Choose wisely. Anyone who would judge you or undermine your authority need not be confided in. Ideal candidates are people who are aware of your value to their lives and will help you because they feel privileged to know you and to be a part of this journey with you.
This may all sound like common sense, but it's easy to get caught up in the minutia. You deserve to have a beautiful postpartum experience, and your child deserves to have your full attention, uninterrupted by the little tasks that you may feel obligated to keep up with. When you give those up, you will learn how little work it takes to do a good job. And most importantly, always remember that you are amazing!