Mothers need mothering, too. All giving and no getting will wear thin. New mothers easily recognize themselves in the scenario: “My baby needs me so much that I don’t even have time to take a shower.” It’s natural to put baby’s needs first, yet that doesn’t mean you always put your needs last. You can’t parent a draining baby if you’re drained. Next time you are on an airplane, notice how the flight attendant demonstrates the proper use of oxygen: “Put on your oxygen mask before putting on your child’s.” If you are suffocating, you are no good to your child.
How true especially in the first few weeks of your newborn's arrival! It was more difficult for me especially when I did not have a confinement lady to help me while I take a break, use the bathroom. The hell with no shower during confinement - by the time DH comes home from work, the first thing I did was to jump into the shower and wash my tiredness of the day away. Poor baby has to be latched onto a dirty, smelly and sweaty body. Now, I've learnt to take care of myself. For example, the past weekend, I was down with a cold and I took DH's advice and let him sleep in B's room so that he can take over the night duties. You see, when we have the baby monitor in our room, however slight noise B makes, I hear and jumps up while DH sometimes have no idea at all. So even if he offered to do night duty, I always wake up before him to attend to baby. So I listened and had a good night rest, though at somebody he still couldn't handle and I had to wake up, but it was good enough. I can't feed B too, so had to relinquish those duties to him while I attend to other matters or just catch forty winks. That said, it will never change that baby will always come before anything else.
Tip 2: ALLOW BABY SOME FRUSTRATION
In your zeal to be a positive parent, it’s tempting to keep giving until you give out. During the early months babies need a “yes-mother.” Baby wants to nurse, you oblige. Baby wants to be held, you do it. Being unconditionally responsive is part of the parent-infant contract. Yet, such unconditional giving in the later months of infant care can develop into “martyr mothering” and actually interfere with your child’s ability to begin developing a sense of self and a sense of competence. Worst of all, when done through gritted teeth (because you know deep down your constant giving is no longer appropriate for baby’s age), responsive parenting deteriorates into resentful parenting. Once you know your limits, you will be motivated to find ways to get your baby to behave better, and your baby will soon get the message that life goes more smoothly with a mom who is happy.
Sleep when your baby sleeps. Nap when your baby naps. It’s tempting to “get things done” while your baby’s napping. Resist that temptation and take a nap yourself. To keep your sanity in parenting a high need child, you must make sleep and rest a priority. Martha has learned over the years that baby’s sleeptime is pure gold — much too valuable to be spent washing dishes, dusting, or even cooking. This precious recharge time was wisely put to use in ways that would make an eternal difference.
When baby naps, I see that as my opportunity to fold the clothes, wash the dishes, do the laundry, prepare dinner etc etc etc. it often tires me out coz by the time I'm done with the chores, baby's up as I can't rest. So now, I let B nap on my bed so I can nap with him. The chores can wait. Now that said, I should nap a little before he wakes up.... Zzzzzz