October 26, 2010

Reader Question: What's a Day With a Baby LIKE?

Lauren writes:
I was feeling pretty calm about this whole pregnancy thing (especially now that the barfiness has mostly passed) until I read the information packet from my midwife, wherein they recommend we check out of the hospital and go home (accompanied by the midwife) within 2-3 hours of delivery. All of a sudden I realized WE HAVE TO TAKE THIS BABY HOME. And I have no idea what life will look like after that happens. I understand that at first you're just feeding and changing and sleeping and trying to stave off a nervous breakdown, but I have no idea what the days look like after the first weeks or months are over. I've asked a few friends and they've all said they don't really remember. What do you DO all day long? What does a typical day look like? Is there even such a thing as a typical day? It tends to be the unknown that freaks me out, so I feel like if I can visualize this a bit, I will feel a lot better about the whole situation.

Back when Rob was a baby, I wrote little monthly updates on him in my journal: what he was eating, how he was sleeping, a sample day, etc. These updates were draining and boring and time-consuming to write, but it was ALL WORTH IT FOR THIS MOMENT.

So let's see, we are looking for information about the stage AFTER the Newborn Craziness. Shall we say...3 months? (I'll use photos of 3-month-old Henry for decoration, because I've got those digital already whereas Rob's would need scanning.)

One thing you will notice right away is that I WAKE THE BABY UP in the morning. This was not because I was crazy, but rather because Paul and I shared a car and if I wanted the car I had to drive him to his car pool pick-up.


6:00-6:25 a.m. wake baby up, change him, nurse him on one side

6:25-6:50 a.m. baby and I take Paul to his car pool

6:50-7:00 a.m. nurse second side

7:00-8:00 a.m. play with baby, then give him his play gym and put him on the bathroom floor while I take a shower

8:00-9:00 a.m. baby fell asleep while playing, so he naps in bouncy seat

9:00-9:15 a.m. baby wakes up with blow-out diaper and needs major change

9:15-9:40 a.m. nursing

9:40-9:45 a.m. tummy time until crankiness

9:45-10:15 a.m. ran errand; baby fell asleep in car

10:15-11:50 a.m. baby napping at home still in car seat

11:50 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. woke baby up so I could change and nurse him before baby group

12:15 - 3:30 p.m. baby group (one nursing and one changing) [note from Swistle: was baby group really THREE HOURS? That seems unlikely. It was probably 2 hours plus driving time and I forgot to write something else down, like maybe my lunch, or maybe he napped starting at 2:30 instead of 3:30 or WHO KNOWS.]

3:30 - 4:30 p.m. baby napping

4:30 - 5:30 p.m. baby changed, nursed, played with...

5:30 - 6:00 p.m. oh never mind, the day is too complicated and the summary ends up too inaccurate.

6:00 - 6:30 p.m. pick up Paul at car pool

6:30 - 7:15 p.m. take turns eating dinner and holding baby

7:15 - 7:45 p.m. baby bath

7:45 - 8:00 p.m. nursing

8:00 p.m. baby to bed


See how I lost hope around 5:30? I remember how I'd keep trying to guess how long something had been but then that wouldn't seem right at all and nothing added up and FORGET IT. But I'm still glad to have it, because it's a lot closer than what I would have been able to recreate at this point. I see I tried again the next day, and I'm glad I did or I would have thought I always woke the baby up in the mornings:


5:00 - 5:10 a.m. baby laughing and silly during diaper change

5:10 - 5:30 a.m. nursing

5:30 - 5:40 a.m. baby snuggling with Paul while I rinse diaper and scoop cat box

5:40 - 5:50 a.m. baby crying and uncooperative for tummy time

5:50 - 6:25 a.m. ?

6:25 - 6:50 a.m. taking Paul to car pool


And that's where I gave up that day.

In fact, that "?" at 5:50-6:25 probably sums up "a day with a baby" better than any other part. SO MUCH of the day is "getting interrupted"---like, if someone had followed me and done the documenting for me, it probably would have been stuff like:

8:45 - 8:46 a.m. fold several pieces of laundry

8:46 - 8:48 a.m. have to stop because baby is crying to be changed

8:48 - 8:49 a.m. fold several pieces of laundry

8:49 - 8:50 a.m. move baby from bouncy seat to bed where I'm folding laundry

8:50 - 8:52 a.m. search fruitlessly for baby's binky

8:52 - 8:53 a.m. change toys on baby's play gym

8:53 - 8:54 a.m. fold several pieces of laundry

8:54 - 8:55 a.m. pick baby up and pat him; does he need to eat yet?

8:55 - 8:56 a.m. change shirt baby spit up on

8:56 - 8:57 a.m. fold several pieces of laundry

8:57 - 8:58 a.m. find a chewing toy for baby

8:58 - 8:59 a.m. maybe binky is in the car?

8:59 - 9:00 a.m. try to nurse baby; baby not interested

9:00 - 9:01 a.m. fold several pieces of laundry

And so on. And then I would try to record that in the schedule, and it would have to be:

8:45 - 9:00 a.m. ?

More reports and opinions and rememberings, please: What's a day with a baby (after the crazy newborn stage) LIKE, would you say?


Nowheymama said...


I just wrote about a mere twenty minutes with baby number four the other day: http://nowheymama.blogspot.com/2010/10/twenty-minutes.html

Sabrina said...

I agree with Swistle's summary--it is a day of interruptions. You don't do much. But for me, it was heaven. I had a very good baby, and Sex and the City had just come out on TBS so I Tivo'ed it, and in a matter of weeks, infant and I had watched the ENTIRE SERIES from start to end. Wow, those were the good old days. Life with a first baby seems crazy while you're doing it, and seems SO lame when you look back.

Also, don't fear that it will be hard or terrible. There is a reason none of your friends can recall what it was like to have a baby around the house--if it was traumatic, it would be remembered. It is just sort of a blur.

Anonymous said...

everyone has such different experiences. the newborn stage was such a BLUR for me, but i do remember much frustration and very little sleep (for any of us!. my baby was a bad napper, so that was hard. yet she was so darn cute, that made it all manageable. if i had to do it again i would have worried less, sat with her in my arms in front of the tv more (instead of trying to produce a nap). i was frustrated and cranky and tired, and very lucky to have a good familial support system because by week 5 i went back to work 1 day a week, very slowly adding in more days. that one day back at work was great to refresh myself. also: bringing home baby within 2-3 of delivery seems SOON to me. the endorphins are still rushing like crazy at that point, covering up any pain/discomfort from the delivery which shows up shortly thereafter. it was so nice to have medical staff to help with that!

lisak said...

First weeks--hormonal, learning to nurse (or making multiple bottles), learning the babies signals, managing all the LAUNDRY. Then gradually you sort of settle into a little bit of a routine. Waking, feeding, napping, showering, feeding yourself (!!!), playing, more feeding (and a change goes with each feed), lunch, nap, etc. Eventually you can squeeze in a morning or afternoon excursion with the baby. Also, lots of opportunity to read or watch tv while feeding, as noted above. Just about the time you figure all this out, the baby learns to move of it's own accord or you have to return to work and then it's a whole new routine. One way or the other it is possible to have the baby take up most of your day. They're little. They're needy. But they're also quite adorable once they start smiling around six weeks. Then it's all uphill. Until they're tweens or teens. Oy.

Allison said...

It's boring. Granted, our daughter came home when she was almost a year old so we missed all the newborn stuff, but honestly, what I remember the most about those first weeks was the mind-numbing boredom. I was lonely, dealing with jet lag, had a 1 year old who didn't know how to play with toys at all and my husband went back to work about 5 minutes after our plane landed. See also: post adoption depression.

We took a lot of walks in the mornings and spent a LOT of time at Target in the afternoon.

Lucy said...

If you aren't as lucky and have a kid who takes a LOT of convincing to go to sleep, much of your day will be spent trying to get kid to nap. So in the morning I would spend 45 minutes trying to get the kid to nap. Then phone would ring and wake her up after 5 minutes and we would start again.

Every kid will be different. Some nurse for eons (my first) and some seem like they can't possibly be eating enough (my second).

Oh and don't forget the diaper changes that result in a second diaper change. Kid poops, change it, before you put the pants back on, kid poops again. so there was 10 minutes!

AnnetteK said...

I remember being a lot more frantic. Finding a moment to go throw in a load of laundry or run the dishwasher was a major accomplishment.

At 3 months old my kid only took naps for 20 minutes at a time. Which was, of course, just enough time to eat a quick meal, or take a shower, or clean up the kitchen, or, well etc., but never enough to do more than one of those things.

clueless but hopeful mama said...

I think the most dramatic thing about being home with a wee baby for me was the inability to plan and predict how long anything would take. Some hours/days were smooth and the baby napped like clockwork but most days I would think "Oh, I can easily do the Target shopping and get home before needing to nurse her" but then we'd get there and she'd poop and that would take 20 minutes to change US ALL and then we'd walk into the store and she'd suddenly be RAVENOUS and then I'd nurse her in a demo glider (oh yes, I did) and then *I'D* be ravenous and then we'd leave having purchased only a single box of chese crackers that I ate half of before I even paid for them.

The unpredictability and the stop-start rhythm of the day are things I'm still getting used to, 4 years and two babies in!

Anna said...

I have a three-month-old and a two-year-old at the moment. I can't really remember what it was like with the first one this age; like someone else said, I don't think it's that it's traumatic, it's just a blur. You're constantly doing things one after another and all of a sudden it's 5pm (and then 5pm until Daddy gets home lasts about three years but that's another story).

But yes, the baby wakes up and you get it up and feed it and change it and dress it. Then you try and put it somewhere while you shower/dress/eat breakfast, and if you're lucky, it stays quiet while you do at least two of those things. By the time everyone is up and respectable the baby is sleepy again so you try and do some laundry etc, and just as you're about to sit down it wakes up and you have to feed it and change it again. Basically you go round in cycles of sleep-eat-awake all day. And the length of the sleep and awake portions is pretty random.

I think three months is a good time to try and find some baby groups or new mother groups, just to get out of the house and talk to other grown ups. Also going for a walk every day can help, you get some fresh air and exercise and feel as if you're doing something rather than just going round and round sleep-eat-awake-sleep-eat-awake etc etc etc.

Amy said...

For me it was very similar to Swistle's day, but increase the time spent for each nursing to an hour or more. Be prepared to sit on the couch and "relax" A LOT. I wish I had appreciated it more at the time.

Amy said...

Also, Henry was an ADORABLE baby!!!

Kelly @ Student of the Year said...

I never watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer when it was a new TV show, but I watched it on rerun when my firstborn was a baby. It was, outside of my lovely adorable baby of course, the highlight of an otherwise lonely day.

Assvice for the nervous mom-to-be: join a mom's group. There's bound to be someone there you connect with, and that can be a lifesaver to get you through colic/tedium.

Also: take lots of pictures. My 'baby' turned 5, and I just adore going back and seeing when she was tiny and killing me nightly with multiple nursings.

You can do it! You'll make a new normal, and then find you need to switch it up a bit, and then create some other normal. Babies rock. Seriously.

Kelly @ Student of the Year said...

Forgot to add, seeing you gorgeous boy nestled in the crook of your arm? Phantom let-down over here. My boobs sometimes remind me of what I miss about babies!

lifeofadoctorswife said...

Thank goodness you included photos with this post, because otherwise it would have just been too terrifying.

But the baby is super, super cute and totally distracts me.

Pickles and Dimes said...

This all looked very busy and stressful, and then I remembered you were doing this with Henry while you had FOUR OTHER CHILDREN needing your attention, and then I bowed to your awesomeness.

Christy said...

I also don't remember much about the early days, but I do remember the desperation around 5pm: WHERE IS YOUR FATHER?!

And also, my husband just got up the nerve to ask this same question about the time before our son entered daycare (7 months ago). Because I would have killed him if he asked me at the time what I did all day. It would have been justifiable.

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

THose are pretty accurate descriptions of a day with 1 baby. When you have more than 1 child, it's a little less tedious if only because the older one has expectations during the day. I could also measure the day in tv programs. IE, 9-9:30 Teletubbies

9:30 -9:33 whined for Thomas.

9:34 gave in and turned on Thomas

Coffee while Thomas played on tv and baby slept.

???? involving lots of Thomas and coffee and several diapers....

Saly said...

I’d have to say this is pretty accurate—but it does all depend on the baby. Bud was a very easy baby, and so we would nurse, move to bouncy seat, nap, etc. pretty easily. Lucy was all over the place. I remember Hub would come home some days and be blown away by how much I’d accomplished because she’d sat happily in the bouncy seat, or napped for 3 hours, and other days where he’d come home wondering whether the house had exploded because I had to hold her all day while 2yo Bud had the run of the house. Even though Liv never slept (still doesn’t sleep, fyi), I found it easier to accomplish things with her around, because the kids were older and settled in to routines. She had no choice but to do what we did.

Good luck Lauren! You’ll be just fine

Jen said...

Swistle's was pretty accurate from my vague remembrances as well. I remember nursing more often for some reason. But the awesome thing about that was I got to watch season of Gilmore girls. And pretty much instead of folding laundry I slept. The second the baby passed out in the swing, I turned it off and crashed. It sometimes wasn't fun because he'd wake up 20 minutes later or something but I often got an hour or two nap (he was a good sleeper, thank the gods). Best of luck, you'll be making up your own schedule in no time.

Becky said...

Thank God for Swistle. A couple friends have asked me recently what it was like to be home with the baby; what I did during the day, and I couldn't tell them. It feels, in retrospect, like I just bummed around in my pjs, or went out to Target or the mall (just to get out of the house), but I know it was much more involved than that. And my baby's only 8 months old; I'm not that far removed! This description brings it all back, though. I still feel like my days are a series of interruptions. They are just a bit further apart than they used to be.

Alice said...

so this is slightly off topic, but i spend a WEIRD amount of time thinking about how i'm going to have my future hypothetical father of my future hypothetical children read as many blog posts JUST LIKE THIS as possible, because after reading blogs for years *i* know how hard having a newborn will be, and i'm actually spending valuable time in the present worried about how to make my future hypothetical husband more understanding of how hard it will be for me, and compiling a mental list of blogs like this one i will assign as required reading if i get knocked up.

i am acutely aware of how crazy this sounds, yes.

Lawyerish said...

I think I've been lucky in that my baby is very routine-oriented and has been almost since the very beginning (except during growth spurts, when everything goes out the window).

From zero to around five months, she ate every three hours during the day, so I always knew how big of a window I had to try to get things done between feedings.

Every day, I tried to have at least one "productivity" goal (i.e., vacuum, write five thank you notes) and at least one outing (to Whole Foods, to the park, to my moms group, ANYWHERE outside of the house), so as soon as I was up and showered and had my own (rushed) breakfast (while she napped or sat in the bouncy seat), I would try to accomplish my goal (laundry got done with the baby in a mei tai; cleaning was accomplished while she sat or snoozed in the bouncy seat).

Sometimes that would take two windows between feedings, and there were usually interruptions for diapering and the like. And then as soon as I could, I'd get out of the house with her in the stroller to run an errand or just walk through the park.

I think around 3.5 months, I started trying to make sure that the baby got at least one crib nap per day, rather than just letting her fall asleep wherever and whenever, and also making sure she had plenty of play time on the floor. So that made scheduling the outings a little more complex, but for the most part she's pretty adaptable, will sleep in the stroller or carseat, and I always make sure I have sufficient diapers/bottles/changes of clothes, etc, to be able to get out of the house for several hours at a stretch.

I remember having those exact same anxieties, but somehow the days just fell into a pattern pretty early on -- that may also be because I am HUGELY a creature of habit/routine, but as I said I also think we have a fairly compliant baby.

Good luck! You'll find what works for you and you'll be fine!

d e v a n said...

Yes, it's a lot of 3 minutes doing something and getting interrupted. It gets even more interesting when they are mobile because it's about 30 seconds of doing something and then having to stop the baby from doing something dangerous slash hurt itself. Add siblings and well... you may reach the end of the day and you've felt VERY busy but it looks like you've done... not much.

jive turkey said...


I think your recap of a typical baby day is pretty spot on. A lot of lather, rinse, repeat as far as feeding, changing & napping goes. I totally remember being pregnant and wondering what the EFF I was supposed to do with this baby once I got discharged from the hospital and walked in my front door. Where do I put her?! WHAT DO I DO?! But it all falls into place so quickly and so naturally. Wonderfully strange that way.

Jess said...

Sending the link to this post to Torsten RIGHT NOW. Because these are things he needs to know. Though he did just ask me if I REALLY wanted him to read the post or if, once he read it, he would just get in the car and start driving in a straight line.

Fine For Now said...

I just had a friend ask yesterday what I do all day, since I stay home with my 7 month old and she has a 3 yo, 11 mo and watches a 18 mo, 2 year and 3 mo old all day!

So, here is a typical day with a 7 month old at my house:

6:45-6:55 baby wakes up/plays in crib
6:55-7:00 get baby/change diaper/clothes
7:00-7:25 baby watches Baby E*nste*n dvd/plays with toys
7:25-7:30 make baby's breakfast while baby watches in high chair
7:30-7:55 feed baby food/bottle
7:55-8:00 change diaper
8:00-8:20 baby plays in walker while I get dressed
8:30-9:30 put baby in car and head out on errands
9:30-9:50 baby plays in "baby jail" with toys, I put away groceries, etc
9:50-10:00 change diaper/rock baby/put down for nap
10:00-12:00 feed dog, dishes, vacuum, mop, make bed, maybe catch a DVR tv show, eat lunch
12:00-12:10 baby wakes up/plays in crib
12:10-12:15 change diaper/clothes
12:15-12:20 make baby's lunch while baby watches in high chair
12:20-12:50 feed baby food/bottle
12:50-1:15 baby plays in "baby jail"
1:15-1:20 change diaper
1:20-1:40 baby plays in J*hnny J*mper
1:40-1:50 sit holding baby on back porch for change of scenery
1:50-2:15 baby plays in walker
2:15-2:20 check mail/show baby flowers, birds, dogs while outside
2:20-2:30 give baby snack/sips of juice
2:30-2:55 baby watches B*by E*nste*n dvd/plays with toys
2:55-3:10 change diaper/rock baby/put baby down for nap
3:10-5:00 fold clothes, make phone calls, check email/pay bills, wash bottles, exercise dvd
5:00-5:10 baby wakes up/plays in crib
5:10-5:15 make baby's dinner while baby watches in high chair
5:15-5:45 feed baby food/bottle
5:45-5:55 change diaper
5:55-6:15 baby plays in "baby jail" while I cook dinner
6:15-6:30 baby plays in walker, still cooking dinner
6:30-6:40 baby is fussy, hold baby while tidying up the house
6:40-7:00 bathe/change baby into pjs
7:00-7:20 play with baby on floor/walk around with fussy baby
7:20-7:30 rock baby/put baby to bed
7:30- reheat dinner, feed dog, husband gets home, relax!

Emily said...

Hang on, all.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

The first week or so is going to be EVEN MORE CHAOS than you are being promised, new mama. Ask me how I know - my son is six weeks old this week.

The first week (or maybe two) is going to be completely endless pooping and eating and pooping and needing to be held and pooping and eating again.

It gets better after that. I think that's the most important thing to remember - it gets better. He got more alert and is awake now during the day without screaming or needing to be held. I've learned how to get him into a deeper sleep (instead of joyfully tossing him into a chair within a minute of him closing his eyes, I hold him for a few minutes while finishing up some internet reading perhaps, and then transfer him to a bouncy chair and he is golden for the length of time it takes me to shower).

So no matter how overwhelmed you may feel at first, that you can't keep up this pace, keep in mind that it gets easier.

(And if it doesn't, moms of babies older than 6 weeks, I don't wanna hear about it. SO THERE. :)

Emily said...

Also, I read a few more comments and wanted to add that I also have one productivity goal every day. Right now my personal goals are doing some yoga and getting a shower (although doing one of the two is okay, too). Sometimes my productivity goal is to get out of the house - I don't have a car so it's walking or the bus. Sometimes it's to get X loads of laundry done. Sometimes it's to make sure there's something for dinner. But I always try to have one that is manageable and not too hard, but that I will feel good about and have a concrete Thing I Did Today.

Miss Grace said...

My baby cried for 5-6 hours a day until he was 5 or 6 months old, so I don't think you want to hear what I have to say.

Nicole said...

Yes. I too always lost hope at 5:30. Actually probably earlier than that. I remember one day my husband was supposed to be home at 5:30, it was a special day for some reason, and he phoned FROM HIS OFFICE at 5:30 and the sight of his number on the call display reduced me to a sobbing puddle.

Jenni said...

Change baby, feed baby, hold baby, baby sleeps. Baby wakes, change baby, feed baby, hold baby, play with baby, feed baby, baby sleeps.

Try to nap, do laundry in between. MW nurse every 1.5 hours until he was FIVE MONTHS OLD. So that's what I did.

Lauren said...

Thank you thank you (THANK YOU) to everyone for your responses. It is so helpful to hear these descriptions so I can reassure myself that it will be better than I'm imagining for most days, and also worse on some days.

My husband and I are a little behind our social group in terms of starting a family, so I don't have anybody in my life at the same point as I am right now, and while my husband and I are both SO excited about this baby, I was also imagining a rather interminable period of time stretching bleakly before me where I was always overwhelmed, bored, lonely, or all three. It's really, really nice to be able to picture life with the baby a little more clearly.

melanie said...

for one thing, she should definitely stay in the hospital as long as absolutely possible. stay. enjoy the help. get as much sleep as you can. enjoy the pampering. don't go until they absolutely kick you out.

that should get you going enough that you will see how the day will go..


who cares about the dishes anyway?

Pigeon said...

The blog The Domestic Wannabe has a weekly series every Wednesday called A Day in the Life, and its got about ten to fifteen entries of bloggers detailing their day with their baby...almost every single one of them are twenty-somethings with their first baby. So its a pretty good idea of what its like to have a baby.

My submission wasn't as baby-oriented, since I have a 5, 3 and 1 yr old. You can see it here:

kakaty said...

The only thing I have to add is that with both kids I tried to get out of the house everyday. Some times just to walk around the mall, but it was SOMETHING to work towards. Having an end-goal of some sort helped me 1) shower everyday and 2) keep from going crazy. And as long as it wasn't time sensitive (like meeting someone at a specific time) I could go with the flow of baby-time.

kakaty said...

Oh - one other thing, but this is about the first 3 months (first 6 weeks really). Think of feeding the baby as your job. It WILL take 8-10 hours of your day - doesn't matter if you are nursing or bottle feeding. It will consume your life. Don't expect to get anything else done except feeding baby, changing baby and sleeping. The End.

Anonymous said...

Today with 11 month-old:
5:45 - I hear him wake up, Dad brings him to bed and I nurse him.
6:00 - Me & baby back to sleep, Dad leaves for work.
6:30 - I am up with alarm clock, shower, dress, make coffee, make oatmeal for baby.
7:05 - Wake baby. Feed him oatmeal.
7:20 - Change diaper and dress baby.
7:30 - Baby plays with toys in room while I grab coffee and pack work bag.
7:40 - 8:00 Drive to sitter and leave baby
8:10 - arrive at work.
12:30 - leave work, pick up baby at sitter's.
1:00 - 1:15 - drive home.
1:15 - I eat my lunch and share with baby.
1:30 - 1:45 - sit with baby in his room while he plays with books and toys
1:45 - baby wanders out of room (not walking yet) and I follow him around house, we practice walking some, I chase him some, he pokes around in things while I watch, he waves to nothing out the windows, he looks at his reflection, I contemplate taking him out on an errand but he's probably too sleepy, so we continue playing etc. etc. etc.
2:50 - put baby down for nap
4:15 - Still asleep
When he wakes up, we'll go for a long walk around the neighborhood. Maybe that errand I was thinking about, maybe a birthday visit to a friend, too. I'll make mac & cheese or something for dinner, maybe a bath, more books and wandering around.
8:00 to bed!

Suzanne said...

I wrote a post of 24 hours with a newborn when my son was 1 month old, complete with poop and throw up. It's far to long to copy here but I'll link it. Just in case you too get a baby who throws up EVERY TIME HE EATS for the first 7 months of his life.

24 Hours With a Newborn

JackeeG4glamorous said...

I'm going to link this post to my daughter who is a new mommy...and at the 2 and 1/2 month mark, she's got to go back to work, she's terrified, and yet, she's still overwhelmed by the disorder of the day. (just feeding, burping and changing, then second verse same as the first.)
You hit it right on the head.

Shanna said...

Totally agree with everybody. It definately depends on the baby/napping ability but it will all be a blur. Have you ever driven somewhere, arrived at your destination and not been able to remember how you got there or if you even stopped at stoplights? It is kinda like that. 5:00 would roll around, the hubs would ask how my day was and I wouldn't be able to recall anything that I had done. I would remember being busy or flustered but could never put my finger on exactly why it took me an entire day to unload the dishwasher. Also, a tip to new moms, if you are list maker like me make your daily goal something really ridiculously easy. I used to make myself a list of to-do's but I would have to remind myself that if I accomplished one thing, the day was a success. And yes, taking a shower most certainly counts as your one thing. There is no magic template to follow. If everyone lives through the day then job well done.

Beth Fish said...

My comment got so long I had to write my own post instead.

Carmen said...

Kakaty made the BEST point, that I wish someone had told me before my first child: think of feeding the baby as your job. It takes an enormous amount of time and nothing else gets done. It would have been so great to have viewed it this way. I had come around to that way of thinking for the second child. :)

Bring A. Torch said...

I am hooting at how the "blowout diaper" log entry is juxtaposed with the slightly alarmed baby picture. I'm also a little alarmed myself at what a baby day is like, because it sounds scarily similar to my own days at home. By myself. I flit from task to task like a hummingbird, not out of necessity but because that's just how my brain works, and by the end of it I've got who knows what on my shirt.

Anonymous said...

I developed full-blown post-partum anxiety, and I worried a lot about a schedule - should the baby eat, then sleep, then play, or should it be eat, play, then sleep (actual answer: it really doesn't matter). I continue to be too invested in when and how much my kids sleep, probably because I went through this time period desperate for sleep myself.

So my main suggestion is not to expect anything to get done - if the baby is alive and healthy at the end of the day then you are a good mom.

Melospiza said...

YES to Swistle's essential summary: it's about getting interrupted, constantly, except for those rare moments where you expect interruption and plan for it and then--woot! baby amuses himself seamlessly for an hour!

Also, so often this schedule is accompanied by a soundtrack of groaning/ babbling that occasionally escalates to fussiness (and just as occasionally downgrades to "just kidding!")--so adding to/ ameliorating the growing frustration with the inability to just! finish! folding! this! one! basket! of! laundry! is mental anguish caused by the constant noise or mental happiness caused by baby's intent adorability.

Joanne said...

It's boring and hard and stupid. Ha! Kidding. But it is, kind of. For me, to compare it to any job that I had before was problematic. It still is, actually. It's just totally different than anything you've ever done before. My babes were always big fusspots until about 3 or 4 months, so I was pretty big on a schedule. Only my third ever transferred from the car to the house, so I always had to schedule outings around their naps, which can be a pain. Definitely try to have an easygoing baby, that helps!

I always try to go to at least one place a day, whether it's Target or playgroup or the library or whatever. I find that if I stay home too much it can be maddening.

I have definitely lowered my expectations for my days. With my first, I thought I'd be all *scheduled* and *organized* but I wasn't, really, and it made me mad and sad. By the time I got to my third, I really did feel good if everyone was alive and no one was in the looney bin or jail (and by no one I guess I mean me).

Also I try not to read the blogs of enormously successful moms. It drives me bonkers to read how *awesome* it all is and how *great* they are at this job. I try to find honesty, both online and in real life. Mostly I try to remember that I can do it, that it will allegedly fly by and I will allegedly look back on it fondly. I am not really there yet, but maybe someday!

Farrell said...

I would say it's like this: How hard can it be? All they do is sleep, eat and poop. And then at 8pm you realize you haven't showered, all you've eaten is a banana because that's all you had time for, you stink, and you're exhausted, you have a pile of throw-up laundry from just one day (yours and baby's) and you go to bed thinking "Maybe tomorrow I will get to shower" And that is your single most goal.

It's all worth it in the end though.