I will be the first to admit that I got into the habit of showering every other day as a new mom! Don’t judge y’all! I just couldn’t find the time between caring for my son, pumping 3 or more times a day, changing diapers at least 6 times a day, washing all the soiled clothes and blankets from his blow outs, keeping dishes out of the sink, and attempting to cook dinner a few times a week. You read that right…I said nothing about sleep! This momma was TIRED and STRETCHED! So when it came to showering when he was asleep, it didn’t happen. I mean let’s be honest, when we first got home he wasn’t sleeping for hours at a time during his naps. So if I had to choose between unloading and loading the dishwasher and showering. I usually chose the dishes.
It took me a good month to not only get in a good routine, but to trust my motherly instinct when it came to how I could meet my son’s needs but also make sure mine were met as well. I am a very organized, check list accomplishing crazy woman! So for me, I had to come up with a schedule in order to make sure things got done around the house…including a shower! Once Duce was into month 2 of life, I had finally figured out a schedule that worked for me. I knew that I was an over supplier so I didn’t get bent out of shape if I only pumped twice a day instead of 3-4 times, I wasn’t worried if there were dishes in the sink when people came to visit, nor was I worried if I had to re-wash the load I forgot was in the washer. What I spent most of my day concerned about was if Duce’s needs were met and if mine were too. So my days began to look and feel better because I identified priorities and scheduled them accordingly. How have I been surviving as a new mommy who needs to eat, sleep/nap, pump, shower and more? Check it out below:
Pumping: As a blessed over supplier (I will discuss more in a future post), I knew that as long as I pumped enough-which for me was equivalent to how much my Ducey Bear ate in a day (24-30 oz) that day, I didn’t need to worry about pumping 3-4 times a day or like I was told in the hospital every 2 hours-STOP! I typically get 12-15 oz each session, so I got into the routine of pumping when I woke up and before I went to bed. I’m not engorged and I still have a 3.5 week supply in the freezer.
Sleeping: They say sleep when the baby sleep, but let’s be realistic, that isn’t as easy as you may think. If you’re like me you are spending so much time looking around the house at what can be done while he is sleep, that you realize you can’t sleep! Or better yet, you should be showering or pumping or paying bills or God knows what else! What I did realize was that this girl was TIRED! So I decided that I would take at LEAST 1 nap with Duce during the day. This would give me a recharge and a beautiful way to bond with my little guy (we slept together in the recliner holding each other).
Showering: Because you really are surprised that I am walking around unshowered right?! lol My friend Cassaundra was always clutch for coming to visit and letting me shower while she loved on my Ducey Bear. But that wasn’t every day by any means and this girl needed a good hot shower! So what I did was pull his bouncer into the bathroom with me and got in that shower! Yes I had to sing the ABCs or You Are My Sunshine or Jesus Loves You to him as I showered, but that didn’t matter as long as this girl got clean! Plus Duce didn’t care that Mommy didn’t sound like Whitney Houston, as long as I was singin’! lol Him being in the bathroom with me was beneficial to him because the steam cleared his nasal passages of snot that he couldn’t blow out or sneeze out on his own yet, and I could also count on him to make it a duet as he started babbling these last few weeks. His hanging toys and the vibrating bouncer kept him safe and entertained while I showered and it was great! And if I STILL couldn’t squeeze one in for whatever reason, I did when my husband got home-which is nice because I can take longer ones while they spend their time bonding! There is NOTHING like a 20-30 minute shower after a long day of spit up, poop and leaky breast! I finally found a solution and realized that I didn’t have to neglect my personal hygiene anymore. It was actually refreshing for me, and I quickly realized how much I needed to make it a priority, and that my son would be okay while I did it.
Eating: Now as a nursing/breastfeeding momma, I have the appetite of a teenage boy! So I am ALWAYS hungry and thirsty! Yet that didn’t mean that I was always eating and drinking. However, to ensure that my supply continued to flourish and I was nourished enough to care for Duce I had to makes sure I was eating and drinking. I did this by purchasing Weight Watchers Smart Ones meals (thanks to a suggestion from my cousin Toni!), used large water bottles to ensure that I got my 60-90 oz in a day (rather than small water bottles that I couldn’t jeopardize getting up and fetching if Duce was sleep and moving would wake him). I also eat yogurt (great protein option), Baker’s has $1 bag popcorn which is AMAZING, pre-peeled and boiled eggs (Costco), PB&J uncrustables and Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches. These are all meals that take less than 5 minutes to prepare, which is necessary when you have a needy newborn that needs your presence around the clock!
Hair: Protective styles, protective styles, protective styles!! When I was in my last trimester and month of pregnancy I got my hair crocheted with 3D twists (2 weeks before Duce arrive), and boy was I glad! When you are taking care of a baby you DO NOT have time to do your hair EVERY SINGLE DAY! Don’t let anyone fool you, it’s impossible! Until you get in a groove don’t even think about it! It took me 3 months to come up with a schedule of doing my hair in the late evenings while my son and his dad slept, and I was able to start washing my hair in the shower while Duce sat in his bouncer once he was 3 months and was more active with his hanging toys on his bouncer. I am a natural sista, so I love twisting and rolling my hair into different styles, but the reality is, you just don’t have the time! Baby or sleep always win! I had my 3D twists in for 3 months and it was great for my busy life! That style was actually 2 styles in one, giving me versatility and longevity. I have spent the last month wearing my own hair and styling it (only on the weekends when Daddy is at home), and though it hasn’t been terrible, I look forward to this hair appointment this weekend for my next protective style. Treat your tresses right ladies. Pregnancy and hormones can do a number on your hair so you want to take care of it the best way possible, and protective styles is one of the best ways.
All in all mommas, don’t neglect your needs taking care of your little one. You will be a better mom if you ensure that you are eating, drinking and sleeping well. It is all about thinking smarter, not harder, organizing and planning things out, and working around your baby’s schedule. Your baby will love you more and you will be able to give them your best you. The bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” Be good to your temples mommas, and God will be good to you!
~Soli Deo Gloria💜
Copyright © 2017 by Da’Quisha Whitaker
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