If I hear the phrase, 'sleep when baby sleeps', I may just scream and pack my bags to live in the mountains with a herd of goats. When you have a baby, well meaning advice comes at your from all angles, from friends and family to random comments from strangers and the darn right bizarre from our friend Mr.Google. So forget what advice you've been given. Here's the truth.
Sleep when baby sleeps.
Argh! How many times have I heard this one? Only every day of my new-baby sleep deprived life. Have you ever tried it? Babies are born with a highly tuned set of skills when born, this includes with ninja precision timing their sleeps to coincide with: a)someone knocking at the door b)workmen drilling outside c) the telephone ringing d)all of the above or my personal favourite e) not sleeping and becoming wide awake the moment you put them in their cot. My advice? If you can't sleep in the day, don't worry about it. In all honesty you are going to feel absolutely exhausted anyway. If you can nap, sure, go for it. If you can't, don't beat yourself up about it. Try and have at least five minutes to yourself having a cup of tea and maybe updating yourself with the world of celebrity gossip on your phone (that's just me then).
Don't do housework.
Everyone says you shouldn't do any housework when you're a new mum, which is obviously true in those first few weeks. However, beyond that, unless you want to eat off paper plates and chase wild raccoons from the site which was once your kitchen, you're going to have to tidy up at some point. My advice? Break the tasks down and have a simple aim each day, even if that one thing is to vacuum or hide the mess under the stairs.
Don't do the ironing.
My tip? I like to apply the four question rule with ironing. Hold the item up and ask yourself these four questions...
Does it need ironing?
Will you wear it this week?
Would anyone notice if it wasn't ironed?
Is it yours?
If you get four yes's then give it a little iron. Any no's and it goes back in the pile. You're welcome.
The magic cure.
Everyone has a magic cure for whatever problem you have with your baby. The magic fix might be gripe water, a dummy, drinking herbal tea or eating your own placenta to cure an unsettled baby, colic or constipation. But guess what? There are as many cures as there are babies. There is no quick fix. Accept it and go with your gut, and don't be disappointed if running round the garden three times naked won't cure your babies sleeplessness.
You are doing amazing.
This is the one piece of advice I think any parent needs to be reminded of. Being a parent is hard bloody work, whether you are a parent to a newborn, toddler or teenager. We are all just trying our best to raise happy and healthy individuals. We compare ourselves constantly to what others are doing, questioning every decision we make, but you know what? The majority of the time you've got it right because you are doing what's right for you and your little one. Forget that mums facebook feed with her oh-so-brilliant crafts. Forget the new mum with the amazing Instagram. Some days? It's fine if your biggest achievement was brushing your teeth. Hang on in there. You really are doing an amazing job.