My New Heartbeat: Baby Vacation? You Must Be Kidding

my-new-heartbeatI am lucky enough to be on maternity leave as I write this, with a wiggly newborn grunting and cooing away next to me. Ezra was born in August and is every bit as precious as we expected.

While it is nice to be dressing exclusively in yoga pants every single day, I am a bit resentful that someone referred to this time as my “baby vacation.”

Maternity leave is far from a vacation. My idea of a vacation involves sandy beaches and drinks with little umbrellas.

katieThis “time off” is mostly dirty diapers and rushing to resolve a screaming fit before it wakes our 4-year-old.

Little sleep is had during these first six weeks (and probably long after if I’m being realistic.)

Sleep at night is interrupted by the need to feed the baby, and sleep in the daytime is limited because we have another child to take care of.

There is a repeated phrase in the advice people give to the mother of a newborn: “Sleep when the baby sleeps!”

Then there is the slightly sarcastic response: “And should I clean when the baby cleans, and shower when the baby showers, and run errands when the baby runs errands?”

I have a whole new respect for mothers who have other children at home when a newborn arrives.

Despite the preparation and chaos it takes in the mornings to get my daughter to preschool, I get to come back home after drop-off and have a good chunk of the day with just the baby.

Finding the “new normal” seems like a very distant goal only a few weeks in.

For now, there is no rhyme or reason to the baby’s needs. He is hungry after 3 hours, or an hour, or 20 minutes.

He will stay awake for an hour in the middle of the night, then only 10 minutes during the day.

And then the next day that routine will flip-flop.

Going with the flow is what the doctor prescribed for one child, but the older kid needs her structure and routine to stay happy and secure.

So what’s a mom of two to do during this “baby vacation?”

I’ll let you know if I ever figure it out!