When it comes to overwhelming responsibility, all bets are off when you become a mom. Sure, some parents manage to keep their home at KonMari-levels-of-clean and are probably awesome at creating enviable bullet journals that keep their lives organized as hell. The rest of us struggle, though, and feel like we're drowning in our responsibilities on a daily basis. I say don’t stress, though. There are things you shouldn't even try to accomplish before your baby becomes a toddler, so cut yourself some slack, let yourself off the hook, and manage your expectations. After all, you deserve it.
Now, I'm not saying that having a toddler solves everything. Not even close. But by the time your kid is old enough to walk, communicate with a rather limited vocabulary, and follow simple commands, you can start teaching them about responsibility and, as a result, free yourself up for more "me time," work time, or whatever else tickles your fancy. For example, it's time they learn to put their toys away, or help with laundry, and even help dress themselves, so you can sit on the couch for all of five minutes and find a moment to relax.
Honestly, I could hand over a little more responsibility to my own kid. He definitely thrives whenever we do some cleaning regularly. Plus it helps me get things done and keep my home from falling apart. But when he was just a wee little baby? Yeah, it was all on me, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it could get exhausting. So if you’re a brand new mama trying to “do it all,” forget about the following and realize that it's totally cool to let some of this stuff go until your kid is a toddler:
Having A Clean House On The Regular
Sometimes I'll survey my house and think, "Man, it's messy in here." I mean, it is. But then I remember when my son’s toys and gear literally took over every single space in my home when he was a newborn and I was getting more than three hours of sleep at a time. Honestly, I didn’t even really try to keep it tidy because I knew it was pointless, and you should cut yourself some slack when it comes to keeping your house "picture perfect," too.
Going More Than A Day Without Doing Laundry
With a toddler and a husband, I do laundry about twice a week. That's it, my friends, and that's if all goes according to plan. But when my baby was little and went through 10 bibs a day and got pee on his crib mattress and spit-up on most of my shirts, I did laundry regularly. Just know that you’ll always have to be near a washer/dryer in those first couple of years, but it won't be like that forever.
Getting A Full Night's Sleep
Yes, sleeping through the night probably isn't going to happen when you have a baby. While my baby was a decent sleeper up until he his about 10 months of age, I was still sleep-deprived as hell, and cranky to boot.
Taking On New Projects
Bringing another child into the world is not the time to start taking on more work or new projects and hobbies. Yes, you might think that your baby sleeping might give you more time to write that novel. And hey, it might! But you might also get down on yourself if you find yourself passed out drooling on your laptop more often than not. Same goes for taking on any new work. Don’t spread yourself too thin.
Having Care-Free Date Nights
Your in-laws want to babysit for the evening while you and your partner go out for a romantic dinner? Sounds awesome! But enjoying a night out on the town is not going to be as simple as it once was. Getting ready for your date will take a lot longer (especially as you’ll likely get sidetracked by your baby vying for your attention), and once you do manage to leave, odds are you’ll end up talking more about the baby than anything else. And forget drinking, my friends. Trust me when I say you won't appreciate a hangover when your baby wakes you up at 3:00 a.m. for who the hell knows why. Not one bit.
Keeping Up With Personal Grooming
Showers? What are those? You can try to look your neatest and most presentable all you want, but don’t stress if you suddenly realize you don’t recall when you brushed your teeth last. But once you have a toddler who also brushes their teeth? Well, it definitely helps keep you on task.
Wearing Clothes Without Stains
Caring for babies means dealing with a ridiculous amount of bodily fluids, so you’re going to end up with lots and lots of fun milk stains and baby food stains on your clothes. Don’t bother trying to make that capsule wardrobe happen right now. Just focus on keeping your favorites stashed away until your baby masters that whole swallowing thing.
Getting Your Kid To Help With Anything In Any Way, Shape, Or Form
Babies... don’t do much. Toddlers, on the other hand, can do plenty. Get them a step stool and teach them how to sort the silverware. Give them a basket of laundry to fold or put away. Sure, they might lose focus after a couple of minutes, but it’s something. But you won’t get that from your baby. But hey, babies are cute, so enjoy them while you got ‘em!
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