Sleep When Baby Sleeps

#write31daysDay 20And other nonsense we tell new moms.


Sleep when baby sleeps

This does not really work for me for a few reasons:

Suddenly my older children have insomnia.

Sometimes, I want to shower.

On occasion, I need to lift a finger and do some housework.

Sleeping while toddlers fend for themselves is frowned upon, because it is dangerous.

My children deserve my attention too.

My family likes to eat food, and my toddlers cannot cook.  Although, they would love to just eat apples all the time.

Have your partner help

This one annoys me.  It assumes that my husband does nothing.  He helps, quite a bit.  Taking over most of the responsibility of the older kids so that I can cultivate a strong nursing relationship and bond with our daughter, is no small feat  He does a good chunk of the housework, and is CONSTANTLY refilling my water glass and setting up donor milk bottles and SNSs for us.

Ask for/Hire help

Admittedly, I could ask for more help of friends.  The trouble is, once I realize “I could really use a hand.”  It’s way too late to ask for help.  Why? Because other people have lives,  many of my friends are moms.  They probably need help just as much as I do.  It’s not willingness, it’s availability.

Hire help, yes. Brilliant.  I had a postpartum doula when C was born.  She offered her time for free, we couldn’t afford it.  She is an angel.  Sure, some moms could afford extra hands to clean, or care for the baby.  This is out of reach for many moms. Paid maternity leave is rare, and I am self employed, no work = no money.  Saving up for it would be ideal, but how many of us live that close to our ideals?

Wear the baby

Yes, I do this often.  Some things are VERY HARD to do safely while baby wearing: cooking food on the stove, taking laundry out of the dryer.  Baby-wearing can be a lifesaver, but  not everything can be done with a baby carrier.  An awesome tool, but not magic.

All of these things aren’t nonsense, but they can be very far out of reach for many women.  What are the single moms to do?

I challenge myself to this.  Instead of saying, “sleep when baby sleeps”  offer to come over and take out the older kids or hold the new baby so mom can shower, or go to Target alone.

Instead of saying “have your partner help” to someone who isn’t single, ask how the partner is doing.  Maybe that person is just as overwhelmed!  To the single mom, ask her what you can bring over while you are on your way.  Bring her a latte, or a meal and then pop over and do some chore that will take you 10 minutes (because you have two hands) but will take her 2 hours alone.



  1. I love this post! I know that I’m so blessed to have my mom help me with the baby.

    I wish I had known all this when my friends had babies years ago and I was childless. But, live and learn.

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