EXCLUSIVELY WRITTEN FOR THE TIRED MAMA COLLECTION
BY DADS AND DON'TS
So I wanted to give you all my take on tiredness and children and how that happy partnership goes hand in hand until the end of time in a special guest blog edition of "the parenting insights no one actually asked for"...
Now I should know a thing or two about tired mamas as not only is my partner currently pregnant we have a toddler too but I was also an absolute terror of a child I'm sure if what I'm like now is anything to go by but the tiredness must get manageable as neither of them hate me (well not openly anyway)..
You would be amazed the amount of people that tell me that I don't look like I have children because either:
A) I haven't gone grey or B) I don't have a dead look in my eyes
Now my secret is (cough..Kiehl's skincare!!!) that we now have a plan and a sleep pattern that we have worked on that works for us not all the time but enough to be functioning members of society most of the time.
So it all begins with labour, most likely you've been up a minimum of 24 hours straight and as a guy you think that you're exhausted, and your partner who has just given birth literally is exhausted. They give you your baby and your privacy and that's it, you on the job learn how to do it in a complete state of exhaustion. Now I don't actually have any other suggestions for this but it does feel rather odd.
I remember having to take Dahlia for her newborn checks around 10 minutes after she was born and having never held a baby before suddenly found myself sat in a corridor holding her, petrified to know if she was even still breathing and had to ask a passing nurse stupidly to check for me, now that's my version of exhaustion, the woman has it all to come;
Physical and mental repair to the body, breastfeeding, anxiousness, heavy bleeding and all this in the first few weeks when you are trying to work out what on earth they want with all their crying..
So today my Dads and Don'ts advice will be around what not to do so that you can get to this functioning place sooner (T&C's apply dependant on child.)
1) Establish who goes to bed latest and who is the better morning person as you can then ensure you are on the best night feed time for your sleep pattern
2) Don't pretend to be asleep when the baby is crying every time, I mean sometimes do it because they are secretly doing it too but these are worth serious brownie points further down the line.
3) If you have an electric steriliser then have a note pad next to it so you fill it in to say you have done it before going to bed, you can then be sure on the night feed that the bottle is sterile and not waste valuable sleep time as well as lowering the risk of screaming baby by having to run it again.
4) Have a day or two in the week set that is your lie in day and once the baby is sleeping longer in the night utilise the early starts for that extra bonding, they are still some of my favourite memories of Dahlia as a baby (not the snotty tantrum 2 year old I have now, who throws cereal at me lol).
5) During the work week have agreed schedules such as who gets them ready in the morning isn't always the same person who gets them ready for bed, split household work for the evening, and where possible cook together.
6) Don't feel like you're doing it wrong because you're tired, I remember on a night feed getting really frustrated with Dahlia that she was spilling her milk when I was feeding her as if she was doing it on purpose and the next day it felt like the most ridiculous thing.
7) Don't pick them up when you're really tired, do what you can to fully wake up or at least don't go back to bed whilst still holding the baby, the amount of times I panicked when I woke up and thought I was still holding her when I wasn't, the feeling still haunts me.
8) Finally.. Don't, Don't, Don't think that because you were at work all day that gives you an entitlement because I have a unique perspective of this now after some flexible working during this pregnancy of being a stay at home parent and it is a full time job just as much as mine is, if not even a little tougher as you need to be alert all the time and my job is no walk in the park (although we do like a walk in the park)..
So come on gentleman, let's ditch the stereotype of uselessness and get really involved in this parenting and give the tired mama in your life a break..
If you would like to add any Don’ts advice from your own experiences then please comment below or email me them and don’t forget to follow me and check out my Instagram & Facebook page for more views of my day to day life @dads_and_donts