Tiny Baby, Tiny Apartment (Part 4): Make Maternity Leave Your Bitch
You live in a tiny apartment and you just had a baby. You’re home from the hospital, trying to put that whole bloodbath behind you. Your partner is back to work. And you and the baby are in the apartment, alone. All day long. Crying. Pooping. Staring nervously at one another. Daytime TV takes some of the edge off.
The Kardashians aren’t actually that bad, you think to yourself. I hope Kourtney and Scott work it out. You don’t go back to work for what seems like decades.
What the fuck are you supposed to do? Thanks to your best friends Munchery and Amazon Prime, you don’t actually have to leave the house again, like ever. Fast forward two weeks and you’re in the same house pants, the walls are closing in, and your baby is starting to judge you.
“Sleep when the baby sleeps!” they advise. Easier said than done, says you, to the pile of dishes in your sink.
“Maternity leave is a dream come true!” they say. “I never wanted it to end!” How nice for you. Meanwhile, the swimsuit bottom you put on for underwear yesterday is starting to itch. And nobody told you how much of a bitch that C-section recovery is.
Listen, I’m not going to preach about what you need to be doing to have a successful maternity leave. I don’t know you, and I don’t know your shitty kid. What worked for me and mine might be your worst nightmare. Or it could help.
Here’s what I did:
Keeping a schedule was a struggle at first, but after a few months we got into a rhythm. Now she’s eating, sleeping, and playing in scheduled chunks throughout the day. This gives her a sense of predictability, and me a shred of sanity. (Real mommy blogs and books can give you a better idea of how to set a schedule.)
Maintaining physical hygiene is clutch. If you notice you’ve started to look or smell like a hobo, consider taking a shower. A quick in and out to rinse off the stank. If that’s not happening, at least brush your teeth, for the love of god. Run a comb through it and put on real clothes. Yes, even if you’re not planning on seeing people.
Getting out of your tiny apartment is the crux of the entire plan. I stayed inside for ten days straight when I got home from the hospital, and I really wish I hadn’t. Throw the baby over your shoulder and take a spin around the block. Go to the park and sit on a bench. Buy a coffee, tip the cashier. Sit on your front steps. Or, just stick your head out the window. Whatever it takes. Just let some air hit your cheeks.
Now do it all over again tomorrow.
You got this.
Stay tuned for Tiny Baby, Tiny Apartment (Part 5): Going Back to Work Sucks Balls