Last week, I started a new little tradition here called Titus 2'sday. Based on Titus 2, I want to share the tidbits and pieces that friends and family have shared along the way, each Tuesday. Feel free to chime in to share your wisdom!
As a brand-new mama, I heard time and again from well-meaning friends, "Sleep when the baby sleeps." They were right! You need to, want to, have to sleep when the baby sleeps. Try, try, try with all of your might to make it happen. But somehow, babies seems to sleep at the least convenient times. They wake up when you're most tired and sleep when you're wide awake. For me, I was on a weird baby-induced hormone high that kept me pretty much wide awake all the time.
So, for all of you other brand-new mamas out there, I'm introducing a new mantra. Are you ready?
"Snuggle when the baby sleeps."
It will seem so impossible that the tiny baby slowly inhaling and exhaling in her Moses basket could ever get big. She will seem impossibly big already, after all; didn't you just give birth to her? She will never be toddling about and trying to turn one year old on you.
Oh, but she will!
She will get busy and fast and too big for just the crook of your arm. You won't be able to cuddle her whenever you want, because she will be too "busy" chasing the cat or tearing up your magazines or climbing the stairs. She will get to be almost 20 lbs and feel awfully heavy on your chest. Before you know it, she will go to college and you will cry.
So you know what? Snuggle that baby. Savor her sighs and impossibly soft skin.Snuggle her whenever she sleeps and don't give one darn about "spoiling" or "habits" or "routine" or "cribs." You won't care one lick about that stuff when your baby is all grown up. You will never wish you snuggled less. You won't remember your sink full of dirty dished or the laundry that needs to be done or your dusty floors. You will remember that tiny head under your chin, your nose breathing deeply of that delicious newborn smell that I swear is the very scent of heaven's breezes.
I worked really hard at savoring the newborn moments when Sweet Pea was brand-new, and I'm glad for it. I still battled a lot of anxiety though, wanting my house to be clean and perfect and lovely. I often felt divided in two, wanting to be perfect in both areas of my new life. I wish I had let myself be more wholly present, and not given myself a hard time for being "lazy" when I spent loads of time just being with my baby. I'm glad I did, but I wish I had understood fully how good it was and how okay it was, and now NOT lazy.
So if you visit me the next time I have a newborn, don't judge the state of my home. Just know I've taken my mantra to heart, savoring every delicious drop of that baby.
"Snuggle when the baby sleeps."
Mamas out there, what would your newborn-days mantra be? What are you proud of yourself for in those days? Would you change anything?
"In the same way, teach older women to be holy in their behavior, not speaking against others or enslaved to too much wine, but teaching what is good. Then they can teach the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be wise and pure, to be good workers at home, to be kind, and to yield to their husbands. Then no one will be able to criticize the teaching God gave us."
Titus 2:4-5, NCV version