Newborn Mommy Brain: It's Okay

Family Matters on 06.07.11
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Newborn parenting articles and well-meaning advice givers are always telling new moms, "Sleep when the baby sleeps!"

But as every mom of a newborn will tell you, when the baby is sleeping is the only time we can get anything done!

However, when our blessed little angels are actually sleeping, and not tugging on our nipples or heartstrings, screaming for a Similac screwdriver, or producing copious masses of bright orange poop...

Funnily enough, we STILL cannot get a darn thing done!

Having given birth five weeks ago, this lack of productivity has really been getting me down. But last night I was reading the board book classic The Okay Book by Todd Parr to my newborn daughter and older kids. This sweet story lets kids know that it's okay to be short, tall, have freckles, wear glasses, wear two different socks, sing out loud and other quirky personality traits.

And so I was inspired to give myself a break and compose a similar list of okay-isms to other moms of babies out there. Here goes.

When you have a baby, it's okay... feel that a toddler's board book is speaking directly to you. be more up on news stories like "Weinergate"and Arnold's affair with the housekeeper than political upheavals in foreign countries. spend any free moments on the computer entering "lost weight while nursing," "lost weight after weaning"and "Jennifer Lopez totally had a tummy tuck right?" into search engines. keep washing that same load of laundry every day after you forget to put it in the dryer and it starts to mildew. still count "doing laundry" as one of your few productive activities of the day. only the read the chapters of your baby development books that cover sleeping through the night tactics. put your 30 Day Shred with Jillian Michaels DVD in the player...and then watch it sitting on the couch eating popsicles. realize you have two tell-tale wet marks on the front of your t-shirt...immediately after saying good-bye to the friend you ran into at Target. finally agree with older children that a swim in the neighborhood pool can in fact count as the nightly bath. laud the women in your neighborhood or school network who bring you dinner as saints worthy of canonization in Rome. start unloading the dishwasher at 8 a.m. and finish re-loading it at 8 p.m. be so sick of your maternity clothes that you box them up...and proceed to wear your pre-pregnancy pants sporting a sizeable muffin top (they're totes in fashion, right?) entertain visitors to your home by candlelight (they may think it's ambiance lighting, but you know it's to minimize the obvious dustiness of your living room). answer only two percent of your emails, and those infrequent replies are punctuationless, spelling error-ridden phrases that include a whole lot of "!!!","xoxo" and, of course, attached photos of your baby. dream of the coffee you're going to drink at 6 a.m. while feeding your baby at 3 a.m. have the best intentions of catching up on the critically-acclaimed foreign films in your Netflix queue while feeding baby, only to find yourself watching the entire Real Housewives catalog. wear your newborn in your Baby Bjorn carrier with great frequency...not so much because she loves it or to score attachment parenting points, but because it hides your post-partum paunch so well.

and even publish a supposedly-humorous blog post before you believe you've really brung the funny because dude, you just had a baby.

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