Having a kid means that life as you previously knew it is over. It’s a new chapter and you must adjust accordingly.
The first thing that gets adjusted is your sleep pattern. Gone are the lazy weekends, the long lie ins, the ability to hit the snooze button for that extra fifteen minutes, and any endings to any dreams you may have wanted to finish (like the one about the cute federal agent who is helping you save the world from zombies and looks great in a tux).
Now before I get into anything, I will gladly state that I am lucky when it comes to the sleeping “through the night” portion of babydom. Now let me explain that sleeping during the night isn’t an 8 hour affair, it’s 4-6 with a 20-30 feeding in between and another 20-30 to get baby back to sleep deeply enough to transfer her back to the crib. Then getting up to turn the coffee maker on for your husband and filling up any bottles that you have (because you ran the dishwasher the night before). If you’re like me, then you also know that just because you put the kid down it doesn’t mean that you’re not going to be awake for another 10-15 minutes making sure that baby doesn’t wake up.
Yes. I’m that neurotic.
I’m not going to complain, I get at least 4-5 hours of sleep at night plus two or three after her dawn feeding.
But that doesn’t mean I’m not tired.
As she gets older, she stays awake more. Besides the basics of feeding and changing, she needs to be played with, taken outside, and taught (or at least the beginnings of teaching things).
So I’ve taken into account what doctors and other moms have told me: Sleep when the baby sleeps.
At first I thought I was going to be supermom. The first week taking care of Kid Cusack by myself, there was no napping for me. I was a little too nervous. The following few weeks I tried to tidy up during the day.
About week five or six I realized my folly. I couldn’t live on three cups of coffee a day and still expect to take care of my kid without wanting to fall on my face.
So, after a month and a half, I would nap when she napped.
The point is. Nap when you can. Especially if you don’t have any help. Otherwise, you’ll struggle to simple things like brush your teeth. Or pee.
Or play with your kid. Or string together a sentence.
I think you get my point.