I’ve made the same New Year’s resolution for the past few years: RELAX.
That’s it. Just calm the f**k down. Suppress my type-A personality. Stop waking up at 3am to replay an awkward conversation in my head or check to make sure my passport is still safely in my nightstand drawer (it is).
Every year, I fail. And now I have a baby, so I’m not even going to bother trying to relax. I’m just going to embrace the anxiety, like an old friend who likes to say things like, “Don’t you want to have that mole checked out?” and “Are you sure you turned off the oven before you left the house?”
I’ve decided to make some parenting resolutions, though.
1. Teach the how Popple to sleep.
My poor sleepless baby, with all the negative (and weird) sleep associations you can imagine. (Anyone else have a baby who will only sleep in their cot if you pull it up next to the bed and stick your hair through the slats so they can tug on it?)
I’ve watched you toss and turn as you attempt to put yourself to sleep. You’re trying really hard, but it’s just not happening. Still, for the sake of my sanity, I have to believe that you can do it. Let’s beat this sleep thing in the face in 2016.
2. Make mum friends more aggressively.
Forget the polite, “Is he teething/How is weaning going/How is she sleeping?” conversations at mum and baby groups. I’m going in with, “Please be my new best friend who I can text at 4am when I’m up for the fifth time that night changing a nappy filled with chunks of something my baby ate two days ago that smells like a grown-up poo only way worse.”
3. Be more present.
Sometimes babies are boring. I love the Popple to bits, but there are days when we’ve played with all her toys, read a story, danced around and watched the cat for a while, and it’s only 9:30am and I’m thinking, what the hell am I going to do with you for the rest of the day?
So it’s tempting to get out my phone, check Facebook, look at my email, etc. But the Popple deserves better than that. So going to try not to use my phone when we’re together, unless it’s to text my husband to say, “Are you coming home soon?”
4. Be kinder to myself.
I feel like a bad mum a lot. Whenever the Popple doesn’t sleep. When I accidentally cut her thumb while clipping her fingernails. When I go to change her nappy and realise she’s probably been sitting in her own filth for hours. But I’m trying – and sometimes that’s enough.