When a mother complains that they have no time to get anything done during the day, many people may look at her quizzically. In the back of their minds they are probably thinking, your new born must sleep about 10 hours during the day so what on earth are you doing when they sleep?
Well, that’s a very good question! We can assure you that 99% of new mothers are not sitting at home with our feet up, watching re-runs of the Real Housewives and having a cup of tea. So what are we doing and why does naptime for baby not equate to naptime for mum?
Being a slave to the unpredictable sleep cycle
It may take up to 60 minutes to rock your baby to sleep. Then when they have finally nodded off, you have the courage to put them in their bassinet. Inevitably as soon as you put them down, you see two little beady eyes looking at you and then they’re all grizzly again. This then requires another rocking session, followed by holding your breath as you attempt to put them down again.
This process may repeated twice, three times or even four before you can tippie-toe out of the room.
You then play roulette wondering how long your baby is going to sleep. If you’re unlucky, it might be 2 hours, but if you’re unlucky then it might only be 20 minutes. Basically a newborn’s sleeping pattern is so unpredictable that that you don’t know whether it would be worth starting something that you might not be able to finish.
You’ve got a list of chores a mile long
As a new mother you probably feel a sense of guilt that you should behaving like a good ‘housewife’. You think that because your grandmother managed to raise a family of four back in the ‘good old days’, that you should easily be able to tackle modern-day motherhood with ease.
So in the 20 minutes to 2 hours that you have to ‘yourself’ while your baby sleeps, you start ticking off all the things you need to do. You probably tackle the necessities first. It’s always a good opportunity to wash that mop of hair on your head that has enough dry-shampoo to cater to a cast of models at Fashion Week.
Then once you’ve manage to make yourself look like a normal human being again, you probably need to make a shopping list or put in an online grocery order, get a load of dirty baby clothes into the wash and maybe even attempt to make dinner…
And then if you do try to sleep this happens…
The delivery man brings a parcel around and rings the doorbell. Thanks for the delivery, but please don’t come during naptime!
You’ve forgotten to silence your mobile. It’s ringing very loudly and you can’t seem to locate it in the depths of your handbag/ down the back of the couch. Oh boy!
You go to lie down and can only think about the 1000 things you should be doing.
Or more than likely, as a new mum, you want to keep your eye on your baby to make sure they are breathing and aren’t suffocating in their crib.
If you’re now a mum of two, three or four then you feel as though you should be giving some attention to your other ‘poor’ kids. The idea of having a nap during the day is like a distant memory.