If you’re a mom to a preemie baby, or preemie twins like I am, chances are you’ve heard all of these tips — or proposed resolutions — before.
But bear with me.
Yes, you may have heard them time and time again, but for one reason or another, perhaps you just didn’t follow through.
That’s OK. It’s a new year and another opportunity to restructure how you live.
So here’s my resolution list. Take it as a friendly little reminder to let the little things go in 2017 and focus on being a tad more easy-going for your own well-being.
1. I will sleep when the baby (or babies) sleep.
When you have a preemie, chances are you are not sleeping much. Between nursing around the clock or feedings every hour or so, you can always use more rest. So when the baby sleeps, remember you should sleep, too. Close your eyes, silence your phone, log off social media and shut your eyes. Whether it’s for 30 minutes or 2 hours, that sleep and rest can help.
2. I won’t waste excessive time on social media.
Yes, I know this can be so hard to do. Especially because we all love to scroll up and down on our favorite social media apps to see what everyone is up to, but it can get excessive at times! I know, because I’m guilty of it! A few minutes here and there to see what’s going on is OK, but realize it can be more beneficial to put your phone down after 15 minutes or so and “unplug” your mind a little. Chances are whatever you missed online will likely pop back up in your feed tomorrow.
3. I will let the laundry pile up.
If you’re anything like me, the problem isn’t loading the washer or dryer. It’s folding and putting all the clothes away! I have twin toddlers (boys), and they breeze through clothes like no one’s business! My sunken in bathtub has now officially become the “family closet” where I just sift through clean clothes to find something for each of us to wear, and that’s OK! Yes, I could spend hours folding and putting clothes away, but why stress when I can use that time to play with my babies?
4. I won’t feel bad for staying home.
Nurturing a preemie baby can take a lot of time and patience. And it always seems like when you do take baby out of the house, he/she/they almost instantaneously get sick. I swear my preemie twins were sick every other week this summer. So instead of going out of your way to attend every birthday party or family/friend functions, know it’s OK when you feel like you should just stay home instead.
5. I will schedule some “me time.”
Whether that be a trip to Target (my favorite place to go!), a drive-thru at Starbucks, a trip to the bookstore, a mani/pedi, or whatever it is you like to do — do it! Don’t feel guilty for giving yourself an hour or two to decompress and unwind. You deserve it, Mama!
6. I will be proud of my mama lifestyle.
When my twins were fresh out of the NICU, I barely had time to eat, let alone get dressed and do my hair. I rocked the mommy bun for well over two years and learned to embrace a fresh, makeup free face in public. I often felt bad for spending all day in my PJs, and then after finally taking a shower around 7 p.m., I’d put on a clean set of PJs. I lived in PJs, and you know what, they are so comfy, easy and great!
7. I will eat something, no matter how small, every morning before 10 a.m.
A banana, protein shake, slice of toast, bowl of cereal, handful of almonds, whatever it is that is accessible, shove it in your mouth! Even if it doesn’t sound good, you just need a little fuel. It took me forever to do this myself, but once I started putting something in my stomach before 1 p.m., I noticed I had more patience with my preemie parenthood responsibilities and felt better, too.
8. I will give myself the benefit of the doubt.
Every night when I tuck my babies into their bed, I often feel tears well up in my eyes, because I remember a moment in the day I am not proud of. A moment where I lost my patience with them, a time when I knew I could’ve been a better mom. It’s normal. We all lose our patience; we are all doing our best and we all have the unconditional love of our precious preemies. You, Mama, are your baby’s lifeline, and even when you’re not at your best, you will always be good enough. So take a breath, forgive yourself for not being perfect, and remember tomorrow’s another chance to do better.