So your little one has just drifted peacefully off to the land of nod and you have just completed your successful settling victory dance…now what?
Sleep when the baby sleeps!!! This is the one piece of advice pretty much everyone gave me when I was pregnant and just after I had Baby E and they exclaimed it quite forcefully. However, I cannot nap on demand no matter how exhausted I am. How I spend nap time has changed over the months and as Baby E’s naps have become more predictable I now feel that I can make the most of this time.
For the first couple of months Baby E’s nap time was spent…cuddling Baby E. He was not great at sleeping in his moses basket through the day (except for a couple of sneaky times when we tricked him with the aid of a hot water bottle and one of our t-shirts) and to be totally honest I wanted to cuddle him! I loved just relaxing on the couch while my newborn slept peacefully in my arms but the time did come where I felt he needed to transition into sleeping in his moses basket then eventually his cot for his day time naps. This created some good quality nap time for Baby E and some ‘free’ time for me…
Which I filled frantically doing things around the house which I just could not do while Baby E was awake or that took ten times longer and slowly destroyed my soul. However, for the past couple of months I have been more conscious of striking a healthy balance between doing the necessary jobs around the house and doing something for me even if it is just for 10 minutes. Well even the hardest workers are entitled to a break, right?
So here are a few things I like to do while Baby E catches some Z’s.
I have just completed the 30 Day Yoga Challenge with Adriene, which I discovered on YouTube. This involves, not surprisingly, doing a yoga session every day for 30 days and the sessions can last between 10 and 30 minutes depending on the particular day. I am definitely no yogi bear but I really enjoyed this and completed it without skipping a day, I even started looking forward to taking a little of Baby E’s nap time to do the sessions. Adriene has a very relaxed and realistic approach and she is very focused on ‘finding what feels good’ rather than demanding you contort yourself into impossible positions and holding them for an eternity (which is what I used to think yoga was about). Now, I didn’t exactly turn into a pretzel but I definitely noticed a difference in my flexibility and had fewer aches and pains in my back and neck than usual. I would highly recommend trying this out if you are looking for a relaxing form of light exercise.
I love reading. Getting into a good story is something I have always enjoyed but these days its been all about the Gruffalo or Barry the Fish with Fingers, which despite being entertaining reads are not quite to my usual taste. Even if it is just for 10 minutes during Baby E’s nap time, taking time to read a chapter is something I am finding myself doing more often. My favourite books are crime by authors such as Tess Gerritsen, Jo Nesbo and Camilla Lackberg.
My new found hobby of blogging. Despite reading blogs throughout my pregnancy, my own little blog is only just over two weeks old. So far I am really enjoying taking some time to reflect on what my pregnancy was like and record our life with Baby E. It feels like my own little project but still so completely about the little person enjoying his nap in the next room.
I still whizz around the house doing all the usual chores that need to be done but I now also take a bit of time to do some little things that make me happy and refreshed and ready to go spend some quality time with Baby E when he rubs those sleepy eyes awake. On that note…