This past Monday, I had oral surgery. I had thought, like most of us do, that I’d be fine and be able to at least keep up with 50-75% of my plate load of things. Wow, was I ever wrong, and instead, I’ve spent most of the week on my couch. I found myself reminded of the wise words many LLLC leaders shared with me when I had my first newborn: If you find yourself standing, sit down, and if you’re sitting on the couch, consider laying down. Your body needs rest.
Your body needs rest. I remember how utterly insane and ridiculous that sounded the first couple of times I heard it. The phrase never sunk in. All I could think was ‘ok, ok, yes. I need rest. Clearly. But I have a newborn! And a husband working a million hours! (He truly wasn’t, but you understand the new-mom sentiment…). And I can barely stand up straight from the pain at the epidural site in my back four months post-partum! Also, this baby doesn’t sleep unless I’m moving…but sure, I’ll rest. Yep, I can add that to the list of things I need to do.’
It took a bit of time for me to eventually notice the moments when I could sit down with my sleeping baby or lay down, after she’s nursed to sleep. At gatherings, where people generally stood, I found myself a chair. If I was visiting someone’s house and they offered me a room to lay down if I needed to, I took the opportunity. With my second child, I made everything about the rest I knew I was going to need, including taking up anyone’s offer to take my older daughter to the park or walk my baby in a stroller or offers of meals and house cleaning. I let my body rest.
So, lessons learned in early motherhood at LLLC meetings are paying off, as terrific parenting and adulting advice. And yes, I am writing this from my living room couch, with my butt firmly planted, with the company of a 5-year-old and 7-year-old squished up against me on either side watching tv. Resting.
(Check out Sweet Sleep, page 70, and basically the whole rest of the book for ideas on how to find rest with a little one(s). Need a copy? Order here. Some of the proceeds go directly to LLLC when purchased through this link, to help us continue to provide free breastfeeding and parenting help to all families. Don't want to order online? Check out your local independent bookstore).
~Laura, LLLC Leader, Waterloo Region Virtual Group