“Make your own cup of tea!” – How to survive those early days

This might sound rude. Ungrateful, even nasty. But if you have a newborn, this will change EVERYTHING. Next time you have visitors, don’t make them a cup of tea. Don’t bake them a cake, don’t even put on your “fancy” stretch pants. When friends and family knock on the door, it’s time to put your feet up, and keep them there.  

I’m going to share a story about a new mum. A mum who wanted to show everyone, family, friends, that she had it all together. A mum who would race round tidying the house while the baby slept, just before the visitors arrived. A mum who made sure there were biscuits out and kettle ready. A mum who would feed and settle baby while the guests waited patiently. A mum who would pass over content baby for the guests to swoon over while she took tea and coffee orders. A mum who, when she finally sat down for her own cup of tea, was interrupted apruptly by a waking baby so dutifully resumed her duties of rocking, feeding and nappy changing.. A mum, who after the guests left felt more exhausted than before (who knew that was possible!).

This mum was me! And probably every mum in my mothers’ group! I wanted my guests to have a lovely time, I wanted them to see my beautiful baby and for baby to be happy to be held. But I also found myself feeling cross. Cross that I was making the tea. That I was rushing as much as I could before baby needed me again. Cross that during the precious nap time, I was tidying/ talking/ tea making rather than resting. But I kept it to myself.

Then one day, after a particularly challenging, sleepless night perhaps when I was up 7 times rather than 5, or maybe I’d had broccoli for dinner or who knows. The clock told me my family were on their way. My family who I was excited to see! But the baby told me he was about due for a nap. My body told me I too needed to rest. So I wrote a note, and stuck it to the front door.

My note said something like

Dear family,

Baby and I are having a nap and we look forward to seeing you soon. While we’re sleeping I’d love if you could hang up the washing in the laundry, clear the dishes in the sink, fold the basket of washing in the loungeroom and pop up the road for some milk and biscuits.

Thank you xx

PS feel free to make your own cup of tea

This was a big moment for me! And I allowed myself to be surprised, and taken care of while I rested that day. It was the first time in this new phase of life I had let others know what I need. 

We can put our own rest and recovery first, whether it’s during pregnancy, those early days or even when our kids are teenagers. We don’t need to be able to do it all, for everyone, all of the time.

What would you put on your note?

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