Maternity leave usually comes to an end around the time your baby’s “fun” phase is beginning: the cooing, the smiling, the (almost) sleeping through the night. And if you’ve been nursing, 12 weeks is also around the time when you feel like an old pro (rather than a flailing newbie). You’ve seen how your baby has grown, thrived and turned into a little butterball on your milk. Sore nipples and engorgement are a thing of the past.
Skipping the epidural? Rock on, brave mama! As everyone will tell you, though, (count me as #7,832), “there’s a reason why they call it labor.” So if you are going to give birth drug-free, you will want to have some items on hand for your comfort, stamina and energy.
Like, err, an epidural. (Just kidding!)
Twice a year, we get motivated to start fresh. January inspires promises to get diets in order, lose weight, get in shape and make other self improvements. But by summer, many of us have lost track of those goals and are back at square one. Then the start of a new school year rolls around. The itch for positive change resurfaces—especially for those of us with kids.
If you’re breastfeeding, there’s a good chance that you’re (a) STARVING all.the.time, and (b) don’t have enough time to eat enough. Of course, that’s because (a) nursing a baby can burn 500 calories a day, and (b) with all that time you’re spending feeding, burping, changing and bathing your baby, who has time to sit down for a meal?
In the summer of 2011, on our family’s annual camping trip, my then five year old daughter went vegetarian for the next year. It stemmed from the meager success of our fishing expedition – one trout – being part of our dinner the last night of our trip. You see, when we caught that little trout she was positive we would be taking it home as our pet and her little five year old heart broke when we ate it.
Four family-sized boxes of Reduced Fat Wheat Thins, and the novel Bleak House by Charles Dickens: that’s what my husband brought to the hospital when I unexpectedly went into labor with our first baby three weeks early. At that point in the game, I’d found a suitcase to pack for the hospital, but hadn’t yet gotten around to packing it with diapers, booties and items that would have made sense—and in a nervous panic, my husband decided that day seemed like a better time than any to get cracking on a 700+ page novel he knew I’d never read. Um, pass.
Being organized is one of those elusive ways of life for me, like being a Zen master or not having a Facebook account. In my constant striving for some semblance of order, I have learned to keep it simple. Whoever said “less is more” actually knew what they were talking about. When you have less stuff, it’s easier to keep track of it; that’s a given. But where do you cut back and what do you leave out?
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