“Are you still watching?” Quit judging me Netflix!
As annoying as it is, we like to think of this question as the universe’s way of reminding us that we’ve been watching TV for too long.
Sure, “Its only on in the background”, “I’m not actually watching it”, “I just wanted to hear the noise”
Life at home with a newborn can feel isolating. After a few weeks the newness has worn off and real life settles in. Friends and family are only coming over on the weekend, your husband has gone back to work, and you have the whole house to yourself. Well… you and the small human you’re supposed to keep alive. Those first few weeks of maternity leave can be daunting, you aren’t quite yourself and you’re still sleeping in spurts but your brain is starting to come around. Soon, you and baby will settle into a rhythm, albeit an exhausted rhythm, but you’ll finally have some clue of the world around you. Plus, you’ll start to have a little bit of time while baby is napping that you don’t have to sleep or shower. In large part, we fill this time by turning on Netflix to engage our sleep deprived brains and combat the loneliness with other voices that speak English and not just baby babble.
But Mamma, we believe you are made for more than just binging. We believe in the woman who carried a small human for 9 months. Who sacrificed her body, her mind, and her foot size out of sheer love for someone she hadn’t met yet. We believe that maternity leave shouldn’t be wasted on anything other than total mommy bliss. Does binging another season of Friends sound like total mommy bliss? It might every now and then, but if Netflix is the only thing you’re doing, you could be letting this time slip away. Instead of being stuck to the couch with your eyes glued to a screen, we challenge you to engage in entertainment that leaves you feeling connected and fulfilled!
Pick your musical poison! Rather than watching a rerun, serenade baby to the soundtrack of your favorite movies. We can’t tell you how much our babies loooved listening to Mamma belt out her Disney favorites.
Music is also great for helping to regulate your mood. It can be hard to keep your cool while baby is hangry or gassy, but mellow coffeehouse tunes help to do the trick! On the flipside, kick it old school and have a 90s throwback dance party with baby in your arms!
Next to music, Podcasts are a close runner up! They’re free and there are so many topics to listen to! Have a burning desire to learn about successful female entrepreneurs? There’s a podcast for that. Want to know how to handle your toddler’s tantrums? There’s a podcast for that. You get the picture.
One of the big benefits of podcasts is that they give you something else to think and talk about besides baby. When we have our little ones, our worlds quickly shift from multifaceted highly functioning women to a zombie like state of food, diapers, playtime, sleep. Podcasts are a great way to keep your mind stimulated while not investing too much energy or brain power. Let’s face it, we’re still exhausted, but it is nice to have something other than baby to talk about.
If you’re a book lover, you might find it hard to read while baby is around and might miss the stimulation. Audiobooks are a great way to still get the escape that reading gives you but hands free!
YouTube has everything! From workout videos you can do with your baby, to quick hair and makeup ideas because your grooming time has now been slashed in half. Oh and baby videos, tons of ways to figure out how to diaper or swaddle a baby. We love YouTube because it’s still educational and entertaining while not encouraging binge watching.
A real life book or magazine! Time to actually read the magazines piling up in the corner, or the stack of books you keep on your nightstand.
While it can be tricky to balance a book and a baby, it’s time to learn to juggle anyways. Read aloud and watch how baby lights up to the sound of your voice.
Remember that mommy bliss we were talking about? Well here it is! Put everything else aside, the dishes and the laundry can wait. Smile at your baby till your cheeks hurt. Lock eyes with her so long that want to cry. Imprint these moments in your brain, because they really will be gone in a flash.
Binge on your baby so you can look back on your maternity leave knowing your time didn’t slip away.