Welcome, fellow OCDivas! Welcome also to all you aspiring OCDivas out there. If you're new to this blog series, you can catch yourself up here–or you can just dive straight in with these awesome organization tips from my cleaning lady turned kindred spirit and OCDiva blog contributor, Crystal. It's time to explore…
How are new moms supposed to get any sleep?!
In the middle of June, something amazing happened. My second child was born! Another adorable little girl to love. Her big sister, who is two and a half, was quite excited for the arrival of her brand new baby sister. My husband and I were thrilled to have a healthy, growing family.
Since this was our second child, I was prepared for what was to come, and I felt good about that. I love to be organized and prepared, so this time around I was much more at ease. I knew that my first daughter woke up every 2-3 hours to eat and be changed throughout the day and night. I knew about breastfeeding and storing the extra milk, how much money we would spend on diapers, how much puke and poop would end up finding its way onto me, and how much laundry one tiny human can create. I even remembered sending emails and organizing paperwork in my office at 3 a.m. when my first daughter woke up and couldn’t fall back asleep, leading me to also have a hard time going back to sleep. It was my own personal OCDiva victory! I could manage a family and still stay organized and make good use of my time. Yup, I was totally prepared to do it all again.
Or so I thought…
With a new baby came new challenges that I was unprepared for and felt ill-equipped to deal with. I had heard of colic, but I had never experienced it up close. Well, here it was. Right up close and personal. It was just as overwhelming and stressful as I had always heard it was. There is nothing worse than seeing your precious bundle of joy cry, and cry, and cry, knowing she is uncomfortable and probably in some pain, and not being able to do anything that seems to comfort her. It is a frustrating and powerless feeling. And just in case that weren’t enough to take on, all the discomfort and crying means the lack of sleep is far more than even the normal lack of sleep with a newborn.
So what’s an OCDiva to do? How am I supposed to comfort a baby who doesn’t seem to be comforted by nearly anything and won’t sleep? How am I supposed to run my business, take on a new job that I’ve already been training for, take care of my two and half year old, take care of my new baby, and function on a daily basis with little to no sleep? How can ANYONE be expected to function on an average of 3-4 hours of sleep per night? And not 3-4 hours of straight sleep, but 3-4 hours of broken up sleep?! How in the world am I supposed to keep it together and make this all work?
Well, I quickly realized that I couldn’t. At least not all at once. So I broke down and I cried. Right there, next to my baby’s swing at 4:30 in the morning, while I was trying desperately to calm her down once again, I let the stress roll out of me and down my cheeks. It was the only thing left to do. It was day number 25 of next to no sleep and I was so unbearably tired that I just couldn’t keep it together for one more minute.
After that, I decided to put my organizational skills to work and figure out something, anything, that would start getting my life back in order. I did some online research and asked around for tips and tricks to help with my poor little colicky newborn. I decided I was going to try everything and anything within reason to help my little girl, and yes, thereby help myself to some more sleep and some regaining of my sanity.
So for the next 2 weeks I made myriad changes. I tried different pacifiers, different positions for burping, switching nighttime “baby comforting” shifts with my husband, different places for her to sleep, music, no music, fans, vacuums, driving around, etc. etc. etc. I tried everything and made notes of what seemed to help the most. I started to send one email here and one there, make one phone call in the a.m. and one later in the day, make half the schedule for my employees while feeding my newborn girl and the other half while my older child napped. I broke things up instead of doing them all at once like I was used to and, if we are being real honest, like I prefer too. Doing things in halves or small chunks makes me crazy! I like to finish each smaller chore or project as I go. I do not enjoy jumping back into the middle of something I left earlier in the day or the even the day before. However, my inner OCDiva won’t let everything just crumble into chaos. I have to get organized, even if it’s in a less orderly way. (Makes sense, right?)
Now here I am, at the end of the 2 weeks I just told you about writing a new OCDiva blog. Yes, everything has happened very recently. And yes, I was feeding my newborn while writing this and put my 2-and-a-half-year old down for a late nap to accommodate this and make it possible for me to do. She, however, thinks she got to stay up extra-long and play outside as a reward for being good at the store today. A win for both of us!
Do I have it all figured out? Of course not! I will continue to figure out what works, what calms my baby, and how to fit everything in while not sleeping much (last night was a whopping 3 hours all broken up yet again.) All I can do is keep pushing forward and use the organizational skills that I, as an OCDiva, have come to rely on. I just have to use them in a whole new way. Hopefully, the next time you see a blog from me, it will be after a full night’s sleep! Well, at least a 5 to 6-hour night’s sleep.
Until the next time. ZZZzzzzzzzzzz.
Crystal is a mother, wife, animal lover, and detailed cleaner. She loves gardening, wine, silly picture socks, and dressing in themed costumes for Halloween with the whole family. Connect with her on the Top of the Fridge Cleaning Facebook page!