Monday, 28 January 2013

Dieting Tips from a New Mum

People often ask me how I lost  my baby weight. Here are my top dieting tips:

  1. Try to have a varied diet. For example, for dinner on Monday, have a cheese, tomato and ham toasted sandwich; on Tuesday, add mustard.
  2. Don't kid yourself : you're going to eat that leftover birthday cake. Make sure you put a piece on a plate and eat it in another room, rather than over the sink in the kitchen ; you're more likely to have seconds when it's next to you and you're taking bites straight out of the cake.
  3. If you're lucky, your child will be a poor sleeper during the day, forcing you to take at least one walk for the desired duration of nap (eg, if he needs an hour long nap, you're going to have to walk for an hour).
  4. You may be feeling bummed out about being on one income, but it does mean you can't have both coffee and cake when you find yourself at the nearest cafe after walking for an hour.
  5. Breast feed if you can. Sure, it's good for the baby's health, bla bla bla, but it also means you can't drink too much alcohol before your sweet one starts solids (well, I suppose you can, but remember you'll have to pay for extra tutoring in high school).
  6. There should be a small window once a day for about an hour you can cram an entire day's housework into. Work at warp speed, lose weight.
  7. Again, a poor sleeper helps. Stand on the spot and rock or jig your baby, or walk around the house. For a real aerobic workout, combine all 3. Your baby still wont settle, but at least you can burn off some of that birthday cake.
  8. Try to eat your chocolate stash in one sitting, so you wont be tempted to graze on it later.
  9. Shop at expensive grocery stores so the prospect of refilling your chocolate stash after last night's binge is diminished. That, or the prospect of your family eating more than beans on toast for a week is increased.
  10. Find methods other than eating to cope with the stresses of motherhood, such as long showers (when someone else is watching the wee one), drinking your own body weight in coffee (helps with points 3 and 7 if you time it right) or create a blog (and post entries rather than clean the house).
And don't worry too much about your weight : people are comparing you to when you were heavily pregnant, so you're always going to look slimmer in their eyes. 

Friday, 18 January 2013

Nap time: the final frontier

Before the 6 week mark, it didn't occur to me that nap time could become a battlefield. I don't feel as though I was adequately warned at any point by the myriad of health professionals and books I consulted (okay, it wasn't that many, but still) of what was to come. Here's a tip : that whole sleeping when they're tired deal wears off pretty quickly. Sleepy escalates to grumpy before you can say "I think you need a nap". So here's a few things that may help:

  1. Stand and rock or jiggle your tiny one. Don't even bother attempting this sitting down; it results in crying. If your core is still recovering from pregnancy and birth, get your hands on a baby wrap/carrier so you don't end up chewing neurofen just to get through each day.
  2. Have easy-to-eat food within reach. It gets mighty hard to soothe the savage beast when you're turning into one yourself. I recommend chocolate, mainly because I like it, but there's also stuff about serotonin release that's helpful.
  3. Remind yourself that at some point, the survival instinct will kick in and he'll go to sleep.
  4. Forget about the housework and think about what arse-sitting activity you will do when he finally is asleep.
  5. Pass him to someone else. Just make sure you know them; do not trade you baby for a parcel from Catch of the Day when the postie comes to the door. You will regret it later.
  6. Put crying baby into the pram and watch the miracle of a walk on a bumpy path unfold before your very eyes. Keep walking for at least 30 minutes to ensure he gets some sleep. Don't be fooled into thinking he will keep sleeping once you stop. This is a rare occurrence.
  7. Replace pram with baby wrap/carrier or car.
  8. Feed him (note: not always possible when he's tired, even if he's hungry).
  9. Walk around the house and point out objects and explain their uses in a soft voice. This at least stops the crying for a while as he stares slack-jawed at the wonder that is the fridge. Seize the opportunity to put a boob/bottle in his mouth and hope for the best.
  10. Stroke his ego and list all the people who love him whilst jiggling or patting him. You may need to make some up if it takes longer than anticipated.
  11. Utilise a favourite chair/toy/song. Don't stress if he doesn't sleep in his own bed; as long as he gets some sleep anywhere is fine. If he's still sleeping in a chair when he's an adult, don't worry: he's the one paying the chiro bills.
  12. Once he's asleep, stick around in case he wakes (unless he's sleeping on you. Then don't. Move. A muscle) and repeat whatever you did to get him to sleep if he stirs. See? There's no way you can do any housework, so quit worrying about it.
  13. Remember that this is normal, and ignore anyone who claims their baby never went down without a fight. They're lying, or have blocked it out.

    Oh. And never move a sleeping baby after working hard to get them to the land of nod. Those little devils are light sleepers.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Things I have learned since becoming a mum

Another FB post written when O was asleep and I should have been doing housework...

Things I have learned since becoming a mum:

  1. Baby brain is very real (I may have said that in a previous post. I can't remember).
  2. Take it when you can get it. This applies to food, sleep, shopping, sex, food, exercise, etc.
  3. Don't bother renting a movie. For some reason, you can manage to watch an entire TV series in 3 weeks, but can't make it through a 2 hour action movie that doesn't have a plot anyway.
  4. You get to the point where you almost prefer a bout of screaming to incessant grizzling. Almost...
  5. Before I was pregnant, I wore super judgey pants. With a matching cape. Now, well, shit, I'm too busy sorting out my own mess to worry about what other people are doing.
  6. Baby brain is very real.
  7. Driving a crying baby around to try to get them to sleep whilst wearing your PJs... Well, there are worse ways to spend a Sunday morning (I'm talking 10am!). Just don't go shopping like that. There is a line.
  8. Baby panadol. Use it. The liver is an impressive organ, especially a new one.
  9. Adult panadol. What do you care? You spent your 20's destroying your lover with tequila anyway.
  10. Even during Wonder Weeks and teething, there are still enough fantastic moments to stop you from stuffing your belongings into a bag and tipping your hat to daddy as you run out the door. More than enough.

Roll up for the Baby Show

This is one of those Facebook statuses I posted when I was trapped by a sleeping baby with nothing but the iPad to pass the time. O was about 11 weeks old at the time, so sleep for everyone was less frequent than it used to be...

I'm inventing a new game show: the Baby Show, where parents compete to win an 8 hour sleep. It consists of the following challenges (based on the first 3 months. Challenges for subsequent months coming soon):
  1. Leave the house before 12pm. Bonus points for leaving the house in the first shirt put on.
  2. Change a nappy in a public toilet that has a concrete floor, no basin and no change table. Bonus points for not throwing a used nappy at the ceiling to see if shit sticks.
  3. Make yourself a nutritious lunch and eat it before bebe wakes one of seventeen times during his nap. Bonus points for hot food.
  4. Successfully feed a baby who is crying and refusing food because he's so hungry. Bonus points for not muttering sarcastic remarks.
  5. Change a nappy and soothe your crying baby without waking from your dream where you are a 16 yo BMX bandit foiling a jewel thief. Bonus points if you dodge the pee.
  6. Stay up past midnight on New Year's Eve. Bonus points if you make it to bed before midnight on Jan 1 when all you're doing is kicking around the house.
  7. Drink every cup of tea or coffee you make throughout the day. Bonus points for making espresso at least once.
  8. Go to a party and not discuss pregnancy, birth and everything that comes after, especially stories about poo. Bonus points if you can start a conversation about current events.
  9. Don't eat junk food before 2pm. Bonus points if you make it to 8pm.
  10. And finally, look at your little person and try not to smile. Good luck with that one; it's impossible.