Before having a baby, I had a very clear idea of what kind of mom I would be. Having read Babywise at the advice of a childless friend, I knew I would put my newborn on a schedule and fill my maternity leave with useful pursuits like crossing items off my to-do list and initiating sewing projects with the baby by my side in a bouncy seat.
The book’s instructions didn’t work out for me; among other things, it’s based on the premise that a baby eats every four hours (rather than the two hour cycle I seemed to be on). What the what?
Well, at least the bouncy seat came in handy.
Though I never used it for making playclothes from curtains (do I look like Mary Poppins, er, Maria?), having my sidekick in a baby lounge chair (like the BABYBJÖRN Babysitter pictured) has made me a better mama.
1. I smell better. My babies have loved hanging out in the steamy bathroom while I sneak in a shower. Because my washing machine is also in the bathroom, Sawyer’s presence usually encouraged me to do a load of wash. Feeling clean was something I used to take for granted, but not since becoming a mother.
2. I cook food. It turns out that my family needs to eat several times a day. Once I was able to remove Sawyer from my body (baby carriers are a necessity, yes?!), we graduated to putting the Babysitter on the kitchen floor so he could closely watch the
hot action from a safe distance. Preparing meals sometimes feels like half of all parenting.
3. I preserve my relationships. Yes, with a baby nearby, my phone calls may sound sillier. I occasionally lapse into that singsong baby voice when I’m chatting with my girlfriends, but at least those calls get made. Having friends makes me a happier person.
4. I write and publish. With a little baby at the foot of my desk, I have written a gajillion emails, thousands of blog posts and two books (okay, the second book was written with baby in utero and not on the floor). Thank you to the seats that make these achievements possible.
5. I play with my children. By parking Sawyer nearby, I can play board games with the big boys while he watches us. We also like to entertain our tiny audience with family dance parties and impromptu puppet shows. As we perform, Sawyer gets plenty of chances to demonstrate his budding clapping skills.
And I’m sure we can all agree that the best mom smells good, feeds her kids, has lasting friendships, is proud of her accomplishments while always remembering to have fun with her children.