I have had numerous jobs in my life, each of which came with its own challenges: long hours on my feet, late nights, ridiculous uniforms, narky customers, boredom. Before I started maternity leave, my career as a teacher challenged me on a daily basis as I tried to guide my students through a hefty curriculum whilst contending with a broad range of learning needs, behavioural concerns, and parental expectations. I have to say, though…nothing has ever challenged me so much as being a rookie mom.
This post isn’t going to be about all the stuff that I have found difficult, though. Instead, I want to share some of the things that have helped make my new job easier/helped me maintain an iota of sanity, in hopes that they might help out another new mama or two.
1 – Sound Sleeper – If you are thinking of buying a white noise machine, you might want to consider downloading this app instead. It has numerous sound options for you to choose from. Maybe today your munchkin finds the vacuum cleaner soothing. Maybe next week it’s the hairdryer or fan. Some of the other sounds include the market, car ride, ocean, seashore, and pond (who knew a pond made noise?). Plus, if your kiddo is the type to wake up as soon as the noise machine times out, you can opt to have the app run continuously until you shut it off. Genius. Me thinks a parent designed this app.
2 – Rockabye Baby! on iTunes – Imagine your favourite rock song. Now imagine it played on a xylophone and triangle. Rockabye Baby! takes music from big rock bands – think Bon Jovi, Coldplay, Journey, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Queen, Metallica – and turns them into instrumentals that sound like lullabies. This is especially great for the car – Baby hears soothing, age-appropriate music and Mommy doesn’t go mental with the typical stuff geared at infants. Now if only Rockabye Baby! would branch out from the rock genre. I would love to hear some Taylor Swift or Drake done on the xylophone…
3 – Munch Mitt – My son appears to be teething. I know this because of the slow fountain of drool that is constantly oozing from his mouth, and because he wants to cram anything and everything into his little cakehole, just to have a good chomp on it. I found the Munch Mitt on Amazon.ca, or rather it was suggested to me when I put something semi-related to it in my cart. (Sidebar: Damn those suggested purchases! I am powerless to resist them!) This little mitt has proven to be not only effective as a teething tool for my wee man, but also true entertainment for my husband and me as we watch our son gumming this thing with all he’s got!
4 – Jolly Jumper with stand – Again, the entertainment value alone makes this product worth buying. Watching your little person discover how their knees work, and then how pleased they are with themselves when they master ‘the bounce’? Hours of fun for parents! Er, except I think there is some guideline as to how much time a baby should spend in one of these contraptions at any one time…so maybe I should re-word. Minutes of fun for parents! In terms of making your life easier, Mama, the Jolly Jumper keeps Baby happy and contained while you cook dinner, shower, blog (heh heh)… I went with the stand as opposed to the kind that hangs from a door frame because many of our doors don’t have frames. Easy decision!
5 – Costco 24-pack of white face cloths – I know, I know – BOR-ING. But if we’re talking about things that have made my new-mama-life easier, this cannot go without mentioning. These face cloths are in just about every room of our house, and they serve many purposes: burp cloths, drool catchers, spit-up cleaners, poopsplosion reinforcements (when a regular wipe just isn’t enough!). And because I went with Costco, I have enough that I don’t have to be washing them every day to ensure our supply is in good stock. There are always clean face cloths at the ready.
6 – This helmet, kindly modeled by Zach Galifianakis – Truly a must-have for every mama who needs her hands free and likes to multi-task. Just think, you could wear your baby, vacuum the house, and take the edge off, all at the same time. My Inner Productivity Junkie rejoices!