This is Day 7 of our series on “Surviving & Thriving with a Newborn” — part of the 31 day writing challenge hosted by the Nester. Every day in October I’ll be sharing a tip about how to make the most of and enjoy the sleep-deprived newborn days. For a list of all the posts in this series, click here.This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for my information.
In my second trimester, I suddenly realized that life with a newborn plus other little people was going to mean more time at home. At the time I was leading a CBS class plus co-leading my daughter’s American Heritage Girls unit and teaching a Sunday night class at church in addition to my duties as a wife, homeschool mom, freelance writer, and blogger. To say I was overloaded is an understatement.
Contrary to my type-A people-pleasing nature, though, I started saying “no” and “I’m sorry but I’m going to have to step down for awhile.”
Trust me, it was very difficult. I cried. I felt guilty. I considered what else I could drop or stop doing in order to continue in those areas because I really didn’t want to let anyone down.
But I knew I couldn’t do it with a newborn, and you know what? I didn’t want to. Instead, I knew I wanted to enjoy my new daughter, something I would not be able to do under the stress of all these other outside commitments. God shed light on those responsibilities He wanted me to relinquish, and I felt at peace when I stepped down.
When the time comes, I will step back up and assume my responsibilities once again, but for now, I’m staying home and holding my baby and I’m loving it!
If you’re like me and feel guilty about telling people “no” or stepping down, here are some tips to help you:
1. Don’t say “no”; say “not now.”
In this season, you might not be able to be the soccer coach but maybe next year. You don’t have to flat out refuse to help. Instead, show you’re interested in being involved but explain that it will have to be in the future. Right now is not a good time.
2. Remember your baby will only be a baby for a very short while.
The sleepless nights will pass. Babies turn in to toddlers, then preschoolers, and then they go to school. Perhaps once you’ve reached the next stage, you can commit to teaching Sunday school again. For now, enjoy the season you’re in.
3. Live intentionally in this moment & see the beauty in it.
It’s natural to want what you don’t have. Likewise, it’s normal to want to be where you aren’t. Don’t. Sure you’ll get more sleep when your baby is older, but you won’t get to rock her in your arms or breathe in that sweet baby smell again. (Trust me: As they get older, children start to take on funny odors.) Enjoy your little one right now because she won’t always be this young, and you don’t want to regret missing anything.
There are only 24 hours in a day. Make the most of your time by saying “no” when necessary, so you can “yes” to what really matters.