How To Lighten Your Load Through Mutually Fulfilling Minutes


It has been suggested that the minimum hands on care that a newborn needs is nine hours per day. Most need far more, fragmented throughout the day and night, particularly if it likes to sleep in your arms, as is preferred by many babies. So how to get through that time without going insane?

Emmeline at from Project Village talks about finding "sites of mutual fulfilment", meaning activities that you and baby both enjoy, and sprinkling them through the day.

With an older baby you might notice you both like music. Who says kids must listen to the Wiggles but not Beyonce or Beethoven or the Lion King soundtrack? You might both like going outside. Yes, its winter in Australia. In Scandinavia they have a saying "there's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing" so if you want to, why not get outside for a walk?

With a young baby it can be hard to find these mutually fulfilling activities, but start to notice what they chill out to or fixate on for a few minutes. You might like touching their soft, silky legs. They might be happy having cream rubbed on their skin for three minutes before cracking it. Do that.

You might like having warm baths. There is no rule that says you can't have a bath with your baby at 11am instead of after dinner and before bed.

You might enjoy reading. Your baby will love the sound of your voice following the poetic flows and rhymes of children's books, even if only for a few minutes.

You might like looking at your baby. It might like looking at itself too! Lying on the floor with a mirror together can be fun.

You might like yoga, and your baby might be perfecting Happy Baby. Join in stretching on the floor and snuggling if you want to.

These snippets are not to replace your "self-care" (read: community care as someone often needs to supervise baby for you to engage in self-care) they are to make your day more enjoyable through small actions of self-respect. Of acknowledging that you can do things you both like, not only what some book says is required for baby's developmental stage.

You don't have to like everything your baby likes, and I can assure you they will have interests as an older child that will not interest you. We have friends, partners, family members who all like different things, and can find their own sites of mutual fulfilment with your baby too.

The days can be long, but you can do it Mama.


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