By Doula Jen
Let’s cut to the chase: stay at home! Stay at home, stay at home, STAY AT HOME!
More and more I see these weary, wobbly, deer-in-the-headlights mamas out and about in the cold and crazy world, little baby clutched nervously to the chest. And I’m not seeing these mamas at the doctor’s, or even the post office. They are hanging at Starbucks, perusing the Christmas ornaments at Target, and enjoying a bowl of mac and cheese at Panera. Naughty mamas! Stop this nonsense and stay in bed…at least for a little while.
Listen. I am no stranger to the seductive lure of Panera. I have my regular order at Starbucks. And Target? I wrote an entire blog devoted to trying to stay away from the place for a year. I made it 8 months.
I get it. I get the need to feel “normal.” I get the longing for familiarity. I get the desire to participate in the busy flow (ahem, rat race) of adult human interaction.
I get it, I get it, I get it…but I need you to stay home. I have said it before, and I will say it again: the cultural tradition across the world is 40 days of rest and recovery. 40 days of bonding with baby; 40 days of eating good soup; 40 days of processing the biggest event of your life.
And I’m realistic. In our fast-paced western world these 40 days might look a bit different. There might be a laptop in the bed, a walk around the lake at 2 weeks, a latte delivery with a side of gossip from a busy friend. I’m not asking that you be bed-ridden. I am asking that you simply stay home.
Stay home and stare at your baby. Stay home and master laid-back nursing. Stay home and figure out your Moby wrap, so that when you do go out you’ll be confident and ready. Stay home and be naked. Stay home and cry. Stay home and mull over your birth, take notes, and think about what a difference one day—your child’s birthday—makes.
Your recovery is the strong foundation on which you will build a lifetime of parenting—so be rested, be cared for, be well. There is no “normal” in this newborn reality, and anything close to familiar will not be found in the Starbucks line. Starbucks, like everything else, will feel foreign. Target can wait. And someone, I’m sure, would be more than happy to pick up Panera take-out.
With well-meaning, non-bossy love from your doula,