I’m tired. Despite my greatest intentions, I don’t get as many things done during the day as I’d like to. I haven’t written as many blog posts over the last few months as I feel I should. Some nights, scrambled eggs or a smoothie are about the only thing I have the energy to make for dinner. And, even then, I rely on my husband to wash the dishes. Let me just say, for the record, that I have no idea how single parents do it. You are my heroes.
In my head, I know that this is probably normal for a new mom to a sweet 5 month old baby. And, she is sweet and adorable, and we love her to pieces (though, we much prefer her in one piece). But, when she doesn’t sleep at night (which has been almost every night for almost 8 weeks now) and refuses to take naps during the day (since she was born!), I blame myself. When I don’t get things done during the day because I’m too exhausted, I blame myself.
When I’m completely honest with myself, most days I feel like a lousy parent. I know in my head (or at least I hope) that it’s not true, but those feelings constantly come creeping up. Perhaps if we had the right bedtime routine, she would sleep better at night. Or should I be giving her more to eat? Less to eat? Maybe she’s too cold or too hot? Maybe I should hold her less? Or more? Should I carry her in the Moby Wrap? Or, wait, some people think that will make her too clingy… And it goes on and on.
While I know that everyone means well (Ok, so I’m giving some people the benefit of the doubt here), parenting advice, when I didn’t ask for it and have only slept a few hours, only makes me feel worse. I find it kind of humorous that everyone always points out when the baby is tired. “Oh, she’s rubbing her eyes… She’s so tired!” Yes, I’m aware of that fact… Abundantly aware. But, unless you’re offering your nanny services (not your nanny advice) and plan to come hold her and feed her and put her to sleep every night, I can probably do without the reminder that she’s tired. I already feel awful about it.
Honestly, when I do get enough sleep, or have one of those moments of clarity that seem to come after hours and hours of being awake, I know that all of this is a phase. It’s a phase that I will most likely look back on in a few years (or even months) and wish that I could have back. I’m doing my best… I’m spending time with my baby and doing everything I can to keep her healthy and happy. So, even though we may both be rubbing our eyes when you see us, please refrain from commenting on how tired we look.
These smoothies are my homemade (and healthier) take on one of my shopping mall favorites – the Orange Julius. I’ve substituted coconut palm sugar for white processed sugar (and also used a lot less for a not-so-sickeningly-sweet smoothie) and added some yogurt. I’ve been making them for years, but they have recently become a favorite – for breakfast, lunch, or a snack! If you’re extra hungry, throw in a whole grain muffin. Then you can call it dinner.
Healthy Strawberry Orange Smoothies
Makes two 16 ounce smoothies
- 1 1/2 cups frozen sliced strawberries
- 1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
(to keep the sugar content low, be sure to look for 100% juice)
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
(or regular granulated sugar would be fine)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups milk
Combine the strawberries, orange juice concentrate, yogurt, coconut palm sugar, and vanilla extract in your blender. Add about 1 cup of milk and begin to blend. Gradually add enough milk until the smoothie reaches the consistency you like, blending until smooth. (I prefer mine on the thick side!)