Choose Your Own Adventure, new mom edition!

The time is 2:00 pm. You are home on maternity leave with your 6-week-old baby, and your spouse is at work. The baby just fell asleep, but you’re not sure for how long she’ll stay that way. What do you do?

Option 1: Lay down for a nap yourself
—>Go to C, E, G, I, or K

Option 2: Take a shower for the first time in 3 days
—>Go to B, D, or F

Option 3: Do the dishes and clean your cluttered apartment
—>Go to H, L, or M

Option 4: Write overdue thank-you notes
—>Go to A or J


A Wait, what? Thank-you notes should never trump sleep for an exhausted new mom! Go to Option 1. (However, people start to ask you if you received their gift, and you feel super guilty.)

B You hear the baby crying mid-shower. So much for shaving your legs!

C Congratulations, you get a 1.5-hour nap! But consequently you miss the Amazon delivery of the size 1 diapers you desperately need.

D You take an amazing, 20-minute shower. But you accidentally put way too much leave-in-conditioner in your hair, so it looks super greasy. You feel icky, but oh well, it’ll be 2 days ’til your next shower!

E Your baby wakes you after only 15 minutes. How could she be hungry again? Is this a growth spurt? Keep truckin’, mama…

F You get in the shower, but only after you turn on the water do you discover that you’re out of soap. Also, you forgot a towel. It’s a drippy walk down the hall to the linen closet!

G You lay down for a nap, but the baby is groaning and tossing and turning (even though she’s asleep). This makes it too hard for you to sleep, so you just lay there scrolling through Facebook. Oh well!

H You tidy up your apartment, and feel great about it. But the next day, it’s suddenly even messier than before! You decide it’s okay to live in squalor for the time being.

I You sleep for one hour (yay!) but it is fraught with dreams about accidentally leaving your baby at home unattended when you return to work.

J You successfully take a 5-minute shower and write 2 thank you notes before the baby wakes. Unfortunately, you can’t remember who gave you 3 of your gifts…guess those people aren’t getting thank yous!

K You fall asleep but wake up cold and soaking wet – looks like your letdown reflex was activated in your sleep again!

L You empty the dishwasher but then say, F*ck it, I need a nap. Go to Option 1.

M You tidy up quickly, but forget to empty the bag in the diaper pail, which is 100% full when the baby has his afternoon poo-splosion.


Guide to my 5-month-old’s night-time wake-ups

All moms know that enduring unpredictable night wakings is one of the biggest challenges of rearing offspring. On a whim, I created this chart to explain the wildly different thoughts running through my head based on on the time of night my sweet daughter wakes up. Enjoy! And please excuse the cursing – my brain loses its filter between 5 and 6 am.