What a time to be a Boston parent!
It’s not enough that you call the City of Champions or Academic Hub of the Universe home. What’s more, there’s a new law on the books --Massachusetts Parental Leave--that grants you eight weeks of leave to hang with your new baby or adopted child. It’s such a special (Crazy! Messy! Sleep-deprived! Wonderful!) time to get to know this wondrous creature.
I’ve been through it with my own crew, too. Which is why I love to come alongside moms and dads as they find their rhythm. By no means was it easy for me, but I eventually found one golden key that was a total game-changer.
The year was 2005.
I had worked hard to make Boston Baby Photos my full-time hustle. And now it was time to take a break. Because I was about to become a mom! Like all first-time parents, I had no idea what a “parental leave” would entail. I could only dimly glimpse the hilltop highs of baby smiles and endless cuddles and that intoxicating baby smell! I could barely imagine the dark valley lows of sleepless nights, fluids leaking out of every orifice, and not to mention the non-stop hunger.
I was so besotted with my new girl.
And so, so confused as to why a Type A personality like me could not get ANYTHING done in the span of a day.
That’s it. That is the whole self-help manual. One thing each day, my new parent friend. O.T.E.D. if you’re into acronyms.
It can’t be that easy
or so low stakes,
you may be thinking.
You may look at the hours ahead and fully believe you’ll be able to crush Laundry Mountain and cook a four-course meal by the time your partner gets home. After all, you are a born multi-tasker! Your life/career juggle is legendary!
Except, before now, that juggle didn’t involve keeping a whole new person alive and fed and diapered all the livelong day. That is no small feat, amigo. So, in addition to keeping this human plant watered, guess what?
Your only additional objective each day could be to aim to accomplish just one thing.
What that one thing might look like for you:
- Today, I will shower. (Warm water will pour over my head for a full six minutes.)
- Today, I will return a book to the library. (I did not say I would remember all the library books!)
- Today, I will unload the dishwasher. (It will take me 45 minutes and not the 4 I had imagined).
Friend, if you do this, if you commit to just One Thing Each Day, I cannot guarantee you an exciting time. I can only promise you a semi-saner one. My research is limited, but the chance of you not biting off an unsuspecting partner’s head when he/she comes home and blithely asks, “How did it go today?” will be reduced by half if you O.T.E.D. the heck out of your parental leave.
In order to help remind my new parent pals to set a realistic expectation of themselves each day, I offer this mantra.
Print it, pin it, download it, Instagram it, do what you will with it.
Put it where you’ll remember to O.T.E.D.
Share it with me on social media so I can send you a virtual high-five. Tag @bostonbabyphotos and let me know how you’re doing. These little humans of ours sure are adorable, but their handlers deserve a little huzzah, too (each and every day, in fact!).
P.S... I just launched a Babies-in-Boston Facebook Group.
The group is called Year One Together, and it's for new parents who are getting excited about or already navigating their baby's first year here in the Boston area. I interview local experts in all things baby every Friday, and then those interviews are saved in the group archive so you can watch them anytime. Topics the experts are covering in their interviews with me will include: "Do I want a Doula? A Midwife?", "Buying a First Home around Boston", "Postpartum: The Emotional Side", "Year One With Twins - Ideas That Might Help"... and so much more.
JOIN MY BABY GROUP HERE: https://www.facebook.com/groups/yearonetogether
Hope to see you in there!
I'm Jessica McDaniel, and May 2021 will mark my 18th anniversary photographing babies and their families all around Boston.
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