Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Confessions of a New Mom: Between the Sheets

Changing the sheets has been something Daniel and I do together, pretty much since we got married.  I don't know why we've always treated this as a two-person job, I'm sure plenty of women (if not most) change the sheets all by themselves.  Maybe it's a testament to what a lousy house-wife I am.  Or -- as I like to see it -- an example of how much we enjoy doing mundane things together and sharing the chores.  (To my credit, I do wash the sheets all by myself, it's the making the bed part... just wanted to be clear on that...)

"Babe. We have got to change our sheets."   

A comment made the last few nights as we were going to bed, just when we were too tired to do it.  The five minute process of getting the other set, removing the comforter and the whole deal, had been too much to even consider once we finally made it to our bedroom after a long day of work and baby care and who knows what else.  It became somewhat of a joke. Maybe tomorrrooowwww night we will change the sheets.  They had gotten pretty bad.

I guess our standards for sleep-worthy sheets have slid a little since we had a baby.

A lot happens in our bed now that didn't happen before.

Even though she sleeps in her nest most of the night, I breast-feed PJ in our bed at least twice a day and once in the middle of the night.  What's between the sheets? Baby drool, milk dribble, sometimes spit up, maybe a little deodorant.  Daniel "plays" with her every morning in the bed: leg workouts, tummy time, funny faces and the like.  Baby drool, sometimes spit up.  She often naps on our fitted sheet during the day, unswaddled.  Baby drool, sometimes a little pee from a diaper leak, baby tears, sometimes baby eye goop or boogers.  The dogs, well we have a little daily flood situation in our backyard (another chore we just haven't gotten around to) so in the mornings they often have wet paws and let's face it, our pups have been known to place a gentle paw on the side of the mattress to say 'good morning' from time-to-time.  Wet dog paw residue, maybe a few pieces of grass, maybe a smidge of mud.  And me... well, as any breast-feeding mother knows, if your baby usually wakes up every three hours to eat and then all of a sudden one night she sleeps six hours... you're likely to wake up in a small puddle.  Milk.  And it's not every day, but I do eat a morning granola bar in bed every now and then if I'm starving while Penny has her morning snack.  Crumbs.

OK stop judging me.

If we were to have clean sheets every time we slept, I would have to change them at least five times a week.  At least I draw the line at poop.

This just falls into the category of Changed Priorities.  Life with a new baby is different.  This morning as I stripped the bed I chuckled at how much these sheets had truly earned their wash.  I wouldn't have them any other way.

Penny Jane, 12 weeks old, leans on some naked pillows before helping Mommy wash the sheets.

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