oh, mama, it is so very hard isn't it ... those first tender weeks are so wonderful and so difficult, especially for a first time mama (at least I felt that way) "overwhelmed" doesn't even begin to cover what it is like to become someone's whole world
I second what others have said about a sling - it was a real sanity saver for us. It was like getting my arms back
and also allowed baby to sleep, snug, and cozy while I could eat, read the mail, log on to MDC for some support, etc.
Here's a link about slings and "wearing" your baby(w/ a super easy pattern to make your own
) that someone posted on another thread I read: Mamatoto
Another thing that helped me was to use a clear shower curtain and put the baby in one of those bouncer seats on the floor in the bathroom. That way baby can see you and you can be making eye contact and singing songs or whatever while you shower (most mamas take those super quick 3 minute showers
) and hopefully she'll feel okay because she can see and hear you. It worked with my first. I haven't had to do it yet with my son ... or maybe I'm just not showering as much
I'm going to guess (and I apologize if I'm out of line) that your instincts are telling you to ignore what others have told you about letting her cry herself to sleep or else you wouldn't have posted here. Am I right? If so, TRUST yourself, mama, and don't let her cry. That is too high of an emotional cost for both of you. If your instinct is to hold her, until she sleeps, or even while she sleeps, then do it. YOU know best. Follow your heart and ignore those who tell you to do something that you feel totally against or agonized by. I really don't believe it is possible to "spoil" a baby.
I'm also going to echo the pp who said to let the rest of the stuff go ... just caring for a new baby is a 24 hour job ... let the dishes stack up. heck, if the dirty dishes bother you, buy paper plates for a while and throw them away
... horrible, I know, but you can go back to recycling and saving the earth after you have saved your sanity
Seriously, let the housework wait. It will still be there.
Your "to do" list should be something like: feed baby, feed self (and don't forget to load up on the water, too!), rest, relax, cuddle baby, be happy. Repeat. Stay in your pj's all day if it is that kind of a day. Take things one day at at time, one hour at a time, if need be.
When you get overwhelmed, need to vent, or feel like things are totally too much, come here. There are lots of mamas with good advice and sympathy. I know that I for one took a long time to get my "sea legs" as a first time mother ... you are not alone. And MDC is "open" 24/7
Be gentle with yourself mama. Please