When a Mother Just Needs Five Minutes of Peace
What mother doesn’t need five minutes of peace at least once a day? It’s not much to ask for, but when you have a new baby, and especially if this new baby is not your first child, then these five minutes can prove to be quite elusive.
My mother once told me that when my brothers and I were little, she would often go the whole day without getting a chance to take a shower. My father would come home from work, and she handed us off to him, and finally took her much anticipated shower. She told me this before I had kids, and I just laughed… now I know better.
Between lack of sleep and the emotional rollercoaster of postpartum hormonal fluctuations, I don’t remember much from when my children were newborns. I was lucky in that my husband was very helpful and involved with the kids when he was home, and we lived near extended family. Despite all this, I was the only one at home with the children most of the day, and what I wouldn’t have given for a free moment to take a shower or use the bathroom in peace…
My brother and his wife had a new baby last year and there is a nine year age difference between their son and their new baby girl. Having such a wide age gap between her children is nice in that her son can help with the baby, but he’s also school aged and gone most of the day. This left my sister-in-law home with the baby all day while her son was at school and her husband was at work.
Newborn babies spend most of their time sleeping, but soon, seemingly out of nowhere, they start spending more time awake, alert, looking around, exploring the world with those little eyes that never want to close. I remember those days when my kids kept me so busy I didn’t have a chance to take a shower until my husband got home. I finally understood what my mother, and I’m sure most mothers, have gone through at least once in their lives. Sometimes we need five minutes to ourselves. It’s important for a mother’s mental and physical wellbeing to be able to take a shower, or change out of soiled, puke-stained clothes.
My sister-in-law is one of the biggest fans of my work, and I offered to make a mobile for her new baby girl. We bounced ideas back and forth for a while before I started working on her daughter’s mobile. My sister-in-law bought the papers herself, told me some of the models she wanted included in the mobile, and gave me the artistic license to add anything else I might like. By the time the mobile was ready, my niece was spending more time awake, and her mother was in desperate need of a mobile to keep her little wide-eyed one happy in the crib. The mobile was so appreciated, not only by my brother and his wife, but also by their little baby who loved it! They told me she would watch the mobile intently, and I even got to witness her fascination with the mobile when I’d visit.
The levels of the lightweight mobile moved on their own, always turning in different directions, and any slight breeze caused the models to dance. These slow movements were enough to keep my niece entranced when she was small, but soon more movement was needed in order to keep her content. After a few weeks, my brother and his wife bought a battery operated baby mobile music box for the mobile. It was one of those little round music boxes that mobiles hang from, but this one had and on/off switch and would play music for 20 minutes before shutting off. They hung the mobile from it, and the box would keep the mobile spinning while it played music. With the mobile, and later with the help of the music box, my sister-in-law was able to have more than just five minutes of peace each day. 🙂
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