Reduce distraction and stress: Turn off notifications from messaging apps

Recently, I made a small change that turned out to make a huge difference in how distracted I felt and how much stress I experienced. It was a little change that I’d been considering for a while but didn’t quite have the guts to make. Now that I’ve implemented it, I’m not going back.

Namely, I stopped getting notifications from messaging apps. I still have the apps on my phone, but I only open them when I choose to. My attention is no longer drawn to them continuously as messages come in.

The bleak past

Over the past few months, I’ve mostly been at home (sound familiar?) because we’re in lockdown here in the Netherlands. As I was going about my day, messages kept coming in to my phone. I’d be having breakfast with my family–a message comes in. Cleaning up the kitchen–a message comes in. Trying to work–a message comes in. Playing with William–a message comes in. I felt drawn to check the message even if I knew I should wait and shouldn’t interrupt what I was doing. It took willpower to not check it, and this constant battle was exhausting.

Of course, this problem could be avoided if I simply put my phone out of sight. Then I wouldn’t see that I’ve received messages and wouldn’t be distracted. However, I tried this for a long time, and it didn’t work for me. I often ended up inadvertently glancing at my phone, almost just to check whether there was anything I needed to respond to. I also use my phone as a clock, so then every time I checked the time, I’d also see if I had gotten any new messages.

This all led to a feeling of unease. Even if I didn’t read the new message, it still weighed on my mind, as though there was something I was forgetting, something I still had to get to. Like an item on my to-do list that I kept checking off, but it constantly kept undoing itself and had to be done again.

If I did check the message, it was almost never something urgent. It was usually a nice message, maybe something funny or maybe a friend reaching out, but it still drew my attention away from my chosen activity.

And I’m all about setting priorities and following through with them, right? It felt very uncharacteristic for me to be pulled away by distractions the entire day, and yet this was too powerful for me to resist.

So I decided to take action. If I couldn’t fight the temptation the whole time, I had to eliminate it.

Making the plunge!

I went ahead and stopped all notifications on messaging apps. This included WhatsApp, Viber, and Messenger. I also turned off notifications from Gmail and Mattermost (similar to Slack) already a while ago. I always had notifications from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram turned off.

Now, I have to say, this is not technically easy to do. Some apps make it impossible for you to turn off notifications from within the app, or maybe it’s possible to turn them off for 12 hours max. Very clever! So I went into Settings -> Notifications and completely disabled notifications from the apps I had chosen. Ha!

At first, I felt great fear of missing out (FOMO, anyone?). Maybe something important would come my way and I wouldn’t respond in time. To be fair, when I turned off email notifications a couple of years ago, I had the same fear, but I never ever missed an important email or didn’t respond to it in time. Maybe it’s just that there are very few urgent matters in my job.

To be fair, communicating with Jacob, my husband, could be urgent. Perhaps he was taking care of William and needed to ask me something. We agreed that he’d send me a message (an SMS), which I do receive notifications for. He could also call, of course. The same goes for William’s daycare; they call if they need something, and in that case I answer right away.

Riding off into the sunset

The way this works for me is that I still check my apps often. I end up responding in a timely manner most of the time, and I don’t think anyone has noticed a change from before.

The big difference is that I respond when I choose to. It ends up feeling like a break I enjoy: I connect with my friends, I see a funny image, I have a fun moment. It no longer feels like an item on the to-do list that constantly keeps coming back up and I never quite get it done. This is the biggest win for me.

And I still respond to my friends and family and reach out to people. I check my messages quite often, maybe a bit more often than I’d like to, but the feeling associated with it is completely different. I highly recommend this to anyone who feels controlled by their messaging apps. And I certainly recommend it for social media–there’s really nothing urgent there.

William also enjoys my phone, even if he can’t (yet) access my messaging apps.

The craziness of trying to “get back in shape” after a baby

This is a sticky issue. I’ve been avoiding it for a while, but after several people asked me, “How did you get back in shape so fast after having a baby?” I thought I’d share my thoughts.

First of all, I think it’s insane how much pressure is placed on women to “get back in shape” after having a baby. New mothers feel like a part of their self-worth depends on how quickly they “bounce back” and get their “pre-baby body back.” (Which is a ridiculous idea if you think about it: you had a baby, so your body is forever post-baby! You’re never getting your pre-baby body back, and that’s the whole point!)

The rush to “get back in shape”

How quickly our bodies recover after pregnancy depends on multiple factors (genetic make-up, environmental influences, past injuries, birth-related complications, hormonal fluctuations, etc.), and many of them are not in our immediate control. It’s not so much about doing the right things as much as it is about having patience while supporting your body in helpful ways.

I see a sad trend among new mothers to try to “whip themselves into shape:” women may do very intense exercise regimens that are very cardio-intensive and exhausting but don’t emphasize proper exercise form. As a result, women tend to get injured, which is not what you want when you’re carrying a baby around all day. High-impact exercise can also prevent the pelvic floor from healing properly, causing lingering problems.

What’s more, new mothers are already exhausted due to disrupted sleep, so the body is in a state of stress (lack of sleep is a stressor). High-intensity exercise is another stressor, which can be healthy for the body if the person is getting adequate sleep and recovering properly. But for someone whose sleep is disrupted, intense exercise is hardly a good addition because it adds too much stress to an already stressed system. It may interfere with post-partum recovery, hormonal balance, adrenal health, and milk supply (if the mother is breastfeeding). When a person is in such a state of stress, intense exercise also probably won’t help with fat loss because it will only increase cravings and cause the person to eat more.

In short, new moms don’t need to kill themselves with crazy exercise or super low calories! As you can see, I get very intense about this. I’ve seen too many women try so hard to increase exercise and decrease food, only to find it unsustainable after a few days or weeks. Then, they feel like failures and feel bad about themselves, when in fact the problem lies with the approach and not with them.

Jacob, William, and I at the Black Sea in Bulgaria this summer. We had a wonderful time enjoying the sun!

What did I do?

This is a description of what worked for me. I think the logic is pretty sound and should be applicable to more people, but always take in account your own individual situation.

The first thing I did is that I took care of myself well before pregnancy. I ate well, mostly whole foods that make me feel good (in my case, that’s vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, some fruit, and some nuts), I exercised regularly (strength training three times a week and some high-intensity interval training once or twice a week), walked as much as possible, and slept well.

Then, I also took care of myself during the pregnancy. I continued eating pretty similarly (except during the first trimester, while took me on a roller coaster ride due to nausea), I still strength trained three times a week and did some lighter cardio according to the Moms Gone Strong program, I walked quite a bit, and slept as well (as much as is possible with a big belly). This allowed me to retain some of my muscle mass, which is helpful with all kinds of things such as avoiding injury and keeping the metabolism active. It also meant that I didn’t gain too much weight, so I didn’t have a lot to lose after the pregnancy.

After the pregnancy, things kind of took their own path. I was focused on taking care of a tiny new human, and I didn’t have much interest in food, which is crazy given that I love food! Fortunately, we had healthy eating habits in place, and Jacob, my husband, cooked all of our food, while I was breastfeeding for hours on end. I lost a lot of water weight quite quickly after the birth (in the first few days or week), and the rest of the weight also came off as my body recovered (probably in the first 3 months).

For the first week post-partum, I was just at home, taking care of the little one and figuring out all this new stuff. After one week, I went out for a 15-minute walk for the first time, and that felt amazing! I didn’t want to overdo it though, so I took my time with building the length of my walks. I think that around 6 weeks post-partum I was doing a 1-hour walk or so but not longer.

I also started doing some very gentle exercises around 2 weeks post-partum (such as glute bridge and clam shell for my glutes and lower back), according to the Moms Gone Strong Program. The goal was to support my body’s recovery and add some light movement that felt good.

At 6 weeks post-partum, I started doing light strength training, again following the above program, and it intensified over time (the program lasted 40 weeks). I found the process super helpful as my body had lost a lot of strength during the pregnancy. I remember being shocked at how weak I felt about 1 week post-partum. I could feel that I had lost a lot of muscle and had many random aches and pains. Fortunately, my body recovered well from the marathon that is labor and birth, allowing me to regain my strength over time. It was great to have a program that guided me through the progressions safely and gradually, and I was amazed at my body’s ability to get strong and enduring again.

I also continued eating in mostly the way I had eaten before (except for some foods I had to avoid due to William’s eczema), so still emphasized vegetables, meat, fish, fruit, and nuts. Some people say that if you’re breastfeeding, you can eat whatever you want, and it’s certainly true that making milk takes lots of calories. I definitely ate more than before, but I still tried to eat quality food most of the time. When I ate food that made me feel good and worked for me, I had more energy, which was a great benefit since my sleep was disrupted and I was tired anyway. I appreciated any improvement I could get in my energy (caffeine was off the table since I was breastfeeding).

With regards to sleep, I tried to sleep as much as possible, which wasn’t ideal but was okay. In the first months, I took afternoon naps together with William. I’m not a big fan of naps though, so once his sleep became a bit more solid, I stopped napping. Instead, I went to bed earlier, which worked well for me.

And that’s kind of it! I feel like the main thing I did was to support my body and allow it to recover. At times when I wished my belly were flatter, I reminded myself that it would take time and the best I could do was to continue with my strength training and gradually get myself stronger instead of trying to change my body overnight.

I know that not everyone’s story is so straightforward, and some women will need more support than others. In particular, hypo- and hyperthyroidism can be real issues during the post-partum period as well as autoimmune illnesses. If that’s your case, then I hope you’re getting help for yourself! As new mothers, we’re often focused on our babies, but we need to pay attention and take care of ourselves as well.

I also want to offer others hope by saying that my labor wasn’t a piece of cake (it lasted for 34 hours, and it was tough!), but my recovery was still good. So even if you face challenges and difficulties, your body may still be able to recover well. The most important thing, in my opinion, is to support our bodies and work with them instead of trying to go against them and overpower them. Because the latter just doesn’t work.

Habits I’m working on in 2021

Are you curious about the habits I find difficult? Inspired by the start of the new year, I set up goals for a number of habits. These are the same old important habits, but right now I’m actually tracking my compliance with them. Some of these started falling away towards the end of 2020 (such as getting enough sleep), so I am now making an effort to do the important things. Here are my habits and goals.

1. Walking

I may be overwhelmed, tired, stressed, or upset. The best thing I can do in that moment is to go for a walk. It works every single time.

Going for a walk is often the best thing I can do for my mood, especially during this time of year when there isn’t much sunlight and I’m spending a lot of time indoors. Yet it’s easy to convince myself that there are more important things to do than go for a walk: work, do household chores, take care of William, etc. It often feels like a luxury I can’t fit into my day.

Therefore, I’ve set the goal to go walking 5 times a week! I have to say that so far I’ve been sticking to it, and it feels fantastic. Interestingly, I haven’t gotten bored of walking yet. I really look forward to my daily walk.

What have I done to stick to this habit? First of all, I’ve scheduled my walks: I go on most days around 15:30. I make sure to go on Saturdays and Sundays, and I also usually go on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I often schedule a walk + talk with a friend, either in person or by phone, to make my commitment even stronger. It also helps me to think that William (my son) needs to go outside, so when I put him in the stroller and go for a walk with him, I feel like I’m doing something good for him too.

2. Exercise/Movement

This one’s been in flux a bit. I’ve been exercising consistently for years, but I wanted to try out something new. I used to train for 1-1.5 hours 3x a week, but I started dreading the exhausting workouts, and I really missed the movement on the other days. So I decided to incorporate some movement into my day 5x per week for about 30 minutes. I find it feels amazing when I move my body every day for a short amount of time.

What I’m trying to do now is to strength train at home 3x a week and do relaxing yoga or dance 2x a week. Strength training helps me stay healthy and avoid getting back pain, while the yoga and dancing are just super fun!

I’ve been sticking to the strength sessions, but I’ve been having trouble with the fun movement sessions. I find it difficult to make the time instead of working/cooking/doing household chores. But it’s been helpful to have it as an explicit goal, and by doing fun movement more often I also remember how nice it is and want to do it again.

This is how I track my habits in the app HabitHub.
This week, I’m doing well in terms of movement, walking, and drinking water but not so good with meditating.

3. Meditate differently

Ah, that’s not working out well. I used to meditate regularly in the past, but since having a little one, I haven’t been managing as much. In the beginning, there was so much time just sitting while he was breastfeeding or sleeping in my arms that I couldn’t handle any extra time sitting still on purpose. And now during lockdown I find it difficult to justify to myself sitting down and staying still instead of doing stuff.

The point is that I’m not making ‘strict’ meditation a priority now. Instead, I’m doing something new.

I’m adding 5 minutes after my movement sessions where I lie down or sit and listen to a relaxation or meditation exercise. It feels extremely luxurious and suuuuuper pleasant! It doesn’t always work because when William sees me sitting, he climbs onto my lap. Even better, if I’m lying on the floor, he comes over and climbs on my head (he literally lies on my head and bites my cheeks!), which doesn’t make it too easy to relax.

Still, I try to do a mindfulness exercise for 5 minutes a day 5x a week, usually after my movement session. It doesn’t always happen, but I’m doing my best with it.

4. Drink 2 full water bottles (water + electrolytes)

The permanent struggle to drink enough water + electrolytes! I like drinking water, but I enjoy tea more, so if I don’t pay attention to it, I end up drinking lots of tea and not enough water.

Since I’ve made it a goal I track, it’s been going better, and I think I am really making it most days. On days when I’m working, I have my bottle in front of me, and I drink one in the morning and one in the afternoon, so that’s easy. But the trick is to still drink enough water on days when I’m not working. If I’m running around the house and going out, I just forget to drink my water, and then I feel it (I get low blood pressure, and I feel low-energy).

Note: I have low blood pressure in general, so I put electrolytes in my water. That’s much more helpful to me than only water.

5. Do 4 Pomodoros a day

Pomodoros are 25-minute work periods free from distraction. They’re usually separated by a 5-minute (or longer) break. Read more about the Pomodoro method here (at the bottom, item 7).

I’ve set this goal in order to help myself do more distraction-free work. It’s super easy to constantly check email, Mattermost, messages, which prevents deep work. I’d like to do more deep work, so I try to eliminate distractions for 4 x 25 minutes a day (for a day on which I work).

To be honest, I’m pretty bad at this. As I’m writing this, Jacob (my husband) is texting me, and I’m responding. If there’s any type of activity that demands attention and concentration, it’s writing. Clearly, I need to work on this habit a bit more.

This week, I’m also doing well with practicing Dutch, doing Pomodoro’s on workdays, and playing with William, but not doing well with going to bed.

6. Dutch practice

I’ve committed to this one! I have an app (Babbel) that helps me practice and learn more Dutch. My goal is to use it 4x a week, and I almost always manage that.

I got inspired by my dad who’s been using DuoLingo to learn Spanish for more than a year, and he can actually speak and understand a bit now! In August last year, it hit me that I really wanted to step up my Dutch game. After all, William will grow up with Dutch as his main language, and I’d like to be able to understand it when he speaks, and I’d also like to have comfortable conversations with his teachers, friends, and friends’ parents.

So I’ve decided to overcome the embarrassment of making mistakes and having a funny accent and just speak. Using the app really helps to teach me more grammar and vocabulary and to give me the feeling that I’m on a journey of improving my Dutch. And, honestly, it’s fun! So I’m happy to report that this habit is going well.

7. Play with William for 10 minutes twice a day

This sounds a bit pathetic… but it can be really easy to rush around the whole day, switching between household chores, work tasks, and taking care of William. At the end of the day, I may realize that while I’ve done a bunch for William (fed him, changed his diaper, put him to sleep, etc.), I have actually done anything fun with him.

So I made it a goal to really play with him twice a day at least. We build towers, chase each other around the house, or read a book. It’s really fun, and it’s really pleasant for me too because I truly see him in those moments.

8. Call family and friends

Since we’re limited as to how many people we can see in person and how much we can travel, I try to reach out to family and friends more often than usual. This is more of a mental note though instead of a strict goal because if I’m too strict with it, I really don’t want to do it and end up not calling people. Instead, I let it be more flexible, and that seems to work alright.

9. Go to bed 22:00

Ah, this is my biggest struggle… It makes a huge difference for me if I get enough sleep, but the evenings are me-time, which can make it really difficult to go to bed because it feels like I’m missing out on fun time.

I’ve set an alarm on my phone to tell me that it’s bedtime at 21:30. The idea is that I get up from reading my book or whatever I’m doing, get things ready for the next day, brush my teeth, and get into bed.

Well, I can tell you that it doesn’t usually go that way. The alarm goes off at 21:30, and I turn it off, thinking “F*ck you, you’re not the boss of me, you won’t tell me when to go to bed!” At the same time, I know I used my best judgment to set up that alarm, so I can get enough sleep and be rested the next day. In the end, I’m in bed by 22:30 or 22:15 if I’m lucky, which is also not too shabby. But it irritates me that I can get myself to do all kinds of things, and yet for some reason I can’t get myself to go to bed by a certain time.

Anyway, I’m trying my best without being too rigid and allowing myself some unwind time in the evenings. I’ll keep working on it.

What habits are you working on? I’m very curious to hear from you!

A couple of weeks ago, we went to the Hoge Veluwe National Park for one of our walks.
As you can see, Jacob and I are enjoying ourselves, but William is not amused.

Yearly Review in these strange times

Happy New Year, everybody! You might think that in these strange times where so much is unpredictable there’s not much of a point in doing a yearly review. But I’ve come to tell you that every year is suited for a yearly review!

If you think about it, life is always unpredictable. 2020 has brought us particularly unexpected circumstances, but it is a fact of life that you can never predict everything that happens. The goal of the yearly review is not to try to control everything that happens to us but rather to reflect on what we’d like in our lives and go about making it happen.

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Our family traditions during the winter holidays

A year ago was the first time Jacob, William, and I spent Christmas and New Year’s together. William was a little more than 1 month old at the time, so things were a bit crazy. It was fun for sure but crazy nonetheless.

Jacob and I thought long and hard about which family traditions we’d like to emphasize as a family. As we live in the Netherlands, we are surrounded by traditions that are not really ours but some of which we like, so we could consciously choose which ones we want to celebrate family. We also thought about what other traditions we’d like to add, whether from our own cultures, upbringing, or ideas.

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What’s the secret to working from home well?

My maternity leave started in October 2019, back when the world was more or less normal and pre-COVID-19. People were working in the office, and our canteen was bustling with life, laughter, and conversation. We randomly ran into people at the coffee machine (or the tea kettle, as the case may be for me). I had just edited my new paper, making it ready for publication and leaving with the warm feeling of a closed chapter. I left for maternity leave excited to meet my baby and calmly leaving the work world behind me.

Fast forward 10 months, and in September 2020 I returned to work. Wow, had the workplace changed! People had been working from home for about 6 months now, so I felt like I had fallen behind. As though everyone else was in on a secret I didn’t know anything about. What were the secret rules of working from home? Apparently, everybody referred to it as WFH, so I started doing that too, trying to be cool.

I asked colleagues and friends for their tips. “What have I missed? What do I need to know about WFH?”

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How I motivate myself to work on my PhD

If you haven’t heard, there’s a pandemic going on, and now the holiday season is also upon us. These things are timely and feel immediate (i.e., they are here right now), while my PhD doesn’t feel so urgent.

I noticed a few months ago that I didn’t feel much urgency related to my work. I thought, “I’m getting back in the groove of things, I still have 1.5 years until I need to finish my PhD, it’s all good, that’s loads of time.” That’s all fine, but time is ticking away. If I don’t focus and work now, I’ll be pressed for time later.

I needed to make my PhD work feel more urgent. But how to do that without any pressing deadlines? While February 2022 (the end of my PhD contract) keeps gradually coming closer, it’s still too far away to give me a tangible feeling of immediacy.

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My baby turns one! One year of motherhood

Last Tuesday, our son William turned one year old. Time really does fly! I’m starting to understand what Gretchen Rubin meant with, “The days are long, but the years are short.”

He is wonderful, fun, crawling all over the place, laughing, biting our noses (it really does hurt!), and always ready for a cuddle. But there’s something else worth celebrating…

A mother and father were born one year ago.

My husband and I became parents for the first time. We have learned a great deal about taking care of another human being and also about each other. I’ve discovered that Jacob can be surprisingly resilient at times when I have no more patience left. That’s amazing because it means that even if I’m spent, he has us covered.

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Mindset shifts of a new mom: A constant, fun companion

When I was pregnant, it was fun to think that my baby was my constant companion: he was with me wherever I went, and I could always rub my belly and feel like I was being cuddled. But at that point, I couldn’t yet see my baby. I could feel him move, but he still remained abstract in my mind, a bit like a little alien inhabiting my body.

This changed once William was born. Now I could clearly see his face as well as touch him and hear him, and he certainly made himself heard. During the first few weeks, we were apart only briefly. It’s strange to spend so much time with another person especially when you’re used to quite some autonomy. It can be unnerving or stressful, but it also grew on me.

I remember one time my mom took care of William while I took a nap. Upon waking, I had the strange, anxious feeling that I had forgotten him somewhere–that’s how unusual it felt to not have him next to me while sleeping.

By now, William is almost a year old, and I’m more used to being away from him for a couple of hours or for a day. But I’m also more used to being with him all the time, and it doesn’t feel so strange or anxiety-provoking anymore. He’s become a part of our life and a part of our family, and I miss him when he’s not there.

The truth is that William is really fun! He loves chilling on the living room floor and just playing with his toys. These days he plays with me when he hides behind the table, shows his face, and laughs at me. When I’m working, he crawls to me, pulls books off of the bookshelves, and plays close to me. While I’m exercising, he tries to crawl under me or climb over me (he makes push ups seriously difficult!). When Jacob and I are cooking, he joins us in the kitchen and plays by our feet. (He loves it when I empty or load the dishwasher! The moment the dishwasher is open, he crawls to it at top speed, shouting in excitement–the dishwasher is the most fun thing ever!)

I don’t mean to say that it’s all rainbows and flowers, of course. William sometimes whines and moans, wants to be picked up, or doesn’t want to play by himself. Sometimes he wakes up at an inconvenient time or doesn’t like an activity I thought would be fun for him. But, naturally, he is a separate human being and cannnot fit perfectly into my agenda. Really, nobody can carry out my plans flawlessly, not even I.

The funny thing is that I am someone who enjoys independence and control over my time, and I do appreciate child-free time. And yet, there’s something special about my son’s playing next to me while I write; it’s really pleasant to have him crawl around my feet while I cook. I’ve come to cherish William’s companionship, and I look forward to the many more activities we will be able to do together in the future.

Mindset shifts of a new mom: It’s not up to me

When William, my son, was about three months old, he started showing some character. I’d feed him, change his diaper, dress him warm, and put him in the stroller for a lovely walk outside. After a brief nap, he’d start screaming so loudly that it was painful to listen to. I tried walking faster, then slower, then singing a song… but he kept screaming. The only thing that soothed him was when I took him out of the stroller and held him in my arms. But once I put him back down, he continued crying and didn’t stop all the way back home.

I felt so bad. Was he hungry? Was he uncomfortable? Was he too cold? Was he too hot? What should I do to make him feel better? What should have I done to prevent him from crying? I couldn’t think of anything.

I was so worried every time we went out for a walk and awaited the time he’d start crying. I wanted to take him outside, so I kept at it, but it was seriously stressful and frustrating. I had imagined idyllic walks with my baby snugly tucked in his stroller, and this had been the case for the first two months when William slept for hours in the stroller. But now I had a screaming baby. Why this sudden change? What had I done wrong?!

This continued for a couple of months and started easing up around 5 months or so. He started enjoying the stroller a bit more and lasted longer before he started crying on our walks, and the crying was less intense. By now he’s usually fine for 1.5 hours before he gets frustrated (which I can understand; if I sit for 1.5 hours, I also get uneasy).

So what changed? How did I resolve this mind-boggling issue? Literally, the only thing that helped was TIME. He simply had to grow out of it. How frustrating and freeing at the same time! There’s nothing I could have done to fix it, I simply had to wait.

Now when I see parents out for a walk with a very young, screaming baby in the stroller, wondering what to do, I think, “There’s nothing you’re doing wrong. That’s just how it is right now, and it will improve over time.”

This applies to many other baby-related issues. Between 3 and 6 months, William was taking super short naps, 45 minutes max at a time. Four times a day. It was infuriating! I’d get him ready and put him to sleep, have 30 minutes to myself (if I was lucky!), and then there he was again, awake, ready to do it all over again! I read sleep books and blogs and followed their instructions, but nothing helped. What else was I supposed to do?

Seriously, nothing. Over time, he started taking longer naps, about 1.5 hours, and now he sometimes even naps for 3 hours! Nothing changed, just TIME.

We had so many examples of this. Breastfeeding. Leaving the house. Traveling in the car. Receiving visitors. Eating solid foods. And I’m sure there are things I’m struggling with right now that will also fall in this category after a few months (sleeping through the night, hopefully???).

It’s frustrating as well as freeing to know that there’s nothing more to do right now. On the one hand, I wish there were something I could do to fix things. On the other hand, it doesn’t all depend on me. Sometimes, things simply take care of themselves.