Caroline Corcoran talks about stuff you can do on your phone, which don’t include refreshing Facebook 16 times or sending more messages to the NCT girls about your vagina.
There is an odd irony to those early weeks of feeding (whether breast or bottle – as someone who stopped breastfeeding at eight weeks thanks to a heady combo of tongue tie, low milk supply, repetitive mastitis, thrush and some weird syndrome involving my nipples, I am of the opinion: whatever gets you through, my friend) that while you get very little sleep, you get an extraordinary amount of sitting. Sling in babies too young to know that you spent hard-earned cash on that moses basket, goddamit, and if they slept in that rather than on your chest again, you could actually treat yourself and go to the loo, and you have <a lot> of static time to make use of.
Here are things you can’t do during The Baby On You Hours: access a laptop, move somewhere to actually achieve something in another room, visit a pub and neck a large wine. Here are things you can do: weep silently at that episode of Friends when Phoebe has to hand over the babies to her brother or use your phone. Here’s how to make better use of The Baby On You Hours, AKA The Phone Hours.
1. Learn a language
No seriously. Download the awesome Duolingo and you can make genuine progress in another language, practising your speaking while Mini Me eats and your writing while he/ she sleeps. The (huge) bonus is that it feels more like you’re playing a game on your phone than getting a valuable life skill which is super clever and which I wish I’d invented myself so I was now very rich.
If you’re over 30, podcasts probably come in the bracket with Snapchat, under an umbrella of Modern Things I Don’t Really Understand and in the interests of transparency, I should admit I’ve never listened to one because I’m mostly WhatsApping the NCT girls about… yeah, see above… But people tell me they are VERY good. So yes, you should probably do that.
3. Read a book
I know, old school, but you’ll feel so much better about the fact you were awake for two hours at 3am if you spent it getting through a classic than reading 1000 words about Billie Faiers from TOWIE flaunting her curves on the MailOnline.
4. Read the actual news
I stunned my friend when, two weeks post-birth, I started speaking really quite knowledgeably – or as knowledgeably as a person who’s slightly distracted by the towel she’s had to spread under herself to prevent bleeding on the sofa and the small human attached to her left nipple can do – about Brexit. But seriously, when do you ever have this much time to read real news then parrot it back to people and sound clever? AND you gave birth. You are essentially a marvel.
5. Your food order
Look, it’s not going to expand your horizons like learning Spanish or unpicking US politics but it will mean that next time you look in the cupboard desperately and think you might faint from hunger (see bleeding/ breastfeeding), there will at least be some Monster Munch. Quinoa! I mean quinoa! (I don’t, I mean Monster Munch).