I had intended to introduce you to another one of my favorite blogs today, but there has been some activity on my previously featured blogs that I thought deserved to be noted. Also, my intention with this feature was too share what’s going on in the bloggy world with my readers (all three of you) who do not get to surf the intrawebs as part of their job. I gots to keep ya’ll up-to-speed. I feel kind of like the woman on the playground who keeps all of the other mommies up-to-date on their “stories” in case the other mommies miss them because of ballet class or whatever.
That still happens, right? I mean, people still watch soaps? And they still meet at the playground and talk about what’s going on with Marlena and Reva Shayne and Erica Cane while their kids play on the monkey bars? Note to self: check TV on Monday at noon to find out if soap operas are actually still on air.
First off, did you enter the Today’s Creative Blog Fabulous Friday Giveaway today? You love free stuff, so do it.
Now, on to the meat…
Blair, at Heir to Blair, who is getting into month number three of mommyhood with her first bundle of joy, has written a fantastic post about the trials and tribulations of going back to work after having a baby, and how to adjust to life with such a demanding new schedule. I read it, and my heart just ached for her.
Yes, I am so stalking this person…but read her blog, and you’ll know why. She is like crack, but Southern, relatable, dry-humored crack.
It’s a great read, and I suggest heading over there and taking a look. And if anyone has any advice or words of encouragement for her, please leave a comment. I remember how tough it was in the beginning, learning how to live your life with a new baby, and I’m sure she could use the support.
I left her a comment…and realized quickly that I’m terrible at comments. I write way too much. I don’t leave comments…I leave dissertations. I could write a 1,000 word essay on motherhood, easy. There’s just so much to say. There are so many things that I’ve been meaning to get down, advice I try to give myself and things I want to remember, and they might be helpful to someone.
I wish I had kept up with the blog I had when I was pregnant with Sadie. Having a way to get out what you’re feeling is fantastic, because there are just some things that you can’t admit out loud sometimes, and throwing it out into the world wide web is a great outlet. Don’t look at it as work or as something else that has to be done in a day. Jot things down during any down time you may have at work, or when you’re taking a dump (what, doesn’t everyone keep a notepad within arm’s reach of the potty?). Just look at writing in the blog as “me time.” And when you get past those bleary-eyed months of infanthood, you’ll be glad you wrote down what you did, because you won’t remember near as much as you think you will.
I remember being VERY overwhelmed those first six months or so after Sadie was born. I felt like I had a million things to do every day, and every time I would start to do something on my to-do list, Sadie would need to eat, or be changed, or need a bath, or need to be held, or SOMETHING. God, babies are SO needy sometimes
Sadie wouldn’t sleep through the night in her own crib for at least the first four or five months of her life, and she would only sleep for about five hours at night after that. I tried to sleep whenever she slept, and I worked whenever I could. Since I worked at home, I could work in the middle of the night if I needed to. If it wasn’t for this arrangement, I don’t know if I could have done it.
But even though I was at home, there never seemed to be enough hours in the day to get everything done. I would sit there, feeding Sadie, and add up all of the hours I needed for each of the things that needed to be done in my head, and it never seemed possible. I have called My Momma many a time, asking her in a disbelieving tone how she managed to raise me while working a full time job with a husband who worked more than a full time job, and still had time to spend with friends and family and completely remodel a house and build a house and have a life and NOT GO INSANE. Her answer: You just do it.
I still don’t feel like I ever have enough time to do everything that needs to be done. I don’t shower every day. I still do laundry the day before I run out of clean underwear. I leave dirty dishes in the sink at night. But things have come a long way since those first few months of parenthood. We have a fairly regular routine now. We are able to work and make sure everyone is fed and bathed (most of the time), and we are able to spend time together as a family. But there are a lot of things that we used to do that we just don’t have time to do anymore, and that’s fine, because those things aren’t as important. Having children teaches you more about priorities than all of your previous experiences in life.
One thing that I try to do when I’m feeling like I just can’t possibly get everything done is to make two lists (because I LOVE LISTS): one of the top five things that I have to do (with number one being most important), and the other of the top five things that I want to do. I write down the time that needs to be spent on each item for it to be done to my impeccably high standards. Then I figure out how many hours I have available. If everything on the list will take more time to do than the amount of time that I have, I reduce the time for each item by half, starting with the number five item on the “want” list, and then moving on to the number five item on the “have to” list, then the number four item on the “want” list, back-and-forth, until my list matches my available time. Sometimes, this means making some sacrifices. For example, if I have 30 minutes to clean the house when I wanted to spend an hour, I’ll clean as much of the bathroom as I can. Then I’ve at least accomplished something.
Anyway, here is the advice I give myself every day.
1. Having a kid is tough, but it will get better.
2. This time of your life will fly by, so make sure you make time to enjoy it and record it for posterity (with a blog, videos, photos, whatever).
3. You will have to give up some things in order to make time to enjoy your life. You will absolutely not look back at your life and think “I should have read more books/spent more time not killing that fern/cooking/watching TV/cleaning my toilet.” I won’t, at least…maybe you really like ferns…but you get the point. Drop more things that you wouldn’t say that about to make time for the things that you would say that about.
4. Make your life simpler and more enjoyable by not giving as much of a shit about inconsequential things.