I have been absent from the blog for a few months now. Life has taken over and the move back to California has been more difficult than I thought it would be. Getting into a new routine with a new work schedule, longer commute for Nate, new child care provider and changing needs of a 10-month old has become all-consuming and it doesn’t really leave much time for anything else. This blog originally served as a creative outlet for me, at times even therapy as it’s often easier to write out your emotions than speak them. I’m working on making it a priority, it’s important to me, and as I look to get back in touch with myself I believe this is a means to help me get there.
So, how have we been doing balancing all the things life is throwing our way? I’d say on average pretty good, there are some things we are handling well and some things that could use some work, but all in all we are getting by! I’ve come to realize as a mom and balancing a baby, a full time job, your husband and family “getting by” should really be celebrated as winning at life!
Prior to baby, as a work from home employee I probably clocked 70-80 hours of work a week. Your computer is always on and you tend to work later in the day because there is no separation from work. When we moved I was able to keep my job, I support an east coast team and I now work mostly east coast hours so now my days start earlier and end a little earlier. Once you have a baby (at least for me) it is true that you don’t have the same drive or dedication to work. I still very much care about my job, the work I produce, but I am not willing work into the wee hours of the night, or clock an extra 30 minutes here or there simply because I have another human being who is dependent on me and she simply won’t accommodate me sending an extra email, when she needs me she needs me! With all that said the past few months I’ve found myself logging of what used to be 70-80 hours of work into 35-40 hours a week, cutting my “working hours” in half. I have become more efficient yes, but there are sometimes I’m on my computer and have to remind myself to breathe, get up to go pee, or drink some water. I am on the go, moving from one project to the next at rapid fire. I would assume my blood pressure has skyrocketed these past few months (probably time to get that checked).
Just when I think Emerson and I in a groove she goes through a developmental milestone or encounters some type of change, throwing me into a tizzy. Month nine was relatively smooth sailing with one minor sickness. We are now in the throngs of month ten and I feel like I a baby who is going through their terrible two’s already! Emerson does not like to be interrupted from play time, she would rather sit in that dirty diaper and be left alone to play with her toys than picked up to change her diaper. She is demanding and has preferences on what she eats, and wants what she wants when she wants it. Because of that, she’s been crying more, almost throwing tantrums. My Wonder Weeks app tells me this is “cloudy” phase so I can only hope it will pass. I also hope that as she learns to communicate whether it be through sign language or her first words it will even out as she will then be able to communicate what it is she wants. In summation, I don’t feel like I’m winning in the Mom category right now.
I realized that when Nate and I moved from Manhattan to Jersey City I was in full on nesting mode and our apartment was pretty much completed and decorated in a matter of weeks. We are settled in our new place, but there are décor things that are nagging at me, we simply don’t have the time or energy to complete every last detail. So, I keep telling myself in time it will all get done. It does feel like home and we are very comfortable here so I need to celebrate that fact!
Nate and I have been trying to make time for each other, whether that is cooking a meal together, keeping the TV off at night and sharing some wine, or going out to eat on the weekends. We have become victim to our routine of waking in the morning, working, commuting, dinner and bed. There is so much to pack into the day that after we put Emerson down we are both so physically and mentally exhausted it is sometimes easier to do our evening routines independent of each other. We are working on changing that and brining more quality time into our evenings so we don’t feel like walking zombies all the time! This parent and marriage thing takes work. It is difficult to advice from others because each relationship is different and what works for one couple may not work for us, but we are finding balance and that is all that matters!
What have I learned?
Only hold yourself accountable to the must get done items on your to-do list. I’m talking about the life immanent tasks only! I can’t beat myself up if I don’t get to the “wash the dishes” to-do. However, there will be consequences if I don’t complete the “get diapers” task!
Make time for yourself. I don’t do this one enough and need to remind myself of it more often. Making time for myself doesn’t mean 3-4 hours a day. I can simply take a break to walk the dog, go for a run or my personal favorite face masks! Whatever it is, for your sanity and the sanity of those around you take a few minutes for some much deserved you time.
Enjoy every moment, even the blowout diaper, crocodile tear, screaming ones. They truly do go so fast! I saw a 3-month old baby at the coffee shop today and welded up in tears remember when Emerson was that small. All these new mom memories deserve a place in your heart, all the good, bad and the ugly ones!
Sorry for the novel of a post but it feels good to get all these things that I’m feeling out and in the open!