First of all - the joys of motherhood are too many to name - but I'll try. They're joyful. There you have it. Ha!
The trials of motherhood are also too many to name, but I'll try that too...let's just say this - your house will never be the same. Fughett about it. Seriously. I've been grappling with the ever increasing mess and the rapidly decreasing measure of time I seem to have on any given day to get anything even remotely relevant taken care of. I was the girl who said "that will not be me".
In April I hosted a baby shower at my home for a friend. One woman complimented me on how organized everything was - and lamented how she couldn't manage to keep her house in any semblance of "organized". I said "it's a personality flaw of mine...not necessarily a good thing". She then said to me (I'll never forget this!!) "OH WAIT! You don't have kids yet! But just you wait...you'll see what I'm talking about....I used to be YOU...I used to have everything just so...you'll see!" We laughed and I inwardly shrugged her off. I just knew she was wrong and that my life of uber cleanliness and organization did not have to come to an end simply because our family was growing.
Hindsight people...hindsight. (shaking head)
Behold I give you the"favorite snack" bag...mini powdered donuts...
And sadly - all that remained after I stressed out about my lack of organization lately. This, my friends, is the only thing getting cleaned out in my house. Shameful, I know.
Ok - well, I've since become educated on exactly what she meant - I too, cannot keep anything organized. Sob. What happened to my labeled files and neatly stacked papers - or frequently deep cleaned home, or tightly folded towels and sheets? I'll tell you. Time is a fickle friend. He's around when you don't really want or need him (enter our long wait for Keira here) and he's fleeting and invisible when I really long for him to be present. Jerk.
Labeled files are still around...somewhere. Stacks of papers are still there - only they are no longer neat and they have multiplied by the dozens because I have neither the time nor the energy to deal with their rapid duplication. The deep cleaned home I long for and used to know makes me want to cry. Really - what happened to that? I was the girl who got a great sense of accomplishment from taking a Saturday to give my house a good deep clean. There I was in my cute little pink house gloves, scrubbing a toilet and singing a happy tune. True story. It was a great feeling for me to do that and do it well. Now, let's just be real - I can't be taking an entire day to deep clean my house anymore. You all read this post, right? Where do YOU fit a deep clean into that schedule. Nothing I do anymore can take all day. No more all day shopping, all day lounging, all day cleaning, all day working, or all day sleeping (though good gawd how I would love me some all day sleeping). The reason is because there is a little person depending on me for regular diaper changes, interaction, feedings, naps, and lots of hugs and kisses. What may seem like hours and hours in any given day are quickly swallowed whole by tasks. Not to mention, you can't be vacuuming and clanking around your house while your light sleeper of an 8-month old is trying to nap. And trust me - you want him to nap. You really do.
SO. Having said all that - we have had to come up with some quick fixes that I thought I'd pass along on the off chance any of you need some. Not for everyone - realize that. But for some - it might help or might help down the line when you add to your own family.
1. Get on a schedule. As best you can - make and keep a schedule for yourself, your family, and most of all - baby. Lord help us if we just went through each day willy nilly. Not only would I never accomplish anything at a predictable rate - but Quint would be miserable, because he could not count on anything happening at the same time everyday. I'm talking about sleep, naps, feeding, and playtime. That's all - though some people like to structure even tighter - which is fine.
2. If you find yourself letting the house go - letting the bills and piles of paperwork go, etc. - take my advice here: make a gentle to do list - or make a monster to do list. Divide your list into rooms or categories, depending on what you're trying to get done. For me, I needed to clean my house. I made a list of each room and what I wanted to accomplish in that room. Then I proceeded to only tackle one room at a time or one room per day, whichever came first. Once that room was done - I would not keep going, but cross it off the list and move on to the rest of my day (or to bed in some cases). This gave me the freedom to let myself walk away. On Monday, I deep cleaned our bathroom in increments that took me about 8 hours of off and on to finish. But, at the end of the day, I had a beautiful bathroom and crossed it off my list. It felt good! Granted, I knew I was moving at a slower pace than I had pre-baby (what with said baby happily jumping around in his exersaucer in the bathroom while I cleaned out the closet) but it still felt good to get a nice hold of my ever growing list and just make even the tiniest dent. This encouraged me that I could get through it, if I gave myself the grace. So far, it's been two weeks since I made the list, and I've attacked five rooms in the house. Not finished, but still feels like accomplishment, which has become very important to me.
3. Get out. Literally. Get a sitter and get out. Some days you will be swallowed whole by the responsibility of parenting and you just have to take the opportunity to get out. If you must, scheduled a sitter after baby goes down for the night and have a date night. Or maybe just ask a friend to come by for a couple hours during the day so you can get out and be human again, sans spit-up on your shirt and crackers in your hair. Go to the mall, go to the nail salon, go get a massage, or just go sit in the library and have some peace and quiet time that's all your own. Being a mom is amazing - but so is being a woman, and a wife, and a daughter, and a friend. Keep all your hats and don't let any one hat get too dusty with your new role. Promise?
4. Allow your spouse (or family member or friend) to help you out. Anton saw me drowning last week and threw me the very biggest of lifelines. He took our little guy and made a special trip to go visit his parents for two days. Hard as it was for me to part with either of them (yes, I cried when they drove away), I then walked back into a completely quiet house and found myself almost as weepy at the happy prospect of actually making some progress to get caught up with work. Which I did - and which I appreciated so very much. If you have loved ones offering to take the little stinker for a couple days - don't let your guilt keep you from it. You're only human, after all - and we all need sanity time. (And no, working outside the home is not sanity time)
Ok - so enough advice from a mom of only three stinking months...eh? What the frig!
How about some pics of my little man?