3.28.2011

Maternity Leave


It feels as though not much is getting done around the house nowadays. I've long since lost track of any sort of schedule to follow to clean my house. If laundry is picked up before guests come over, I feel pretty good about myself. The kitchen is overflowing with both dirty and clean dishes, piles of produce ready to be composted, juicer, food processor, extra food (since I don't have the luxury of a pantry), and so much more. The dust in my bedroom is embarrassingly thick. I can barely stay on top of my work. I have little or no time to myself. I haven't exercised much at all in the past few weeks. What is going on? This is not my normal. Where did I go wrong?

The more I've thought about it, the more realize I haven't gone wrong. In fact, this may be my new "normal" for now. Priorities have shifted, and for some reason I thought that when I shifted my priorities, my routine would still look exactly the same. But, the routine has morphed along with my priorities, and this chaotic thing we're told to embrace--change--has left me treading water, just trying to keep oxygen flowing to my head . . . when I actually take time to breathe.

Priorities that have shifted:

1. My girls are my number-one priority at home.
2. Eating healthy has regained a high position on my priority list. I've started incorporating more raw recipes and fresh juices into my menus; and I've cut way back on dairy, breads, and meat.
3. My baby is eating solids.

How that has affected my routine:

1. Unless it's nap time, my focus is on my girls. Housework, editing, laundry, and many other seemingly important items are no match for my toddler's request to "Come here, Mama. I want to show you something." If I'm only working during nap time, that means on a good day, I have about two-three hours to do everything else. So, I edit as long as possible, then I rush about the house trying to pick up, fold laundry, make dinner, and anything else I had on my to-do list for the day. If one girl is off on her nap schedule, all of that goes out the window.

2. Eating healthy requires more time because of the time it takes to plan meals, shop for the best-priced healthy ingredients, prepare the meals, and wash the extra appliances needed to make the food (juicer, food processor, etc.) I love how I feel. I've shed my baby weight--even the ten pounds I held on to from my first baby, and I have more energy. I love when health is a priority. Life is just, well, shiny-er, when you're eating properly.

3. I forgot how much time it would require to add three more feedings per day into my schedule (not to mention making three more meals).

As a mom, I'm more and more convinced that you should give yourself at LEAST six solid months before you try to surface in the real world again. Of course, you can maintain and appear to be leading a fairly normal life for those six months. By no means am I suggesting dropping off the planet, becoming a recluse, or anything else extreme. But you certainly need a decent amount of time to adjust to a whole other human being being a major part of your life. It really takes everything you have--your strength, your wisdom, your power, your insight, your love, everything.

It's a beautiful time, and it's a demanding time. You won't conquer the world or come up with any earth-shattering revelations during this time. But you will be doing one of the most important and powerful jobs you could possibly indulge in. You will be nurturing a new life. And that, is quite an accomplishment.

4 comments:

Lisa Ensor said...

wow! and in the midst of your busy schedule you helped me out with Brookes! THANK YOU again :)

This Is Us said...

Good for you for losing your baby weight so quickly. Congratulations! Great post. I needed nine months before I started feeling even a tiny bit more normal with my first. With the second, things seems to be falling in place more smoothly, but maybe I'm just more relaxed. Still, I'll think I have it all down and it just takes is one rough day for my house to fall to pieces(and three days to clean it up). Some days I have to prioritize my cleaning by first taking care of the things that could be a potential health hazard in the future and letting the clean laundry pile up on the couch. I keep telling myself that this is just a season. I am that person with the strange sticky spot on the floor and dishes in the sink, but it won't be forever.

kyna said...

thank you for this sweet friend.... I am right there with ya!

3 Little Chicks said...

I caught a glimpse of you at church two weeks ago. My, my, my you were sooooo trim! Congratulations on your healthy choices and visible results!