"You must give me... one BILLION diapers!"
When I had my son, life stood still for a while. I had a baby to care for, as well as 2 dogs, 3 cats (at least), the house, and so on. Yes, I was married but, no, I didn't have any help. So it took a couple of months to figure out how to manage this motherhood gig. Once I did, though, it was easier, especially when I realized the secret to a good night's sleep (hello co-sleeping!).
This time around, there is no figuring out what will and won't work. I'm just picking up with my life as if my 10-year-old had never grown out of infancy: co-sleeping from the get-go, relying on my Boppy as a way to nurse hands-free, and using a bouncy chair downstairs for those during-the-day nap times. I don't know what it is about a vibrating/bouncy chair that is more magickal than a swing, but it simply is.
There is the added challenge of cloth diapering now, but I think I have the hang of it after only a week. It looked daunting at first, however I've created a routine in this first week and it's just... what I do now.
Feeding times are really the best times for me to work. I have some intense edits to work on with my editor and, thanks to getting plenty of sleep and nursing, I'm not just in a place where I can "manage" them. I can approach them wide awake and mindful of my work.
Of course, I'm not pushing myself. I still prioritize: baby/family/self, pets, and house all come first. Then I choose one task to do each day. Today it was addressing envelopes to the people who wanted my son's school pictures, writing the pertinent information on the back of each photograph, and placing them in their envelopes. Done. Now all I need to do is get them to the Post Office next week, as the 5x7's will require extra postage.
Setting little goals is the smartest thing. Goodness knows I'm going, going, going all day long with the baby, housework and work in general. Even though things are easy thus far, I don't want to overwhelm myself, or set myself up for disappointment. So I've also embraced a greater amount of flexibility in my days. If I can't do something, I just don't worry about it. The "take things as they come" attitude goes a long way, and I still feel like I've done quite well with everything that needs to get done at the end of the day.
It also helps to have a husband who is willing to lend a hand. Many people thought he was on paternity leave this week, but he was not. He had a week-long briefing to attend, so it has been like any other work week. However, when he gets home, he gladly holds and snuggles Rowan, while I get a shower or make dinner. Or, if she would prefer my company, he will step in and make dinner. There's a lot of teamwork going on here.
Of course, life isn't all sweet, quiet, napping baby! And I wouldn't want it that way. If she slept all the time, that would be a negative extreme. Babies should have times when they are vocal and fussy, and times when they are in the state known as "quiet alert".
When she's in her quiet alert state, I make the most of keeping her awake to explore her surroundings, as well as to maximize our bonding time. I also give her the dreaded tummy time on her play mat a few times a day. She fusses like most babies do over the tummy time, and prefers to do it on our chests, lifting her head to look into our eyes. But I'm not going to have a slacker baby. ;) I just lie down next to her on the floor when she is on her mat, and look at her and talk to her while she has her tummy time.
She responds with "Wah wah wah", which I imagine will translate into something along the lines of "Screw you, mom!" in about 16 years...
Copyright (c) 2013 Wendy L. Callahan