This includes reading mom blogs, pinning baby food, and perusing the clearance section of old navy.
Once Max was born and I went back to work, my new daily routine felt absolutely jammed packed. Every minute was filled. My day looked something like this:
Feeding, diapering, clothing and getting out the door, daycare dropoff and commuting to work. At work I was trying to be “my old self” but took every excuse I got I took to talk about my baby. I spent spare moments reading mommy blogs, looking up local events to do with baby, and studied how to be a better mom. After punching the clock, it was my favorite time of day, time to pick the munchkin up from daycare. Once we got home I had two hours with my little guy and in that time was dinner, bathtime, playtime, storytime, and finally bed time. Once he was finally asleep it was the real crunch time – time to clean up from the day and prepare for tomorrow: clean bottles, make lunches, pack the daycare bag, and clean up the mess from the prior two-hour tornado. The final thing on my list is sleep. No matter what time i finished, I went straight to bed. For the first 6-7 months, I never knew how many times he was going to gett up so it was always safest to not waste any time and catch as much shut eye as possible.
After weeks of repeating this routine, it felt like I was losing my identity as anything other than Max’s mom. I wasn’t doing anything for myself. I stopped putting makeup on before work, I bailed on girls night, dinner with my husband was eaten in shifts around the baby’s schedule, and our conversation was fixed on one topic: Max. I became pretty much incapable of talking about anything other than Max. But I was OK with that because Max is my little guy, I would do anything for him. I live to make him happy, to see his smile, and to hear his giggle.
Going through these motions everyday, it was hard for me to see what was really going on. I was becoming super irritable, frustrated, and upset when things didn’t go the way I intended. And as all moms know, you should expect things not going as you planned! But after a while, I constantly felt like I was failing. I would spend the weekend making batches of baby food that he wouldn’t eat. Sleep training attempts were started and stopped due to a slew of recurrent ear infections. Breast feeding ended earlier than I expected because my supply went down when I went back to work… whatever the situation was, I felt like a failure. Even though I have the most supportive husband and he would remind me everyday how amazing of a job I was doing, it wasn’t sinking in. Finally, after some time, my husband said the three little words that I desperately needed to hear: “Get a hobby!”
My first thought was, “Yeah, OK, in all my spare time I’ll start a new hobby – ha!” But he was right. I needed to do something for myself. I needed a different kind of challenge that wasn’t an emotional challenge like the last 6 months had been. I needed something to take my mind off my never ending mom list.
But the truth is, I wasn’t much of a hobbier before becoming a mom, so I had no idea what kind of hobbing I was going to do now. But thanks to Google and the wonderful world of online ads, I stumbled upon the website craftsy.com. For the $30 Craftsy lesson and pattern, $10 in fabric, and an old sewing machine someone was getting rid of I got myself a hobby: sewing. With my new excitement, I was able to squeeze 30 minutes out every couple of nights and in 2 months time, I had one 12×12 square. This was going to take forever! But the point is I had accomplished something for myself. Granted the blanket was for Max, it gave me something else to focus on and something to look forward to once Max went to sleep. My previous mindset was: Max is sleeping = mom is cleaning. That gets old and very unexciting real fast.
I’m not saying sew magically cured me of all my frustrations. But for me it served as a form of meditation like other folks find with yoga or reading. It is my escape and it helped me realize I was in a rut. And some of my mom lists can wait. That fourth load of laundry can be done later and it will be ok if that pan can sits in the sink until tomorrow, really it will be ok.
|Craftsy.com calls him Bjorn Bear.
We call him: Mr. Bear.
|Max enjoying Mr. Bear.|