I know I’ve mentioned before how a few friends warned me – when you have a baby, you’ll have NO TIME. You don’t have any time for yourself. When I’d ask – oh, did you see that show / go to that movie / do that thing, they’d say – no, I can’t! I’m a Mom. I don’t have time for that!
So maybe I should have been more prepared to be overwhelmed by my new baby. But somehow I couldn’t believe what they said. I figured it’d be a few weeks/months of that and then you could have a life again.
And the truth I came to was… you can! In those first few months, I decided you really can do anything you truly want. But what you truly want changes. And the reality check is – you probably can’t do EVERYTHING you truly want, but what did you expect?
This morning I gained a little “me” time – and it was wonderful – which is probably making me a better Monday morning mama than I would normally be. My husband had to go in to teach today, so he could leave a little later than usual. So he took the munchkin to his parents around 6:30 (I should note – she woke up at 6:25, which is early for her – but it was following a FULL NIGHT’s sleep!). And I… rolled back over for another thirty minutes of guilt free bliss! We’d gone to bed very early, as I’ve been a bit rundown recently, so this got me about ten hours sleep – tell me that’s not heaven! It’s sad that I’ve been going to bed around 8:30 to get it (and somehow when the baby sleeps, the dog will decide he needs to go out at midnight, but I digress…), but I’ll take it. Then I woke up and took a shower without listening for the baby monitor or rushing through as I heard the baby crying. I even managed to do a few exercises this morning! My husband told me that would not fall under his definition of “luxurious,” but I was pretty stoked. OK, so maybe putting on laundry wasn’t “luxurious” – but having the time to do it without a symphony of crying in the background while being well rested enough to feel OK about it was all pretty nice! I even read a magazine while I ate breakfast and managed to compose a little blog in my morning.
And doing all this, I realized that what’s hard is – I don’t need 20 minutes for myself a day. I need 20 minutes for myself when I’m already well rested and the house is reasonably clean (we had friends over this weekend, so it was). Because then I get a guilt free 20 minutes (or in this case more like 90 minutes!) that I can actually enjoy and use on me. Because, really, I get 20 minutes (or even 90) most days – during the baby’s nap or when she’s gone to bed for the night. But most days it’s all I can do to sink into my bed or the sofa for that time.
So I guess that brings back the question of… can I do anything I want? Hmm… well, when the baby is teething and up half the night – I probably shouldn’t plan on it. And when we’re midway through moving and haven’t unpacked all our boxes – well, it’s probably all going to come up a bit short for awhile then too. But those times we hit our status quo and find our rhythm – yeah, I think there is time for me to do what I want. It just turns out that pretty often what I want is to spend time with my little family. Who’d have thunk it?
So what about you? Are you feeling like you can have it all? Or wondering how you get off this crazy ride? Do you flip flop on that feeling as often as I do? And, if so, what drives that change for you? And when you’re on the far side of crazy, how do you make it back?