I read Yummy Mummy Manifesto recently, well parts of it anyway. I liked it eventhough some of her suggestions must be for people with much larger incomes than mine. Her “cheap” decorating ideas for the nursery were pretty pricey, but she lives in Manhattan so I dont think she can help it.
One thing the author suggests for new mamas is to spend ten minutes doing something entirely for yourself, all by yourself, everyday. I think this may be good advice for anyone, but I am shocked at how rarely I follow it. Ten minutes?! Seriously?! Most of the time I dont even get ten minutes by myself to do something like the dishes. How in the Hell am I going to carve out ten minutes to do something selfish?!
My ten minutes today is right now, and I can tell you that I am having the hardest time not finishing the dishes or folding the pile of laundry in front of me…. It is challenging to give myself permission to just be.
Today I can catalog my “accomplishments” I made bread and a batch of pear/butternut squash baby food, I made hummus, did an embarrassing amount of laundry, and cleaned mountains of dirty dishes, but some days I have nothing to show for all my efforts. I hold O and feed him, sing to him, read to him, change his diaper and laugh with him and hold him and hold him and hold him. These are the sweetest days. But this work is incalculable and the part of me that needs proof, needs to preform, needs to achieve has trouble letting go of the millions of things I never seem to get to on my ever growing list of to do’s.
Even today, I am critical of myself for not doing more. O has four teeth showing and another one on the way down. He hasnt been taking naps during the day and we’ve been trying to wean him from his accessory feedings at night so he nurses to bed at 7pm, again around 2 or 3am, and then at 6am when he’s up for the day. This is a huge adjustment for him and me. Since we’ve started this nighttime shift he has been very insistent on being held and carried around all day. If he is happily playing on the ground and he sees me, he immediately stretches out his arms and claps his hands rapidly, until I pick him up at which point he wraps one chubby little arm around my neck, the other around my shoulder and squishes the side of his face against mine. Pretty cute. All day long though, it’s pretty heavy. He’ll be crawling soon, so I am trying to enjoy this intense time of needing mommie because I know there will be a day when I’ll want him to hang on to me like a baby chimpanzee, and he’ll just keep on crawling, and I’ll kick myself for ever having put him down when he wanted to be held.
… this mama stuff can be crazy making! So much love and giving and caring and sometimes I just want to say Enough! but it never is and yet somehow there is always more love.