I imagine some mothers felt this way when they had their first child. However, I had a hard time adjusting to motherhood with Michaela. I found it overwhelming and isolating. I felt since I was home, I should be able to take care of a baby and still keep the house orderly, make dinner, do all the laundry and walk our dog. I thought being at home would grant me several hours to “do things” and then the other hours would be spent taking care of Micha. That belief couldn’t have been further from the truth. As each day passed that I didn’t “do” the things I wanted to or thought I should, I get more and more down.
Fortunately, I was given VERY good advice. “You need a new to do list.” Motherhood is not the same as being home and unemployed. You are working and working hard because your “job” doesn’t come with a manual. You need to have patience with yourself and your child. You need to be realistic and the reality is you don’t have limitless time to get things done. Your “job” is totally unpredictable as it varies with how well a baby naps, if/when they’re teething, have colic, gas or something else. The learning curve is great and if you’re blue it’s hard to handle.
Admist my struggle, I found that creating a new “to do” list changed my mood significantly. I put things like: eat a good breakfast, breastfeed 1 2 3 4 5 times, (I crossed off a number after a feeding) change diapers 1 2 3 4 5 times, email 30 30 30 minutes (you can spend WAY too much time on the computer if you’re not careful and then you’ll really be unproductive!), do laundry, keigels and nap. I also had one outing a day. It could be walking Peepers or going to the grocery store, but something to get a bit of fresh air. I got excited and made the same list daily. It was so satisfying to recognize I was doing things throughout the day even though the actions were drastically different than what I was used to. I felt better about myself seeing a crossed off list. I had evidence that I was doing my job and that felt good.
This time around motherhood often feels like a breeze because my “new to do” is a part of who I am. I enjoy Luca so much more than I did Micha when she was this little. It helps that he’s an exceptionally smiley baby. Even when he’s crying (which is rare), if you start saying, “Luca lu!!” he always tries smiling. The combo expression of sadness from what was bothering him and a smile makes me chuckle.
Babies are incredible. They are perfect with their big, curious eyes and their little button noses. Babies often have round, chubby cheeks, and small, delicate fingers. Baby skin is one of the finest things around–it’s so incredibly soft and a baby’s scent is delicious. (Micha even sniffs Luca when she’s holding him :). )
After a few weeks when babies start smiling it adds another dimension of love. To see your baby look at you and smile will make you smile. You can’t help it!
Luca is my little man. My sweet, happy bundle of rolls and wiggles. I am so grateful that I’ve mastered my new “to do” so I can enjoy him as much as possible. He’s three months and I want to savor each day with him. All too soon he’ll be Micha’s size and wanting to do things on his own instead of snuggling closely with his Mama. He’ll have his own “to do” list before I know it!
*If you have a newborn and are having a hard time adjusting, I LOVE talking about anything parent-related. Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org