Out of Whack (prioritizing struggles for this new mom)

Reprioritizing as a new mom

I do this annoying thing all the time where I get all high and mighty because I think I’ve got this motherhood thing down. I did it during pregnancy, too… for example, I thought I must just be an amazing pregnant lady because I wasn’t getting all swollen and huge… until I did.

You’d think I’d learn my lesson, but those thoughts have continued right on into motherhood. I think, I’ve really got this bedtime thing down and then this happens. Or I think my daughter must be the best baby ever because she’s never fussy and I can take her anywhere… and then she cries through an entire meal at a restaurant, or while I was frantically checking out at Target, or she suddenly decides she hates the car and screams during every single car ride.

So, of course, I felt like I had this motherhood gig down until I started work again. That little piece of humble pie I’ve been served has certainly done the trick! I am a hot mess. My first week back to work I ended up canceling all of the friend hangouts I had scheduled on my days off because my days off aren’t really days off anymore. Since motherhood happens all day every day, my work from home hours are no longer so scheduled or limited to certain days of the week.

I am incredibly grateful to have a job that I love with flexible hours and that allows me to work about a third of those hours from home. The problem, though, is working from home. It takes on a whole new meaning with a baby who has a lot of needs (AKA food, help falling asleep, diaper changes, someone to play with her and oh yes, general care). My hours worked from home that were once “only on Thursdays” are now split up into 15-60 minute chunks all day every day in the form of sending emails while nursing and scheduling, planning, and practicing during naps, etc.

With all of these changes, I sat in bed the other night and realized I needed to press the reset button on my priorities for this season. My Scripture reading has been spotty at best, I sometimes forget to kiss my husband goodbye when I head into the office (but never Adeline, of course!), and I can no longer schedule multiple friend hangouts on “days off.”

But instead of measuring a day’s success based on the status of dirty dishes and household clutter, I need to turn the pyramid upside down and rethink those measurements.

Instead of measuring a day's success based on the status of dirty dishes + household clutter,… Click To Tweet

My New Daily Priority Pyramid:

  1. God – Have I spent time in the Word today? What are three things I can thank Him for today?
  2. Jacob – What is one small way I can serve him today?
  3. Adeline – Have I talked to her, played with her and enjoyed her without my phone nearby today?
  4. Work – Did I accomplish the “must have’s” today? Am I on track to reach my hours this week? Is the house at least in a livable condition (are there clean dishes and clean clothes)?
  5. Friends – If I can’t connect with a friend in person this week, how can I make a point to serve her? At least send a quick text to let her know I love her and ask how I can pray for her, write a quick card, etc.

After typing those out they seem ridiculously simple, but in the minute to minute of my day it is so easy to let them slide through my fingertips! Would you say a quick prayer for me today that God grows me in discipline in this season and I make this pyramid flip a priority?

How can I be praying for you? Are there priorities in your life that are out of whack? I encourage you to take a minute to consider what is most important to you and ask yourself if that is actually lived out in the reality of your day to day life.

Returning For Me And For Her

Baby Girl Chunky Rolls

It’s been a while since I’ve showed my face in this space. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to show up – I really have. But to be honest, I have so many thoughts and emotions swirling inside me that the effort of sorting them out completely overwhelmed me, so I ran the other direction.

But now I’m sitting in bed with my second cup of coffee, listening to the steady sleepy breaths of Jacob beside me and little Adeline in her bassinet and I’m feeling so sentimental. We took her for her first sick visits at the pediatrician this week because she had conjunctivitis (pink eye). The last couple of days she has wanted to snuggle and only sleeps on us – the poor thing. But despite feeling under the weather, she is still discovering so many things!

Earlier this week, I laid her on her belly for tummy time and the little nugget blew me away! She raised her head up so high, like she’d been doing this for years, and at the same time lifted her legs in what I like to call the “superman.” I realized with a little momentum she will roll over any day now! She is also so talkative with her baby sounds these days. She loves to make sounds when we are talking, as if she is trying to be part of the conversation, too. She has started touching her thighs when she’s on her back and it won’t be long before she reaches down to realize she has feet!

She still loves sucking on her fists and when she isn’t doing that, she is sucking on her lips with her tongue. It’s funny to see her preferences change over her short little life so far. She has started to love facing out when she’s on your lap so she can see what is going on around her, and every time she is in a “sitting” position she tries to lean her weight forward…. more proof of her strengthening neck, shoulder and back muscles!

It seems like these developments happened all at once when I wasn’t looking! It really is going by so quickly, and I realized this morning that I’ve hardly documented it at all! Sure, I’ve written in her baby book calendar as she reaches these milestones, but I haven’t journaled or blogged many of the details or shared my changing feelings as a new mom.

I sat here thinking I could hardly remember her newborn days, and it has only been 3 months! I started panicking, wanting to savor those moments and realizing I hadn’t written many of my thoughts from that time… Which is why I’m here. There is so much of this motherhood journey that has already changed me, and I don’t want to miss out on remembering when those changes happened. Nor do I want to miss out on remembering Adeline’s discoveries and changes as she grows so quickly through the years.

Thankfully I shared what I hope I never forget a couple months ago, but I plan on sharing more regularly… both about Adeline and about me. While I’ve truly been living in the moment and savoring all of those moments over these months, I want to have the written memories to spark the ones in my mind once 3 more months pass and my current feelings become hazy as they are replaced with the new phase of life we are in.

So here’s to returning to the art and discipline of writing. There’s a lot I haven’t told you.

The nighttime dilemma (AKA God help us all)

Babies who don't sleep

And by “dilemma” I mean the fact that nighttime keeps coming back around every day… And I never know which baby I’m going to get: baby who sleeps for several hours at a time or baby who only sleeps in my arms and cries when she so much as touches her bassinet.

You know that feeling you get when your alarm goes off and you think, how is it time to get up already?! Man, the night flew by!

Well, I ever so vaguely remember those feelings and long for those days. Because when I get refuses-to-sleep-baby, the night feels like a never ending nightmare and I’d do anything for it to be 7am again.

I truly think my daughter can sense that feeling of accomplishment when we think we’ve successfully put her down to sleep. As soon as I start mentally congratulating myself for the Olympic feat I’ve just conquered, she stirs.

It’s like she knows.

So now I try to delay my excitement, as if she can actually read my mind. I know this is absolutely crazy, yet I can’t stop myself from doing it anyway. In fact, I’m writing this as I lie in bed – I just put her down – and when I realized my body started relaxing in triumph, I tensed back up. She can sense the relaxation!!!

Dang it. She’s awake again.

Related Post: Adeline’s Nursery

Related Post: Adeline’s Birth Story

Related Post: What you REALLY need for your new baby (a minimalist approach)

The Nighttime Dilemma - thoughts on bedtime with your baby

To all the moms I judged: I’m sorry

Judging Moms

Before I became a mom, I was kind of judgey about other moms. I didn’t mean to be that way, and I definitely didn’t vocalize those passing thoughts … But I was judgey nonetheless. I’d be all, “I don’t want to lose my identity after I have a baby.” Or “just let her cry it out and get over it.” Yikes!!

I never said these things to any mom, but I thought them.

To all the moms I silently and nonchalantly judged, I’m sorry.

I now understand everything.

1. No wonder all you do is talk about your baby… It’s because she runs your life!!! All of your mental capacity is taken up by counting how long it’s been since she nursed and how long you have before she wakes up! Your eating, sleeping and going anywhere depend on these things. Plus, she is really cute. 😉

2. So going back to work is hard and scary and you don’t want to do it? Me either!!! And I have an awesome, flexible, part time job that I love! Six weeks flies by, that’s for sure.

3. You look like you haven’t slept in a few days. Well, apparently babies don’t have an adult-like sleep schedule for quite some time and you wouldn’t know that unless you’re googling everything possible about your 3 week old child. Also, listening to your baby cry just about wrecks you. I feel you. Rock those top knots and yoga pants, girl.

4. Sorry I (inwardly) scoffed when you admitted you weren’t reading your Bible (Guys, I promise I’m not a total hater)!! No offense, Lord, but when I’m reading anything these days, sleep puts up a pretty darn good fight. And I usually let her win. I’m sorry. (PS I’ve been reading Numbers and Deuteronomy so that DOES NOT HELP.)

5. For the first time in my life, I actually forget to eat, too. I never understood how that could possibly happen to ANYONE, but it does. Somehow that same forgetfulness doesn’t apply to coffee, though…. That’s basically my first priority every morning. So just try to go for something more substantial than Cheez-Its, I guess.

6. You’re late, again. Well, when going anywhere with a child, you must multiply how long you think it will take to get out the door by three. Always. Absolutely no exceptions, unless you are superwoman and then you must teach me your ways.

7. WHO CARES ABOUT YOUR WEIGHT. Like who stinking cares?! No one. Not even judgey pre-mom me… So stop worrying about it. We’re all looking at your cute baby anyway:) (And for the rest of you, DO NOT COMMENT ON ANOTHER WOMAN’S WEIGHT. WHEN IS THAT EVER OKAY?!)

8. MOM GROUPS. All of a sudden, this weird phenomenon totally makes sense. I actually want to go sit with other moms and their kids and talk about mom stuff. And I think it’s fun!! (Who am I anymore?!)

 

In all seriousness, Moms, I love you and I’m glad to have joined this weird cult of moms and mom groups. And I am truly sorry for how much I have inwardly judged or thought “I’d do ________ differently when I’m a mom.” Turns out, cliche is true… you just don’t know what’s going on in someone’s life until you’ve walked a mile in her shoes. Or, in my case, started wearing the same kind of shoes. Mom shoes.

All that to say: You go girl.

PS Happy Mother’s Day!! I’m so excited to be celebrating my first as an actual mom myself. What a huuuuge gift I couldn’t even fathom until God showed me through Adeline. She is literally my treasured gift, and so is owning the title MOM.

Now go show some love to the moms in your life this weekend!

Let’s Chat: May Edition

Reading Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan and Living Well Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life by Ruth Soukup.

Hoping to establish some sort of basic eating and sleeping schedule with Adeline before I return to work… I think we are making some progress here!! So far I’m seeing she likes to sleep until 9-10ish, stay awake for a while, snooze sometime around 11-1, snooze again sometime in the afternoon, and is awake again sometime around 4-6. We’ve been starting the “bedtime routine” somewhere in the 8pm hour each night.  We will see how much this holds up! 

Watching “Friends” and “Last Man Standing” with Jacob on Netflix.

Listening to Adeline’s grunty sleepy noises. All the heart eyes here. 

Clicking all over Google for every baby question you can imagine.

Wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans, lots of loose-fitting tops for easy breastfeeding, and my Happy Wrap!

Craving homemade chocolate chip cookies and tons of Dunkin’s cookie dough iced coffee. But really just coffee in general. I think I’m making up for my aversion to it in my first trimester. 

Writing in Adeline’s baby book!! It’s so fun to record all the “firsts” and summarize each month so far. I love the style of the calendar baby books and I’ve been using some of my Messy Box supplies to dress it up a bit! (See photo above)

Feeling so grateful to be Adeline’s mom. And extremely grateful for God’s unimaginable provision throughout her story so far. And on a less weighty note, feeling so good to have my body back! It feels great to be the sole occupant these days :). 


Eating
alllll the fruit and anything else I can eat with one hand. 

Praying for a smooth transition back to work in a couple weeks AND for a good “first flight” experience with Adeline later this month!! I’m also praying for the discipline to develop a new morning devotion routine. I had been doing so well getting into the Word this year, but having a baby really threw me for a loop!! I got up during Adeline’s last sleep interval yesterday morning to read and get some things done and that worked really well!! I’d love to try to make that a habit as much as I can! 

Let’s Chat: March

New England Winter

Somehow it is already March and today is exactly one month until my due date!!! Writing that out both gives me a jolt of fear and incredible excitement. What a fun season for us ahead!

I’m going to start a monthly “let’s chat” series to document snippets of what this season of life looks like, as I imagine it will greatly change with our expanding family. This will hopefully be something that’s fun to read, since it will be just like we’re hanging out around my table in the morning with coffee and scones, chatting about life together. But this will also be a fun thing for me to look back on as seasons change!

So here we go.

Reading Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are by Shauna Niequist, Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty and More or Less: Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity by Jeff Shinabarger. I’m also reading through Leviticus and Matthew with the SheReadsTruth Bible in a Year plan.

Hoping our #albrechtlittle comes a little early… I’m ready to start applying all that I’ve been reading and talking about! Enough planning and learning – it’s time for action! Plus her nursery is adorable (Jacob set up the crib last night!) and ready for her to come home to it! The realization our “spare room” turned “nursery” will actually belong to someone is pretty crazy.

Watching season 4 of House of Cards – it came out last week and I’m slowly letting myself work through it when I need some down time.

Listening to Michael Hyatt’s Blow Up Your Blog! Podcast and Ben Rector Pandora radio.

Clicking these awesome posts for this WordPress plugin newbie (1, 2, 3), this morning routine challenge, and 4 books you should read to make the most of your money.

Planning for my maternity leave at work! We’re getting down to the wire with me needing to have things documented for the worship leaders who will be leading while I’m gone and have everything scheduled for April and May, like all upcoming service volunteers and songs.

Packing my hospital bag! I worked on laundry this weekend and have laid out everything we will be packing other than toiletries. I’ve got a list of those to pack when the time comes.

Waiting to get my hair cut this week!! It’s been wayyy too long, so hopefully this will get me feeling fresh before #albrechtlittle arrives!

Eating lots of strawberries and too much chocolate.

Feeling very swollen (hands, legs, feet, etc.) and generally LARGE. Ready to have this baby. Tired of having numb hands!

Praying for clarity in this new season with all of these life changes happening all at once. God has done so much work in my heart over these last nine months – I am eagerly anticipating all he will do over the next nine.