I had trouble finding balance in my life long before my little guy came along. My tendency is to view endeavors as all or nothing. For example, if I’m starting a workout regimen, I do it every day or I don’t do it at all. The same goes with house cleaning – I want to clean the entire house in on fell swoop or I don’t want clean at all. One of the things motherhood has taught me is that I need to have balance – I simply can’t do it all at one time.
Being a new mom has taught me to slow down and relax in some aspects of my life (cleaning, errands, etc.), but it has also taught me to prioritize and be efficient. When Declan was first born, I was exhausted, not only from Declan’s grueling feeding schedule (every two hours for the first 5 months), but from my frantic efforts to cook, clean, and ‘keep house’. I don’t know what I was thinking – maybe some sick subconscious desire to be ‘super mom’, or some vain attempt to maintain a semblance of normalcy in my life. Tired of being, well, tired and stressed trying to keep up with it all, I gradually began trying only to do one major chore or task a day to avoid becoming overwhelmed again. It is so very true when people say to put more energy enjoying this fleeting newborn/infant stage and less time into the minutiae of keeping a spotless house.
Another area in which I’ve struggled is my exercise regimen. Thanks to breastfeeding, I was able to lose my pregnancy weight by my 6 week check-up. However, the extra weight I had on before I got pregnant is a different story. Those pounds have been stubborn and slow-going, but my exercise routine has been stop and go. I don’t know what it is, but every time I get into a great rhythm, something pops up to derail me (this past time it was vacation and a subsequent cold). If there is one thing I do have, that’s perseverance. I’ll continue going to the Y and watching what I eat and not get frustrated with myself when I fall off course. If I have an off day, I can always count scrubbing the tub as exercise, right?