Wednesday, March 09, 2016

4 weeks in

Chilling, as it were.

A sweet, well-intending lady in my ward tried to comfort me recently by giving me verbal permission to get absolutely nothing done right now.  In one sense it worked, because I am getting alarmingly little done right now, and it does sort of have to be okay.  This is the stage where my babies sleep soundly in my arms but their eyes pop open the moment I move to lie them down.  I have found no way around this but to outlast the stage.  There are no other bodies both present and old enough and responsible enough to do much baby holding (Sir O only has about a 5 minute attention span for such a thing), so I am it.  I splurged on the 4Moms mamaRoo before our baby burrito duke was born, and it's definitely earned its keep, but even so I find precious little time each day when both of my own hands are at my disposal.  People get fed meals, laundry gets done, and I make futile attempts at decluttering and straightening in microbursts.  It feels kind of mean, actually.  I finally have the  energy to want to tackle all the decluttering and organizing that's been shoved to the back burner since we moved here a year and half ago.  I'm finally neither impaired by grad school nor pregnancy, and I can both see what needs to be done and come up with the emotional energy and focused thinking to figure out how I want to do it.  I just can't act, because my hands are occupied.  This has led to some grumpy moments.

Luckily, I have done this enough times to know that it will feel like it went by quickly once it's over, even if it doesn't feel like it's passing quickly while I'm in it.  Two months from now we'll have settled into a routine, and I should be able to plan and calculate what I will accomplish during semi-predictable nap times.  Three months from now the tide of baby vomit should start to recede. Five months from now I should be able to lay this little man down in his own bed when he's supposed to sleep and trust him to figure it out on his own.  Everything changes so much and so fast in the first year, I know I just have to give myself tiny serenity talks when I'm feeling oppressed by it, and choose to be okay with the way things are now, because they are changing and soon enough they will be different again.

So yes, if you stop by unannounced, you will get the alarmingly messy version of our home.  (And feel free to jump in and improve the situation, by all means),  but I'm doing my best to not beat myself up for what I'm not getting done.  I'm still doing a rockstar job of growing this baby.  He's enormous (compared to my other babies at the same age), and he's snacky.  I see rubber-band-rolls in his near future.  I have reason to believe he's getting enough attention and affection from the whole lot of us (but mostly me) to develop healthy attachments and to feel perfectly secure (I dissolve into a hormonal heap of sniffle-tears when I think about babies who lack those very things).  I try to remind myself it's a good thing that he cries and fusses whenever he realizes he's been laid down and left alone (usually 5 minutes after I laid him there, having spend 30-40 minutes trying to get him soundly enough asleep to attempt such a feat) because it means he trusts that crying will get his needs met.  At least thinking such a thing helps keep me from getting too frustrated.

So, my to-do lists are very short just now, and even so they are never quite completed.  I'm working really hard at being okay with that, for now.  This also involves working really hard at not losing my cool when my other kids make messes that I know I won't have time to address, and then lose their ability to either see the mess or to stay on task when I ask them to clean up after their (dang) selves.  Sir O has especially entered a phase where it is apparently traumatic to be asked to do chores and contribute to maintaining a family home.  Life is hard, buddy.  Welcome to it.

Anyhow, I'm now in that place I prepared for.  People asked me what I was going to do after grad school ended (presumably digging for insight into how I was going to use my degree?) and my answer was always that I was going to have a baby, and then do damage control on all my family relationships, and then see how much energy I had for anything else (thinking, maybe 4-6 months postpartum I'd have my act together enough for such thinking.) The baby's been had, he's lovely.  The damage control is being beastly, but I feel like I'm making headway.

My body is being rather pokey with postpartum recovery, I'm anxious for about a dozen parts of me to tighten up and function properly.  I'm hoping, but not certain, I'll get the green light for exercising my tail off at my six week postpartum doctor visit.  I haven't done one lick of working out since last May, and I miss it.

So my prayers, of late, contain a lot of "let the baby sleep" and "let me sleep," because those seem to be the keys to all my hopes and dreams right now.  It'll come with time, but how much time?

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