Friday, June 29, 2012

Motherhood, martyrdom, and scheduling life...

So after months of bed rest, Cesarean recovery, inevitable life-upside-down-ness that comes along with a new babe, a year and a half of sleep deprivation, and the miscellaneous juggling that comes with parenting and self-employment...  Jeff and I have finally come up with a schedule!  WHY oh why didn't we do this a year ago???  Honestly, when we first talked about it, I worried that I was being overly rigid and O.C.D. about life, but now I realize that it's really about replacing chaos with balance.  My friends, it has been nothing short of AMAZING.  I feel human again.  
Instead of trying to squeeze in work between Elliott's naps, or pass him back and forth throughout the day, or just... give in to frustration, give up and get nothing done... I have two days a week to spend as I please.  Work?  Rest?  Clean?  Get mah hair did?  No problem.  Game changer!  I'm able to PLAN, EXECUTE, and FINISH everything that I start.  I'm able to sleep in, think clearly, make appointments, meet deadlines, run errands, have meetings (without wearing an Ergo), or even take showers in the middle of the day when I'm on day three of dry shampoo and baby goo.  
 At the end of these scheduled days, I feel so revitalized and grateful.  I feel better able to focus on my children, without simultaneously thinking of all the work piling up.  I feel excited about cooking and meal planning, and anxious to enjoy time with my family again.  I recently read some essays on this working/parenting balance that actually made me angry.  Society both looks down upon mothers who "let themselves go" and condemns the ones that "put themselves first".  How can we win?  Balance.  As mothers we are so ingrained to put ourselves last, and the guilt comes so easily when we don't; but the truth is... I'm not at my best when I'm not taking care of myself, and my children deserve better than that.  When I'm an exhausted mess, I'm a shell of the mom I want to be.  My friend Debra discussed it with me and I loved her perspective: "It's the air mask on a plane principle...  I used to think it was sad to put mine on first, but no one is going to look out for your child as well as his mother- and if she can't breathe that child will suffer.  And to be honest, nothing is less attractive on a woman than martyrdom."  Truth.  
Our schedule is my new favorite thing.  But my absolute favorite part about it?  Jeff and Elliott go on these darling daddy/baby dates to parks, In n Out Burger, Nanny's house, long bike rides - you know, general boy shenanigans.  And they send me the most precious little videos and adorable photos while out on these excursions.  

Treasures, I tell ya...


  1. I am going through this exact dilema at the moment....trying to find the balance....and it's difficult. I look in the mirror and often times don't recognize who I see....a slightly tattered sleep deprived self....ha! Flipflopping between the frustration of not accomplishing self driven needs and the fulfillment and pride of being a selfless mommy. Glad you found your happy place:)

  2. THANK YOU! I'm glad too. :)

    It's so hard... but it's so important to care for yourself. I mean... who else is going to do it? I know I'm a good mama, and that my children are healthy and full of love... acknowledging that makes it easier to then address my own needs. Without that balance my quality of life begins to chip and crack and crumble, and (for me) things start to fall apart. And even if I'm CAPABLE of continuing like that- it's not the example I want to show them. I thought about my little girl especially; I want her to know that yes, your children come first... but it's healthy to come a close second. I want her to see motherhood as an uplifting joy, not as the heaviness that comes with fatigue. I'm certainly figuring it all out as I go, but when the mama is happy, the whole house is happy- and really, I can't ask for more than that. :)

    Lots of good luck and happy thoughts to you and your little one. ♥

  3. Thank you for this treasure of a blogpost Coral! <3

    1. Thank YOU, Kay. You're always so supportive and encouraging... It helps more than you realize. :)


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