The other day I thought “I feel like being lazy today”. Then I realized, while I could put off my housework, that wasn’t really possible. I am sure I can still be lazy in the sinful sense. There are all kinds of choices I can make during a day that would keep me from really fulfilling my calling as a wife and Mom in the best way. I am sure I probably watch too much TV for instance when Leia is napping or sleeping, but just playing hooky from life and laying on the couch all day isn’t an option anymore. I think it is so funny I used to think I worked full time, and now the world think I don’t work at all, until you are a Mom you don’t know what full time is! Even when relaxing I am always feeding, changing, holding, wiping off, cleaning, pulling hands from cords and dirt, etc etc. It’s crazy! I am so much more capable than I ever thought! Or rather, God has given me so much more strength than I ever had before!
It starts with labor, at least with mine, I kind of couldn’t believe I did it! There were moments during the three hours of pushing I wondered if I could still die in childbirth “Little House” style, and there were moments I kind of wanted to. Anyway, the point is hands down hardest thing I had done up to that point (I keep telling myself all births are not that hard by the way, and that first births are often the worst! Oh Lord let that be true for me!) Then every day, no matter what sleep you got or didn’t get or if you are sick or healthy or busy or grumpy you feed, change, wipe off, etc etc etc. I couldn’t believe how capable of caregiving I could be even on bad nights where I was getting up at all hours, so tired and yet still mommying it up!
It is so strange to me that much of our society wants to devalue keeping a home and raising children for women. I have never been more “empowered”, I never knew I had so much spunk!
Of course, I don’t feel like wonder woman all the time. Lately, I have been struggling a bit with the monotony. I think the 24/7 nature of motherhood is something you can’t be prepared for. Even when someone else is watching Leia (which I have every Friday afternoon, a lovely young lady from our church watches Leia for me and it is great!) I am still Leia’s mom, I never really stop thinking about her. Leia herself is a great inspiration, her smile never fails to give me strength, but caring for a baby is a lot of intangible, messy work. I do try and check of projects here and there because I find it motivating, but reality is just feeding her, making sure she has her naps, keeping the clothes and diapers washed, that takes up a lot of time in the day. The same old tasks roll in and out, no matter how I feel or what is going on in the world. So I am learning to cope with this radically different way of living. The first 3 months of Leia’s life for me were kind of a magical honeymoon phase I think, she was a good sleeper as a newborn and I had no breastfeeding problems then either. I had been dreaming of being a stay at home mom for quite some time up until that point, so i really liked the change overall. Now, there is still nothing else I would rather do, but I struggle more and more to make myself not wear sweatpants everyday. (When I came home full time I kind of made an inward pact with myself, maybe two days a week would be sweatpant days, every other day you should at least put on jeans.)
Coping mechanisms I am using:
Spiritual disciplines. why is this so hard? I always feel so much better after I read the Word or pray? Sidenote though, love praying with Leia before she goes in her bed at night, I try and thank God for the things she would thank him for, and it makes me thankful for so many little things I wouldn’t think of.
Mommy fellowship. We have a great church with lots of moms, so park days and story days I try and be there!
Mommy movies. Mondays baby! As long as it doesn’t look like a TOTAL crapfest (and it has to be something I really expressly don’t want to see) I go to mommy movies. I don’t know what I will do when Leia is too old, the mommy movie era is short but golden in my eyes. I am still taking care of Leia, but it breaks up the routine!
walks. we have two dogs so not really optional, but they are good for leia and me, even when I don’t feel like it, always a good idea.
Of course the breaks when I can get them, like friday afternoons or times when daddy takes Leia. We do need more date nights I confess, David is just so busy right now and a lot of times when he is home we want to be home together as a fam, so gotta work on that.
Any other secrets anyone has to recharging in this unique calling of motherhood?