YES…I’m loving my baby moon. I’m getting the “normal” amount of sleep that you get with a newborn. I’m enjoying the slower pace. I’m learning how to manage outings with two. I’m doing laundry, although not really keeping up with it, and I’m cooking dinners again. Physically I feel better. There is still some sensitivity around my incision area, but it’s definitely healing. My belly still looks like I’m 5 months pregnant, but that’s just part of the deal. I will say that I can’t wait for the day when I can wear pants with a zipper, and when I can get back to yoga and Zumba!
I had this big idea that it was time to start work again. Since I work from home and for myself I set my own schedule and pace. I love that I have the flexibility and freedom to do this. Being a work-from-home, stay-at-home mom has been a dream of mine since I started having children. (Here’s just a piece of my creative journey that helped get me to this place.) I was starting to get the hang of it with one child, but now that I have another one I’m finding that just taking a shower – one where I can shave my legs AND dry my hair – is a great accomplishment for the week!
So needless to say my attempts at making Art Every Day have, um…been challenging. I’ve felted a little, I’ve written some, and I’ve played with legos and play dough. I even had my sister come over to watch Kestan so that I could enjoy some time in my art room. And although Kestan had a great time playing with Aunt Lindsay, I became frustrated because I set expectations that were not getting met. I wanted to paint and instead I spent most of the three hours nursing, cleaning and trying to just get myself ready for the day. And that’s when the feeling of being overwhelmed kicked in.
Caring for all the needs of two children, cleaning, cooking, running a business, visiting with friends, quality time with my husband, keeping up with finances, planning for the future and on and on and on. Trying to “do it all” is for the birds. I mean, who am I kidding anyway?
Frustrated? Overwhelmed? Stressed? Is this how I want to spend my days?
And that’s when I reminded myself, “YOU HAVE A NEWBORN, SHAN!” Chill out. Relax. Get more sleep. Let gooooo… Enjoy yourself and your time with your babes – they are growing up so fast!
So the next day I didn’t set any expectations or have any plans in mind. I ended up spontaneously creating some new meals, felting some holiday crafts, playing with my boys and I even got a nap in. No expectations and no planning is where I need to stay right now. I find I’m way less frustrated, overwhelemd, and stressed when I stop setting myself up with unrealistic expectations.
And instead of having these big ideas of jumping right back into work (after only a month), or painting, or opening up my Etsy shop again, I’ve decided to let each day be my guide. So today I returned to my knitting needles, not only because I find knitting to be relaxing and meditative, but because it’s the one thing I can do while nursing!
HEY WORKING MOMS – I want to hear from you! How do you balance the joy (and challenges) of motherhood with your creative and personal interests?
Your Personal Reflection: Do you ever set expectations or make plans only to see it end in disappointment and frustration? How can you continue to plan for the future but live in the present moment, with less expectations of how things “should” be? Try going through your day today with less worry and more unplanned experiences – and see how you feel.