Adventures in Motherhood: The Little Things

Enjoy every moment...don't sweat the small stuff...sleep when the baby sleeps...etc.  New parents hear this stuff constantly...you smile and file it away...some in 'good advice' and much in the 'shut the hell up' file.  You pour over baby parenting books and talk about "crying it out" with other parents.  You can have all sorts of plans, but will those plans hold up in the actual moment?

Perhaps reading all these books and discussing parenting methodology ad nauseam is only setting new parents up for failure due to unreal expectations? I certainly experienced this sense of hopeless disappointment in the hours just before my delivery.  It was only when I recognized and accepted the reality of that day and let go of the imagined event in my head that I was able to move forward. I then did what needed to be done in order to enjoy things and get to the ultimate goal (get the epidural so you can quit screaming bloody murder and get that beautiful baby in your arms happy and healthy). 

In the weeks since the baby was born, I have lived many of these idioms.  Yes you try to "sleep when the baby sleeps"...but as a friend pointed out to me, do you also "clean when the baby cleans?"  "Shower when the baby showers?"...  I have also literally cried over spilled milk (when you spend a half hour pumping and only get like 1 oz and then you spill that ounce all over yourself and your down comforter...you are gonna cry-yei-yei like a big girl).  I have definitely freaked out about little things too (i.e. losing the baby's hospital bracelet resulted in an epic meltdown and tremendous guilt).  Perhaps the biggest thing that I have learned is to alter (not lower) my expectations. I find I am much happier when I go into a day with soft goals.  If I am able to finish a project...fantastic! If not...then it gets moved to the next day. Anything else and I tempt disappointment.  I am much more relaxed and able to enjoy those little moments. 

Now I still need to get a lot of stuff done.  So whenever I do have 10 minutes, I make the most of it. I've become very efficient and I'm able to multitask like I've never multitasked before.  When I do have a project deadline or something I need to get done in a day, I have to make arrangements for some "mommy downtime" and stick to that plan.  Now I am sure that all this efficiency will change when the boy starts getting mobile.  So for now I'll make the most of it.  But you also need to forgive yourself too.  There have been days where I have allowed myself a much deserved 'lie in' on the couch with the wee lad binge watching Scandal.  It was definitely not time 'wasted'...(it was 'handled;)).

Tonight the baby is sleeping in his own room and in his crib for the first time instead of the bassinet in our bedroom.  We didn't plan it.  We just went with the flow and tried it out. So far so good. No tears or drama. I am sure it can't be this easy and that we are about to get whacked with a mega parenting obstacle shortly.  But you can only do your best, educate yourself, listen to the advice, and then roll with it.  It is messy...life is messy.  Life is going to barf on your new shirt ten minutes before you have to leave for work.  You could freak...or you could grab a wet one and wipe up the spit then hide the stain with a brooch. Roll with it.

This is not something that comes easy to me. I have been an often scattered person functioning at erratic levels of efficiency with high stress levels at times.  But I guess this little fella coming along just rewrote the code in my brain...my goals have shifted...and I don't miss the old me or the old life.


And as my karmic reward tonight, while plugging in the video baby monitor by my bed for the first time, I found the little lost hospital baby bracelet in a pouch on my nightstand where I keep my chapstick and bobby pins.  It's the little things y'all....enjoy those little things.  Savor the small stuff.
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