You’re a new mom. You live under a new schedule, one you can’t control. Make whatever plans you like for your day or even the next hour, but beware that your baby’s hunger supersedes any of your plans. All it takes is one hungry squeal from his lips for my body to go into feeding mode, pulling me away from whatever I might be trying to accomplish. It’s like babies have productivity radar. The moment you sit down to fold that load of laundry or write that quick work email, baby awakes from his deep slumber like he hasn’t eaten in days. Even if you wanted to ignore his cry for a moment so you could mark one teeny thing of your list, the ache in your body caused by his precious cry grabs all of your attention.
Your to do list grows and grows, and if you’re like me, the lack of checks at the end of the day leaves you feeling disappointed. But if I’m honest with myself, I should realize I’m not going to get that report done for my client when I can’t even finish a load of laundry in a day. Sure, I make plans for when he is sleeping, but I’ll get distracted with things not on my list like, I don’t know, eating. I tend to forget to do that unless my husband brings a plate and sits it in front of me. Oh yeah. That is another feeding queue for baby. Anytime hot food hits a plate my little one decides he’s hungry, no matter how I try to strategically plan feeding times. I’ve tried feeding at the table during dinner, but I still can’t get settled and eat fast enough to enjoy a hot meal.
And then there’s sleep. I’m not sure when that’s supposed to happen. I never plan for it, but always end up there at some point in the day. I suppose I just push it off, focusing on that joke of a to do list, until my head is quite literally too heavy to hold up. They say sleep when the baby sleeps, but if you do that, you’d never get anything done. When do you eat? Go to the bathroom? Take a shower? Shower. One of those sure would be nice. You know you’re a new mom when you can’t remember how many days it’s been since you last showered, but you know exactly how many wet diapers your baby has had and how long they last fed on which boob. Priority shift.
Even though I’m not quite adjusted to this new world order, I’m slowly learning, with the help of my husband, that my new job is being a mom to baby. My new to do list is feeding 10-12 times a day, making sure he burps, rocking him to sleep, comforting his cries, and somewhere in there, feeding myself. My new measure of success is my son’s weight gain which, by the way, has been quite impressive!
Even though God is slowly giving me a new perspective on productivity, I’m still struggling to truly embrace this new job description and the success metrics that come with it. I mean, how many jobs can one have? It’s clear that baby is my #1 job, but what about all those other roles I play? Mom, wife, aunt, friend, daughter, writer, and the big one, company owner :-/
How do I be everything to baby right now, and still have something left for myself, my family and my job, the one that pays the bills? It’s overwhelming and quite frankly, it seems impossible. No, it is impossible. I’m just going to have to accept the fact that lots of to dos will not get done. My house will be dirty. I will eat cereal more than I like. My husband will be neglected. Birthday parties will be missed. New clients will have to wait. And the list goes on. But this season is only temporary and order will be restored soon. Or at least that’s what I’m going to tell myself.