My life has been crazy ever since my second child was born in October. In addition to the usual new-baby craziness, I also have chosen to pump breastmilk for about 2 hours per day, since I wasn’t willing to go through the pain of direct nursing. I could never have anticpated how challenging this would be.
Most days, it is nearly impossible to even leave the house (unless we have no choice), because it is so difficult to find a time when my oldest isn’t napping, my baby isn’t napping, or my baby doesn’t need to be soothed into a nap in the next 45 minutes. It is a nasty winter here, and baby Mark takes many short naps each day. If his nap rhythm gets disturbed, there is a high price to pay the rest of the day. If I do manage to dash out to the store with both kids in tow, it is a race to get home and get baby Mark down for his nap before he becomes overtired and difficult to soothe.
Now, at 13 weeks postpartum, I am starting to try to take care of myself again. I joined Weight Watchers a few weeks ago and am slowly working on the 30 lbs I need to lose. As I explained to my husband, we can spend $40 per month on Weight Watchers, or we can start to revamp my entire wardrobe! Fortunately, he is very supportive, which makes it much easier to stay on-plan.
I have pulled out some exercise DVDs and have started with a very easy one: Leslie Sansone Walk the Walk. There was a time in my life when I wouldn’t have bothered with something so easy, but I have learned the value of starting small and simple — BabySteps, as FlyLady puts it.
Each day I make a good effort at my FlyLady routine (clean kitchen, shine sink, shine bathroom, one load of laundry, swiffer floors), and congratulate myself for what I do manage to get done instead of beating myself up for not having a cleaner house. If I can tackle something further, such as decluttering a drawer or a surface, so much the better.
This is not an easy time in my life, to be sure, but I am thankful to have a wonderful husband, two healthy kids, and the opportunity to be at home with them full-time. As with so many things in life, the most important thing is the attitude that I bring to my daily struggles.
To all the moms and dads who are reading this, what do you do to take care of yourself? What are the attitudes, sayings, etc., that help you get through your day?