One of the greatest thing I struggle with is as A new mom is giving up the lack of a predictable schedule. Prior to having a baby, I'd come to the conclusion that there are 3 things I love having be part of my daily routine and the investment in the time I put into them just makes me a happier, saner and calmer person. They are: exercise, meditation and writing. I would also add that I am a happier person when I have sleep and feeling connected to my friends and family - whether through long, chatty emails or coffee/wine dates with friends or catching up on our day over dinner with Matt. However, I've never really struggled to make these last two a priority - it's the first three that I know I need in my life, but I let fall off the radar.
In my pre-baby life, I always somehow managed to make time for these things. I would figure out where they fit in, and when I was planning out my day, they became non-negiotables. I'd always get thrown for a huge loop whenever I'd have a major life change (moving, changing jobs, etc) and realize I needed to recalibrate how they fit in… but after a few months, I'd have put the puzzle pieces back together. What I've struggled with this time, is that it's not just a matter of a giving it a month or two to see where things fit in. Things change every single month. Sometimes they feel like they change every single week.
And truth be told, I'm the happiest and most content I've ever been in my life…. so the lack of these habits isn't as glaring as it's been in past times of my life. But I still miss doing them, and I know that as content as I feel right now, I'd probably elevate it to freakin' amazin' when I make more of a priority to fit those things in.
I consistently try, and I'll persistently try. About once a month, I find myself sitting down and roughly sketching out what Bo's schedule happens to be looking like that month. I'll write out his schedule, and then I'll try to figure out where I can fit my puzzle pieces in. For awhile, it was doing the elliptical during his first nap. Then, when it started getting warmer out, it became going for a walk/run in between his 2nd and 3rd nap. He's staying awake for longer in the morning, and I'm reevaluating whether it's finally a good time for us to be able to get a YMCA visit in between waking up and napping again. For awhile, I was writing and meditating in between his 5 am bottle and 7 am bottle. When he dropped the 5 am feed, I did a happy dance and of course, stopped waking up then. I wrote more at night, even though I know I'm more clear headed and creative in the morning. Now that he's sleeping 12 hours, I'm making myself go to bed at 10 and attempting to wake up an hour before him to write. Just when I figure it out though, I know it will change. It's just how it is now and how it's going to be. Accepting that has been my own personal point of resistance.
As a life coach, I was constantly (and am constantly) telling moms to make time to take care of themselves. I realize now, that what that really translates to is, "decide what other things you're going to give up, to fit the super important stuff in." Can't do it all, and that's that. Exercise, meditation and writing are important to me. Keeping my kid happy and well-fed and well-rested are important, as are feeding my husband a healthy meal (since ya know, he's off at work every day allowing me to stay home with my darling boy), and keeping the house…relatively clean. You can't eat off my floors and if you rang my doorbell, I'd quickly sweep a pile of half-way folded laundry into the bedroom and shut the doors. I rarely do the crafts I pin on Pinterest and I'm coming to embrace air-dryer hair. I'm okay with all this. I'm great with all this in fact… I fully recognize that my "problem" (trying to figure out when to run or blog) is an indication of a pretty fortuitous life.
I read a quote one time about babyhood being an "agonizingly short period of time." I already feel the sands of time slip through my fingers when I look at my quickly growing up baby, and I know I'll look back on these days and feel like they passed in a blink. When I think about this, I feel less anxious about trying to fit all the puzzle pieces back in. There will be plenty of other seasons in my life where they fit in effortlessly.