Date Night

Date night activities:

-Grocery Store

-Pharmacy

-Mexican Food!  (Husband says I shouldn’t feel bad eating so much Mexican food; Mexicans eat it every meal.  We are going to turn into burritos.)

Air

There is something I’ve struggled with on this mom journey – air.  I gave myself the space and freedom to determine whether I wanted to stay at home with my son or go back to work.  This has been both freeing and terrifying.  Sometimes options can be paralyzing.

At times, being a mom to an infant has felt all wrong to me.  I sometimes physically feel like I can’t breathe, that there’s no air and my lungs are constricting, and I wish for the hours to go by faster.  I love my son completely, but I feel out of place sometimes and wish for when we can communicate differently, via words… when we can explore things, like playgrounds and museums and science and art and food and places and sports and the outdoors.  It is often strangely exhausting for me to make sounds and noises and a maximally energized, enthusiastic, loving face, which I’m under the impression is what an infant needs.

There.  I said it.  Mommyhood has at times induced feelings of claustrophobia and alienation.  Now I await the giant, perfect mother in the sky who looks down upon all moms with judgment to tear me to shreds with her prickly, sharp, eviscerating words of guilt.  This perfect judging mom constantly looks over my shoulder, and I’ve read her disciples’ words in the comments sections on the interwebs.  Shiver.

My hubs said that everyone has an age of parenting that they are cut out for, that some people are just better with babies and others better with older children.  I wonder if others feel like they are just not cut out for infants, or if it’s just me.

Outside of mommery, I feel like there’s a great deal in the adult world that I haven’t done yet that I urgently want to do.  I’ve always been big on being true to myself, and the fact that I feel so strongly about wanting to get out and do these things feels like something I should pay attention to.  In other areas of life when I’ve felt all wrong for something, I’ve met people who feel all right for it, and I feel deeply reassured that they should do it and I should NOT.  Momming feels like an area where it’s not okay to feel this way, but I’ve vowed to speak the truth in this journey, so there you have it.

The weekend is coming, time for a breather.

Writing and Innovation

Some years ago, I read a book called Why Not?, which spoke of the process of innovation as one that required the critical skill of NOTICING.  Noticing is when innovation occurs.  We typically go through our days tolerating things that don’t work well rather than noticing them and then thinking of ways to improve them.  The authors encouraged approaching everyday tasks differently to try to regain that precious experience of doing things for the first time.  For example, brushing your teeth with your left hand.  Because once we’ve done something a million times, we just adapt and the insight is gone.

Lately, I’ve been thinking that the process of writing is really much the same.  We go through life oftentimes on auto-pilot.  But if we can NOTICE the moments, NOTICE the frustrations, NOTICE the little epiphanies, well, then, we have something to write about.  Parenthood has inspired me to write, and I think it’s in part because I’m doing so many things differently, my auto-pilot mode is just off.

Interestingly, in addition to ideas for blog posts, I’ve had a slew of product ideas as well.  The two seem to go hand in hand on this new journey.

Tabula Rasa

When I was pregnant, a mom told me that there are books about child rearing that are so dogmatic and conflicting that if you read them you will feel guilty ALL THE TIME.  This sounded awful to me, so instead, I avoided all books on childrearing.  Well, at least the ones that don’t suggest that there are multiple acceptable ways to rear a child.

This has meant that I truly have no idea what I’m doing… I’m not even following someone else’s tested dogma!  But baby seems happy even though mama is tired.  I’ll figure it out eventually, I’m sure of it.

Missed That Memo – Pump Parts

Did you know you can refrigerate pump parts and put them in a Ziploc bag after use for later use?  Just in the same way you refrigerate milk.

This would have saved SO MUCH TIME washing pump parts.  How did I miss this memo?  Please send other such memos directly to me.

Fast Twitch Muscle

I spent years building up my slow twitch muscles around the house.  Dirty dishes and messy floors?  My response? Easy nonchalance, because why not live in the moment and clean later?

Very quickly with a newborn my fast twitch muscles were reignited.  I had a soccer coach from Europe who would always tell us to keep our “head on a swivel.”  Meaning, open up your field of vision so you can see the whole field and anticipate what will happen next.

Surviving life with a newborn is all about anticipation.  Basic harmony was restored when both the hubs and I would spring to life at the slightest need for a task to be done.  The absolute best is when you have a veteran mother around who anticipates your needs – water and calories so you can keep up your milk production, clean pump parts so you can pump away, taking the baby for sustained periods so you can nap.

I’m not sure how long this fast twitch reflex will last, but I am promising myself to definitely use it whenever I’m in the presence of a family with an infant.

Classifications

A fellow mom recently classified Mom Time as time when you’re on your own and time when you have help. Oh so true! Time when it’s just baby and me is full of outrageous, desperate improvisation, such as:

  • the fastest bathroom trip ever while continuing to talk to/sing to the baby to let him know I have not left him
  • showering while narrating the shampoo process to baby in a bouncy seat to keep his attention and fill his brain with words
  • stuffing my face with a quick snack (any “vehicle” food plus Nutella) while holding a 16 pound squirmy baby
  • the chin to bottle maneuver coupled with a desperate/careful/awkward grab for coffee/water/Pinterest/Pandora (parents, you know what I’m talking about)
Time with help is filled with fully present actions, such as showering/going to the bathroom/eating at your own leisurely pace.  What an incredible indulgence!

Classifications are different as a mom. For example, I now conceive of the Objects in my home in two classes – things that have been spit up/milked on (the chair, couch, rug, my shoulders, the inside of my sleeve, my silk blouse, onesies) and things that have poop juice on them (onesies, the couch, the chair, my shirt, my jeans, the comforter). Please share any further classifications you might have.