It’s such a cliche question, so for that I apologize. But these words have never been more intensely felt than since the moment I became a mother. I can’t believe Ella is almost seven months old, of course. It feels like seconds ago that I was chowing down on nightly BLT’s and horrifying Dan with each pregnancy food craving more ridiculous than the last. But even more than that, I sometimes don’t understand what I DO all the time. I checked out several books from the library that have sadly not left my coffee table since coming home with me. This blog has been terribly neglected, to my chagrin. I don’t have a full-time job. What am I doing all the time?
I’ve given myself permission to fully immerse in playtime with Ella, for one thing. When we’re building with blocks or singing songs with her dolls, I don’t look at my phone, computer or anything other than her sweet, smiling face.
We go for walks, read books and sit on the front porch together. When she naps, I work furiously so that I can go back to focusing on her when she wakes.
When others take charge of Ella (my mom, Dan, etc.) I frequently take the opportunity to work, since that part of my life is never truly done for the day. A freelancer can always do more, answer another email, write a blog post, conduct research. Sometimes, the dishes need to be done or the carpets vacuumed. And when all that is done, and I have a bit of free time, I don’t know WHAT to do with myself.
I spend time on Pinterest, looking for brilliant ways to decorate Ella’s room (once we finally buy a house!) I watch TV (super mindless shows, like Real Housewives of New York City, because it’s all I have the brain capacity I have left by that point). On occasion, I read, though not nearly as often as I would like to or probably should. Ditto on that statement for working out, though we do try to take a walk through our forest preserve almost every day.
But regardless of what happens to pass it, the time slips by, and when I take the time to take stock at the end of a week, one of Ella’s “month birthdays,” or any other time, I wonder when I will have time to accomplish more. This life is so different than the one we lived before Ella where Sunday afternoons were frequently spent watching movies or shows on Netflix (Breaking Bad, anyone?) I don’t adjust as well to change as some other people, so it’s taken me about seven months, but I am finally starting to understand my new life and how I fit into it. Happiness and excitement are found are new corners and I have to discover different ways to recharge my batteries. I’m probably not going to get eight hours of sleep again for a looooong time, so I have given up on those kinds of pipe dreams, and instead found ways to balance it out (like drinking double the amount of coffee!).
I’ve never been so capable of living in the moment and truly enjoying each stage that Ella goes through (though of course I occasionally hope for quick passage through teething or night feedings). So even though I can’t believe how quickly everything is happening, I’m not disappointed because I don’t feel I’m missing anything for once.