My new favorite time of day is around 6:45am every morning.
The house is dark. The world is still. There’s not a worry in my mind.
At this time, everyday, you’ll find me rocking my sweet baby girl, with her head on my chest. Sometimes she’s asleep, sometimes she’s quiet and content, sometimes she’s cooing and squealing with delight.
It is the absolute perfect start to my now crazy days as a full-time working mama. And it makes it all worth it.
Rewind to this week, my first week back at work and Cameron’s first week at “school.” She had a great week – her teachers love her (of course!), and other than a bit of evening fussiness she’s stuck to her normal sleeping schedule. (INSERTED HERE – until Saturday night, when she decided she no longer wanted to sleep through the night after doing it for 10 weeks straight… fingers crossed that’s not a new habit that’s here to stay!)
My week back at work wasn’t quite as traumatic as I thought it would be. I survived, unscathed, minus a few tears and under-eye bags. I think my exhaustion is mostly emotional – it sure is tough being away from her all day long!
The hub and I are still working on and tweaking our daily routines, though we’ve pretty much got it down to a science. Let’s just say it involves checklists – lots and lots of checklists.
Laminated, and I use a dry/erase marker
This is more for the hub than for me, since he takes her to school
I now also have weekly to-do lists for myself, mostly because mama-brain is even worse than pregnancy brain! (Yes, that's Halloween paper... don't judge.)
I’m able to get a good hour or so in with C in the mornings, feeding her, getting her dressed, playing with her, and – of course – rocking with her and singing her songs. I then put her back down in her crib to nap and I’m off to work. The hub gets her up for school around 8:00am. He drops her off, and I pick her up in the afternoons around 4:15pm or so. She usually sleeps in the car and for about 20 minutes once we get home, at which point I begin attempting to check things off of the nightly to-do list. Because the minute she wakes up, I’m ready to soak in every minute with her before bedtime.
She typically eats for the last time around 6:30pm or so, then it’s bathies, prayers, and into bed by hopefully 7:30pm. Hub ALWAYS does bathies, unless he has to work at night, then it’s all up to me. I don’t think I’m quite as good at the nighttime routine as he is and to be perfectly honest, I can tell Cameron Kate misses that time with her dad! But he misses it the most. On those nights, when he finally gets home from work, he immediately goes into the nursery to stare at his sweet baby girl. J
So, within the craziness of this week I thought a lot about the word “balance.”
What is balance anyway? Balance to one person probably has a totally different meaning than it does to another.
To me, balance is a lot different today than it was a year ago. Balancing my days used to mean kicking butt at work, exercising for about an hour a day (I was a very avid runner!), and getting a
gourmet, home-cooked meal totinos pizza on the dinner table tv trays by 7:30pm or so.
Now, my priorities are a lot different. The quantity of time I have with my sweet girl has obviously diminished since going back to work, so I’m much more aware of the quality. When I used to get home from work, I was ridiculously concerned with getting in a 5- or 6-mile run. Like, I had to run or I was going to lose my mind. And that’s really what exercising and running have always been to me – a way to clear my mind. These days, I haven’t quite figured out how to squeeze in running and exercising after the workday. Mostly because I’m exhausted, and also because I’d rather lie on the floor next to my baby girl, watching her change and grow and notice things she’s never noticed before. I’d rather wiggle her arms and legs while the Hokey Pokey plays in the background, blow raspberries on her belly, and watch her try to eat her toes. I’d rather read her stories, talk to her about her day and her new friends, and tickle the place where her cheek meets her neck.
And while I could probably get in my work out after she goes to bed, I’d rather relax on the couch with a glass of wine and a bag of peanut m&ms.
My new sense of balance, folks.
But as I said before, I’ve typically craved exercise for my brain rather than sticking to it for vanity purposes. And although my midsection is still quite a bit jiggly, at the end of this week I found my brain (not my muffin top) craving exercise like an addict craves drugs.
I had a long talk with my hub about how the heck to fit it in – hey, maybe I should add it to my checklist?!
He was very encouraging and offered to help out in anyway possible with C – but truth be told, I’m not ready to sacrifice my time with her. So, on Friday I began my waking-up-at-five-am-routine-so-I-can-get-on-the-treadmill-before-my-day-starts-however-I-can-only-walk-because-my-jugs-are-full-of-milk-and-have-you-ever-tried-running-with-two-bricks-on-your-chest?
But hey, speed walking on the treadmill for 25-ish minutes is better than nothing. And really, on Friday, my brain felt a lot more clear with just squeezing in that little bit of a workout.
This weekend I was able to get torn apart by Jillian Michaels in the wee hours of Saturday morning before C woke up, and I squeezed in a little 3 ½ mile run during her Sunday afternoon nap.
So I’m learning about my new sense of balance, and figuring out what my true priorities are. It’ll take some time, and change as time goes on and as we figure out our new routine.
But I have to say – I love this life. I love that my biggest worry these days is whether I’ll get the laundry put away. Or unload the dishwasher.
Because, I mean, really – who cares?
I do have to say that being a wife and a mom are the absolute best jobs in the world. I am just so motivated these days to try to be the best I can to my hub and Cameron (and Bailey, of course!). I’ve committed to making home-cooked meals – though we still eat off of tv trays (because, let’s face it, The Real Housewives of every city is a great way to zone out after a long day!). But Cameron Kate is just inspiring me to be a better person. She motivates me to want to do everything just a little bit better than I did the day before.
I just want to be the type of mom she’s proud of. The way I’m so proud of my own. If she feels for me half of what I feel for my own mama, I will have succeeded.
So I’ll continue to ponder the word balance and work on trying to figure out what it means to me. It’ll change, day-by-day. But for now, it means rocking with my sweet baby girl in the dark quiet of the mornings, and laying on her nursery floor in the evenings, enjoying a Blue Moon and singing about bears having a picnic in the woods. J
OBSESSED with her feet
Getting so strong!
Come on hair!!
Sitting in her Bumbo
A lazy Sunday
So sweet! (This picture was quickly followed by a diaper blowout!)
Holy moly, I have a foot!
A pic we sent to Daddy when he had to work at night
So sleepy after school