Thursday, November 11, 2010

Who Am I Kidding?

Ashtons Milk Tongue
YES...I'm loving my baby moon.  I'm getting the "normal" amount of sleep that you get with a newborn.  I'm enjoying the slower pace.  I'm learning how to manage outings with two.  I'm doing laundry, although not really keeping up with it, and I'm cooking dinners again.  Physically I feel better.  There is still some sensitivity around my incision area, but it's definitely healing.  My belly still looks like I'm 5 months pregnant, but that's just part of the deal.  I will say that I can't wait for the day when I can wear pants with a zipper, and when I can get back to yoga and Zumba!

I had this big idea that it was time to start work again.  Since I work from home and for myself I set my own schedule and pace.  I love that I have the flexibility and freedom to do this.  Being a work-from-home, stay-at-home mom has been a dream of mine since I started having children.  (Here's just a piece of my creative journey that helped get me to this place.)  I was starting to get the hang of it with one child, but now that I have another one I'm finding that just taking a shower - one where I can shave my legs AND dry my hair - is a great accomplishment for the week!

So needless to say my attempts at making Art Every Day have, um...been challenging.  I've felted a little, I've written some, and I've played with legos and play dough.  I even had my sister come over to watch Kestan so that I could enjoy some time in my art room.  And although Kestan had a great time playing with Aunt Lindsay, I became frustrated because I set expectations that were not getting met.  I wanted to paint and instead I spent most of the three hours nursing, cleaning and trying to just get myself ready for the day.  And that's when the feeling of being overwhelmed kicked in.

Caring for all the needs of two children, cleaning, cooking, running a business, visiting with friends, quality time with my husband, keeping up with finances, planning for the future and on and on and on.  Trying to "do it all" is for the birds.  I mean, who am I kidding anyway?

Frustrated?  Overwhelmed?  Stressed?  Is this how I want to spend my days?

And that's when I reminded myself, "YOU HAVE A NEWBORN, SHAN!"  Chill out.  Relax.  Get more sleep.  Let gooooo...  Enjoy yourself and your time with your babes - they are growing up so fast!

So the next day I didn't set any expectations or have any plans in mind.  I ended up spontaneously creating some new meals, felting some holiday crafts, playing with my boys and I even got a nap in.  No expectations and no planning is where I need to stay right now.  I find I'm way less frustrated, overwhelemd, and stressed when I stop setting myself up with unrealistic expectations.

And instead of having these big ideas of jumping right back into work (after only a month), or painting, or opening up my Etsy shop again, I've decided to let each day be my guide.  So today I returned to my knitting needles, not only because I find knitting to be relaxing and meditative, but because it's the one thing I can do while nursing!

HEY WORKING MOMS - I want to hear from you!  How do you balance the joy (and challenges) of motherhood with your creative and personal interests?

Your Personal Reflection:  Do you ever set expectations or make plans only to see it end in disappointment and frustration?  How can you continue to plan for the future but live in the present moment, with less expectations of how things "should" be?  Try going through your day today with less worry and more unplanned experiences - and see how you feel.


  1. I am a SAHM and it took me a long time to find myself. I feel totally blessed that I get to spend my days with my kids, but I realized that I was a better mother when I started doing some more for me. I exercise regularly, and in particular I run. It helps clear my head, gets me out of the house and gives me and the kids a sometimes much needed break from one another.

    Blogging is one of my new, favourite hobbies. It is something that I can do while the kids are around (most of the time)!

    I think having a supportive husband is what has allowed me to pursue some of my own interests.

    Great post! Enjoy your night.

  2. As always, I loved reading here today!
    This is a worry for me as this baby's arrival gets closer! I'm still working, and with a ten year old I've fallen into an easy rhythm of things. But I think adding a newborn, and only having a limited time to be at home before returning to work (even though only part time) will set me spinning. Already I'm fighting feeling rushed with only 7 weeks left before he gets here!

  3. I'm learning this lesson over again it seems every single day. I took the inside out course when I was home with my newborn and 3 year old... Needles to say, I got in a couple days of painting outside with them, haha. I love your resolution, and I'm learning to stay in that mindset as much as I can. Our kids grow up too fast to be stressed, I want to enjoy them!

  4. When my two daughters were babies I had to work in an office, so I took advantage of the 3 months leave after birth. It was good that I had only them to care about, but too early to leave them (fortunately to my mum's caring hands). Now they're 13 and 11! I don't work outside anymore... However, I still find myself frustrated sometimes when I feel the ... last in the row... Everybody's plans have to be first.
    So, I try to make the most important of my plans, imperative! And I plan ahead! A lot!
    For you... Yes, you have a newborn that's totally depending on you! Try a more loose way... But don't give up! Even small doses of things FOR YOU will help! They will soon become bigger!

  5. Yes! Big old crazy yes! I am forever setting too high expectations. I don't even know why except I have a slight perfectionist streak. Four children and just a natural "laziness" keeps me from going too nuts with it. But I do frustrate myself regularly.
    I think this is what I need, no expectations (or at least only 1 or 2) to free up my mind and my day.

    Peace, Ang
    PS: Just look at that happy baby. He is a doll!

  6. your need to be creative will find its way into your daily schedule... just like you're doing with your knitting. it's amazing how the complete lack of time somehow winds up being a guide of sorts... you figure out how to work around it. or if you're too tired, or frazzled, your body will tell you that you need to wait it out and pay attention to yourself and your family. i think the day to day approach just sounds perfect.


Thanks for sharing!