It has been 8 weeks since we brought baby Mia home from the hospital! The moment she was first placed on my chest has to be one of my top highlights from any experience. Labor is rough, and the 9 months leading up were no cake walk, but that one moment replaced the pain and discomfort. What a miracle!
Finally getting to hold her was one of the happiest moments of our lives!
The first few weeks were the hardest while my body was healing, emotions were intense, and everything was new, but we had generous support from friends and family. I had heard from other moms not to expect to have a schedule, and I was ok with that for a while as I savored every moment with our baby girl and recognized the time needed for my physical recovery.
I went back to teaching part-time 3 weeks after she was born. It sounds early (and it probably was) but since it’s a college class, I’m on campus for only a couple of hours 2x/week and the rest of the work is at home. I truly care about each student and wanted to stick with them throughout the semester. The longer I was away the harder it would be to catch up so I’m grateful for the smooth and quick transition back in. For a few hours a week I wear regular (non-yoga) pants, blouses, and have a pretty good idea of what I’m doing.
Now at the 8-week mark, my “planner” side is creeping up again and it’s unsettling not knowing what I’ll be able to do any given day. I used to love to block out each day by the half hour and plan every minute from the moment I woke up (with an alarm at the time I planned). It may sound neurotic but time-blocking is a highly effective way of getting things done so I recommend trying it out for time management! Of course for me at this time, it’s not a realistic option.
This photo below is from yesterday. After doing some school emails and reviewing my lecture before class, I squeezed in 20 minutes of painting while she was in the swing next to me (photo below) - half of those 20 minutes she was not happy about it. My mind keeps racing about when is it justified to leave her? If I’m doing something for someone else’s needs then yes, it’s fine. But if I’m working on art, is it selfish? It’s one of the many gray-area, matters of conscience that may vary for each person but for me I know I’m supposed to keep working at it. A friend sent me this great article months ago God Calls Me to Motherhood and Art. How Do I Do Both? about how this artist’s vocation is to do both. It was helpful to read about this artist’s struggle with unscheduled time as a mom and the reminder that though people may consider making art as personal and selfish, she doesn’t ultimately answer to them.
I imagine this struggle of balance will be ongoing. At some point I hear there are regular schedules with regular naps and bedtimes. We’re not there yet, and surprisingly as much as I like to plan, I really enjoy these newborn weeks of seeing her grow, learn, and develop. The days are unpredictable with 10 to 30-minute mini naps throughout the day some days, and other days she sleeps for hours at a time. Same story for night time - she may wake up only once one night, and then 3 times the next night.
Being her mama brings an unmeasurable amount of joy every single day. I considered “planner” as a core, unchanging part of my personality but letting go of some of that and taking things as they come is necessary in this season. A few weeks ago I even spontaneously went out to lunch with Page (my husband). Spontaneity was unheard of 8 weeks ago. I used to have to plan times to be spontaneous…I think motherhood will be a good change.