when all else fails, drink more coffee
Today was one of those days. I thought it was a funk but it was just a case of not enough caffeine…or something. Finally, after a tall glass of black iced tea AND a homemade iced coffee (that kicks Starbucks twice around the block) I finally snapped out of my lethargic slothfulness and got into gear. I think that was about five in the evening.
This is so out of character for me. I usually am full-gusto first thing in the morning and then run low on energy from three in the afternoon on. But I am not the same me anymore. I am having an identity crisis. Day is night and night is day. I am “The Full-Time Mom” now and it’s so strange. I know it’s been over a year since I assumed that title but it’s still not fitting me as snugly as my old titles. I read somewhere that happiness is the feeling of control over your day. I am happy but I am not feeling in control over my days. Baby Bug is in charge of my days now and she is cracking the whip.
I’m still working around the edges of my life as “The Full Time Mom” but those edges are very small unpredictable little snippets of time in fifteen minute increments or less. I spend a lot of my time watching Baby Bug and day dreaming of my old productivity. However, I’ve finally taught myself to be thankful if I manage to fit a whole shower in while she naps. It’s just a matter of changing my expectations. If I can take a shower AND check my email then that’s a super duper bonus day.
Sometimes at the end of the day I feel so haggard and ugly (my hair! it is sooo ugly!). Toby notices this and though it must be confusing to him, he hugs me and tells me that it will be over so soon. That’s something I forget so often. Everything passes. I thought I would be nursing forever and what do you know it’s sixteen months later and she is weaning herself! When I’m in the thick of it, I feel so overwhelmed as if my hard work is going to go on forever but in reality she is growing up and it will be over in a flash. I have to keep reminding myself of this. In five years, I will be able to do a lot of the things I used to do and maybe more. This is such a small sacrifice in the scheme of things. I just have to remember that.
But somedays I just feel run down. Then I drink a bunch of coffee, knock out a few illustrations or design projects and I feel like my old self again. I sure hope I’m not killing myself slowly with this caffeine induced second wind.
I should have added these earlier… I was thinking of these posts:
A sense of control from the Happiness Project and a very good post over at waiter rant that is down for maintenance and just won’t come back up. Keep checking though. It was sooo good.
I never get out and about to read blogs anymore but when I do, I’m always amazed that there is so much wonderful material to read. Who needs a newspaper or a library card any more!
I feel for you. I feel exactly the same as well. This part of our life is only minuscule though.
Just a few minutes ago I was just telling my hubby that I am not the same person I was before babe particularly in the morning. I also used to be so bouncy from the word go but now it takes me awhile to wake up, I am a bit grumpy and I don’t look too hot. He thinks that I have 18 months of sleep to catch up on.
You look SOOOO pretty in that photo.
oh my…i feel so much for you now. AND you don’t even know me! i wish i could come and help out while you nestled on the couch and had a good lie down
happiness is not about control, but more about getting to the end of your day feeling it was more a half full glass than a half empty one. go with the flow. if you need to sit back and relax, then do. if you are full of beans and want to achieve heaps, then do that too. baby bug is only here for so long, and then you move onto the next stage. look after yourself, and the rest of your life will do the same.
ps my kids are well grown now, and no matter their age, they are almost always as much trouble as they were when they were 2
The first thing I thought of when I saw your photo was “WOW, your hair looks so awesome and you look so great!”. Then you write about how your hair is so ugly, I totally disagree, but then I am a long hair girl and love long hair, so for what it’s worth I think it looks really great.
And yes, it will all come together when you least expect it. I say the magic age is three. All sorts of things come together and start happenening properly at three. And here I go adding a baby to the mix just when I am starting to get some freedom back, now that is crazy.
I agree with BeachMama. You look great! I like the long hair too.
You look fabulous! It’s not easy taking on the full time mom gig (especially if you have other aspirations for yourself; for me it’s being a better musician and composer). So, I totally understand what you’re feeling. I think for myself the important thing has been to try and focus on what I’m doing on a daily basis and try and really be present. Try not thinking about what I could be doing instead of this, because really, I chose this. I wanted to be an at-home mom to our little son (some days it’s: how and why?!!). It is startling, though, to realize that as with nursing and those early sleep deprived days that toddlerhood will also pass on. I don’t want to regret missing it, so I try and remind myself what that would feel like. We’re really lucky, us at-home mothers, to be able to witness our children on a daily basis, to be an active part of their days (even if sometimes I feel like an invisible spectator). I know my husband, after a whole day at an office, wishes he could be here even to see the not-so-wonderful moments I always grumble about. I always think he’s nuts to wish for that, but then I think, wow. For the most part, I haven’t missed a day of anything with my little boy. I’m giving him the best thing any little child could want: a caring person always present to experience the good, amazing, and not-so-good. What better person to have that “job” than a parent? I do make time for me (though doing that is like pulling nose hairs at times) during nap times, or bath time (I have my guitar and music stand parked right at the door way of the bathroom so I can always check in on him as he bathes and plays), or in the evenings after our bedtime ritual. Some days I have to accept that I don’t have time for my other endeavors. But as long as there are days (hours, half-hours) when I can that’s all that matters.
Toby is a good husband.
I too love the hair
ohmigosh! the first thing i thought (along with many readers apparently!) was how absolutely fabulous your hair looks! so jealous of how long it’s gotten. i can’t believe that as i read further, you thought you look bad… oh no! i love your fresh little cardigan (love! where did you find it!?), pink tee, carefree, wavy hair! you look refreshed on the outside even if you’re not on the inside. :) hang in there…
Am sending my smooches all the way from OMSHville.
You are beautiful and I’ve never thought otherwise – even with a camera atop your head.
Full time mom with creativity out the wahooo is fabulous.
And again with the smooches.
(Toby don’t be jealous, you’ll always be her main squeeze.)
little miss mel
I find it a good day if I have a new pair of panties on and my teeth brushed.
I think it is all about expectations and re-evaluating what those are once you do have babies/toddlers/children.
Sounds like you are doing so much with so little time. Kudos.
1) I never caught the coffee bug but my Mr. Coffee Iced Tea maker is put through, almost, a cycle a day
2) Toby’s a cool cat. It’s nice when support is there when you need it most
Ok, the next one makes me sound a bit metro but here goes…
3) The hair looks great. You’re one of those lucky ones who can pull off long or short and always look great
4) Even though my wife and I know a ton about kids, I know the rule: If you don’t have children, don’t offer up advice unless asked, hahaha, whatever. I do know that with you and Toby standing shoulder to shoulder, as a team, you’ll do just fine.
– I think I’ll drop downstairs and refill my iced tea! Have a great day!!
I am a SAHM too and my hubby always says if we are all still alive and kicking when he comes home, it’s been a successful day.
*SIGH* if only we had those same expectations for ourselves :-)
But my oldest is almost 6 and it does get easier, I promise
I’m de-lurking to say “hang in there,” cliche I know! I’ve been primarily a stay at home mom for a little over 4 years now and there are still days that I just want to climb out of my skin. Being a stay at home mom is by far the most difficult, challening job I have ever had and although I wouldn’t trade it for the world, it is exhausting and demanding. I try to always see the big picture, but you know what, there are some days that I don’t and it’s OK. I have two under two and a 4 year old and there are days that I think I will never get out again to do the things I love, including work professionally but four years has gone so fast I know that four more will too. I so can relate to your post. Thanks for putting it out there and giving me a place to comment. PS–It does get so much easier, my 4 year old is so much fun and easy to go places with–no planning, no diapers, no sippy cups, no snacks, the day does come!!
Ok, I thought your hair was short about three months ago… how long did it take to grow that long? Mine is curly so growing it long is an arduous process. I don’t have the patience.
Hang in there…there’s a light at the end of the tunnel
I say hack it all off. I found that I only take two minutes to do my hair so I got a two minutes haircut. I climb out of the shower, comb and go…not perfect but it looks the same no matter how much time I spend on it.
Wow, that is a lot of long comments!!! No time to read them though, sorry, just flew throught your post and it reminded me of the post I just wrote here
http://www.amommysramblings.blogspot.com . I miss work, that sense of control, but your job now is so much more important! And you are right, you can do it all and more in 5yrs. Maybe someone said that already, of so, oops, I should have taken the time to read the comments.
I’m echoing OMSH’s smooches. Before we know it, they’ll be leaving home…
Of course, years from now, you’re going to look back and think of these days as those special early bonding moments of motherhood!
Hi Jo. I just found out your blog accidently. I am falling in love with it.
I’ll stop by later…
Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow,
For babies grow up, we’ve learned to our sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs,
Dust, go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby
And babies don’t keep.
Reading that always makes me remember how fast they change. I hope your funk ends. And your hair really does look great.
You do look really pretty with long hair! Sorry it’s driving you nuts. I hope you can find peace with your hair. And I totally feel you on the life-after-kids-is-so-different thing. Don’t be too hard on yourself, though. You had more than thirty childless years before BB, and you’ve only had 15 months to adjust to the new life, which is changing every minute as she grows up! Seriously, parenthood is the most challenging thing in the world because success can’t be measured in the same ways as in a career. It’s a hard adjustment, and from what I read here, you’re doing just fine.