Monday, January 28, 2013

Purge it.

I've been rampaging through my house, purging unwanted things and trying to improve our household organization. It's such a great feeling, as Christmas seems to bloat a house with new belongings.

The idea of a minimalist wardrobe has always intrigued me, so I figured I would start working my way down to having such a wardrobe. I made a list of things I absolutely need to have and sat on it for a few days. Facing so many too-small items, many of which were brand-new shortly before pregnancy, was bound to be difficult.

I am a solid twenty pounds from fitting into most of those things. I didn't even bother to pack them away when I was pregnant or after Avery was born because I thought the weight would fall off. And I was surely going to get back to being very fitness- and nutrition-conscious after my 6-week post-partum check up. The unfortunate reality is that neither weight loss nor fitness has happened. The only time I can bring myself to care about my weight is when I see a photo of me, or when I am trying on pants and get size-shock. Otherwise, it doesn't gross me out when I look in the mirror, nor am I terribly self-conscious about it. I haven't had any of the "I'm too big" meltdowns that I had before pregnancy and motherhood.

It's okay to let go of the clothes that don't fit. It's also okay to let go of the clothes that fit but make me feel frumpy. Letting go of things sized smaller is not the same as admitting personal defeat on weight loss. It means that I don't need to face a daily reminder of what I am not, and that I deserve to have clothing that fits and makes me feel nice.

I signed up for a 5k fun run today. It's in June, so I have just over 5 months to go from couch potato to runner. I'm not promising myself weight loss because, frankly, I'm not ready to put in the work to make it happen. What I'm doing is promising myself I'll be healthy. That I will give myself the gift of more energy and less anxiety.  That I will be capable of running around with my child. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Being a Grown-Ass Woman

So it's Thursday of my first week as a homemaker, and my first week of getting my shit in gear. This week, I acted as a responsible adult (except for one small PMS-triggered mini-tantrum) and did stuff. Like, stuff other than/concurrent with mothering. And you know what? It's not half bad. The important thing to mention is that I still was responsive to Baby Bird, and since much of this was done with him in his carrier or in his high chair right next to me, I was probably actually more responsive than if we were just sitting around all day.

  • I meal-planned on Tuesday
  • I grocery-shopped avec Baby Bird Wednesday
  • We attended a story time at the library on Wednesday and our cloth-diapering playgroup today
  • I have done multiple loads of laundry, including stripping the diapers.
  • I strapped Baby Bird into his Beco carrier and vacuumed. I'd been afraid of doing this because I HATED the vacuum as a small child so I assumed he would wig out. Instead, he chatted to me and to the vacuum, enjoying himself thoroughly.
  • I cleaned the kitchen roughly 80,000 times. Between grabbing quick food for myself and feeding Baby Bird, I cannot keep my kitchen clean. It's a perpetual mess. I confess, it drives me crazy to have a messy kitchen.
  • I actually am cooking a meal right now.
  • I MADE MY HUSBAND'S LUNCH FOR WORK. I literally NEVER make him his lunch because I hate how it feels to make a man's lunch. He is a grown-ass man, he can pack his own damn lunch. But this morning, he got up super early to shovel and he was running later getting back in. I wanted to make sure he'd have enough time to get ready so I made his lunch and his tea in the travel mug.
  • I'm sure I've done more, and I could visit my weekly goals list to find out what the forgotten items are, but I don't feel like it.
So. It looks like after ten months of slovenliness and excuses, I am finally figuring out that I'm perfectly capable of running my household without neglecting my mothering duties. #Winning.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Unthinkable Has Happened

After months of heart ache, anxiety, and tears, we reached a decision. I am now officially a stay at home mom. Had you asked me before Baby Bird's birth what the chances of me doing the stay at home mom thing were, I'd have laughed and given you an emphatic ZERO! But, turns out these little tykes worm their way into your heart for the better.

We notified the daycare on Friday and my employer yesterday. It was freeing. I happy-cried my whole way home from giving my resignation. I could go on at length about how we arrived at our decision and how amazingly happy I am about it, but you get the picture.

Now that I am officially unemployed, it's time to give my life some structure. I've been living in a state of transition since Baby Bird was born. I seem to live two extremes - either extremely organized and structured or no structure at all. This is largely because I get stressed out when I make plans and they don't work out.  I've been relying heavily on K. to do things like meal planning and grocery shopping - this was necessary while I was doing full-time college on maternity leave or else I'd never have survived. But now homemaking and mothering IS my job, so it's time to make it work.

Here is how I'm giving life some structure for now:

  • Making a weekly goals list. I'm calling it a goals list because to-do list sounds very "must". If it's a goal, I'll be happy to meet it but not devastated if life has other things in store for me that week.
  • Take over the meal planning and grocery shopping. I will probably start participating in the cooking again, too. My circadian clock goes haywire from 4-6pm, and I have a difficult time acting like a grown up during those hours so we'll see about that one.
  • More exercise. This is a nebulous goal for now. I've been so lazy for so long that I'm starting slow - my goal is 4 x 30 minute walks by January 30th.
  • Playdates - I will make it my goal to have Avery attend at least two playgroups per week.
I know it is going to be a struggle for me to combat my all-or-nothing attitude when it comes to accomplishing things around the house. None the less, I have allowed myself to be overwhelmed and I think I have some learned helplessness going on at this point. It's time to step up to the plate and act like the adult that I am.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

My Mama Manifesto

  1. I believe first and foremost in trusting my motherly instincts to guide me, especially in difficult times.
  2. I respond to my child's needs to the best of my ability. I do not believe in letting my children cry without comfort.
  3. Silliness always has a place in my home.
  4. I believe in breastfeeding for my family, but I don't judge you on how you feed yours.
  5. I do what works for my family, regardless of how many times I may have said I would 'never' do something.
  6. I believe in being a confident mother who is passionate about mothering.
  7. I prefer to approach children's health from a holistic point of view and using natural solutions where possible.
  8. I will foster a sense of independence in my child by fulfilling his needs, allowing him to explore, and guiding his development. This does not mean allowing him to do as he pleases, as wants are different than needs.
  9. My house is filled with clutter because it is filled with love first and foremost - that is to say that I don't care too much for the housekeeping when I can be spending quality time with my little man.