Another thing that was surprising was how many times I had to hear certain pieces of advice in order for them to stick.
One example was when people would say that my main job was “to feed the baby” or “keep the baby alive” or something similar. It took me weeks and weeks to be able to adjust my daily expectations.
|One day at a time...|
The problem is that I kept thinking my plans were fairly modest and reasonable.
Was it too much to ask to be able to brush my teeth before noon, take a shower every once in a while, cook a simple meal? Everyone was saying “no (new) mother can do it all.” Well, I wasn’t trying to do it all. I thought I had planned pretty simple activities, and they were still too much to handle.
I have to admit that social networking played a role here. Mothers, I’m not blaming you, but the newborn photo shoots are hard to look at! Not the photos themselves, but the idea of it. You got the whole family dressed and dolled up and maybe even out the door to a studio somewhere, and the baby behaved himself, and then you probably even printed some up for a Christmas card. I know there is more to the story, but that’s what I see when I look at the finished product. Just a moment of weakness for me.
I wrote up a list of important yet manageable tasks and put them on the refrigerator. I still didn't always do them and I still wanted to do big projects like unpacking everything from our recent move. But the list was supposed to have a sort of authority, commanding me to STAY ON TASK.
It took a long time to realize that there wasn't a deadline for this kind of life. Well, you CAN be too late to perform certain acts of love, I suppose. But the dishes will still be there tomorrow.