… There’s a lot of reasons Tim & I chose to take a year off but one of the big ones for me was to be present for Evelyn. It’s been a little over a month of diving into being a full time mom and I feel like this time has given me the focus I needed to grow in this new role.
With 9 months of parenthood under my belt, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’ve grown as a mom. I think back to when we were pregnant and the daunting task of setting up our baby registry. I had no idea what babies were supposed to sleep in or even how to change a diaper – I knew you’d need a diaper and a wipe but what about all the butt creams I was seeing? It was overwhelming!
When she was a newborn leaving the house was so overwhelming. Trying to think of everything we’d need for Evelyn. Not a thought on if I looked presentable, that was already off the table – either we got out of the house OR I could be showered & look presentable at home. It was one or the other.
The panic every time she cried. Just feeling at a total loss for what to do. How to get her to sleep. How to soothe her. What she needed. And it’s taken me a total of five months to navigate how to set a routine.
Tim surprised both of us by being the one who turned out to be the natural at this parenting thing. He didn’t always know the answer but he wasn’t intimidated to figure it out, to troubleshoot. For me, I feel like I just panicked and shrinked back. In LA I let him take the lead with her from getting her to take a bottle to sleep training. He knew what each of her cries meant – what meant she had a wet diaper, or that she was hungry or tired. I felt exhausted, overwhelmed and out of my league.
Then there was the sleep deprivation. Tim was used to functioning on little sleep after years in a job with long hours and wake up times of 3 or 4am. But for me I’m one of those people who actually needs a solid 8-10 hours of sleep. Also, not getting enough rest is an immediate trigger for me with my migraines. We were so fortunate to have so much help from family when Evelyn was a newborn but I feel like it also meant I missed out on a lot of those early stages. It was a blur of waking to nurse her, and then passing her off to someone and trying to get an hour of rest before the next nursing session. Tim took almost all the night and early morning shifts. Research says your body producing breastmilk exerts a lot of energy, then there’s healing from birth. But it bugged me that I couldn’t get myself up in the mornings. On the rare times I’d try, it would mean I was too tired to function the rest of the day.
Then there was the aspect of being a working mom and feeling like you always had one foot in and one foot out. There were days I killed it at work, jamming through the to-do list, but it meant the home & family list got pushed aside. Or vise versa. Weekends were spent with family, but still feeling the need to check and respond to emails. And then the impending doom on Sunday evenings – trying to balance meal prepping for my family and prepping for the work week and Monday meetings.
I always felt like I was spinning, spiraling and constantly dizzy – not being able to focus on the things I wanted most – from my own mental and physical health, to being present for Evelyn, to focusing on building my relationship with my husband, and then my side passions like the blog.
There’s a lot of reasons Tim & I chose to take a year off but one of the big ones was to be present for Evelyn. It’s been a little over a month of diving into being a full time mom and I feel like this time has given me the focus I needed to grow in this new role.
This past month off has been a game changer. I’ve been able to take that step back, slow down on all the thoughts and to-dos spinning in my brain and get to know my daughter. I found a schedule that’s finally working for us. She’s officially taking an hour to 1.5 hour naps if we stick to her daily routine. We have our routine of walks to the park, afternoon playdates and backyard play time. She’s starting to take steps, blow kisses and has three more teeth coming in (for a total of 7!) and I’ve been there to witness all of it. I’m so thankful for the ability to take this time and build what I hope will be a strong foundation and bond in our relationship.
This week we successfully did a few back to back errands with zero melt downs. I had toys, a teething cookie, and water bottle ready for her. I planned the errands around her nap time. I successfully changed a dirty diaper in the trunk of my car in the Target parking lot. And I drove home from a successful day out with some serious mom swagger. And then I was about to get on the highway and it occurred to me I didn’t remember actually strapping her into her car seat. I had to pull over on the side of the road right before the on ramp – turns out I had buckled her in, false alarm. But that’s motherhood for you – awesome highs and plenty of lows to keep you humble.
Hope you enjoyed the Mommy & Me outfits as well. I sure did!