It's been 7.5 months since my life was turned on it's head when Porter was born. The time has passed so quickly and I've enjoyed every moment, but I certainly haven't been in my right mind for most of that time. The initial hormone ebbs and flows, lack of sleep, no routines and general uncertainty that comes with a new baby makes for a somewhat limited view of the world. Thankfully that's all changing.
In previous posts I've mentioned possibilities on the horizon, and one was my new job with Heart Hugger. The other opportunity came in the way of a possible new home purchase. While walking my neighborhood a few months ago I came upon a lovely house that was for sale and I made an inquiry about it. Once we took the tour, it became a very appealing home for us to potentially raise our family in. It was big, had a pool, and needed just enough updating so that we could make it our own. I even coined it the "barbie dream home." We went through all the steps to get financing and everything else a family needs to consider when buying a new home, but in the end we decided that now isn't the right time for us to make this kind of a commitment.
What did come out of the "barbie dream home" were many conversations and realizations about where we are now and where we're headed in the future. We reevaluated our finances, which was a bit of a shock to my system and had some really difficult discussions about money. In the end our little family came out on top and we're stronger than ever. I also realized that while the "barbie dream home" would have been pretty awesome for us to have, what I really looked forward to was doing something new and different. My mind and body were ready to start getting back into a routine and back in shape.
For my new mommy friends who are reading this, I'm sure there are new mom's who get back into the swing of life much faster than 7 months post-partum, and there are no doubt women who take longer than that too. Even though your life with baby has changed so very much, rest assured that when you're ready, life is right there waiting for you to take the reigns and start getting involved again. When you do, there is such a greater appreciation for what you're capable of, for the moments you have with your own thoughts and for how truly blessed you are, right now in this moment. Here are the ways that I know I'm gettin' my groove back:
- I decided that I was ready for ME time. So I joined the Y and started working out 4 times a week while Porter stays home with his dad. Not only has this been great for my mental and physical health, but Luke also really enjoys the time he gets to spend with his son.
- Getting a part time job that I can do from home feels wonderful. I'm able to bring in more money for our household, I get to be creative, and it involves legitimate discussions with other adults.
- I actually get dressed in the morning, rather than wearing my PJ's all day.
- There is food in my fridge and pantry that I'm able to eat at regular times throughout the day. I've never appreciated square meals so much in my life!
- Our day starts with something of a routine. This has been a true revelation.
- The house gets cleaned regularly. I thought that when I was at home with the baby that it would be easy to be a homemaker and a mommy. I was wrong, very very wrong. My job is to be a mom to my son and that meant housework had to wait. Finally, we decided that on Saturday mornings both Luke and I would clean the whole house and then we could spend the rest of the week living in it. It makes me feel so much more comfortable to know that my home is clean and I'm not constantly fretting over when it's all going to get done.
- We made a budget and are actually sticking to it. Thanks to Wells Fargo Online Banking it's easy to see how much money we really spend, right down to the penny. Who knew it would work so well, or how much we actually spend?!
- I made plans for the garden and have been getting quotes from landscapers about prepping the yard for fall planting. It's actually going to happen!!
- I bathe regularly and even shave my legs, woohoo! For the new mommies: Aunt Flo also came by for a visit 7 months after baby. I would have been happy to be one of those new mommies who didn't see her for 12-14 months, but the break was nice while it lasted. Sorry if that was TMI anyone, but I wish someone had told me to expect a hiatus in that area so I would have looked forward to it rather than freaked out about being broken somehow.
- This week I started separating my laundry into colors and whites again. My whites thank me.
- Porter started sleeping for 8 hour stretches at night, which has been quite a gift. Thanks to the Ferber method, waiting for the right time for me to let go a little, a bedtime routine, and a husband who was willing to watch the baby monitor while Porter learned how to self soothe. It wasn't pretty, but it was textbook and the crying only lasted for 2-3 nights. So far bedtime has been something of a dream, total pun intended!
A few of my new plans are pretty big projects, but I am always grateful for the small blessings too. I figure if my son is getting his life in order and getting coordinated enough to crawl already, then I'm right there with him. Here's a quick video of his new skill that he picked up this week. He doesn't go very far yet, but he's already getting good at crawling to me and lifting his arms to be picked up. For the moment, it's nice to be loved and wanted by such a cutie baby as he.