Sometimes I feel an undeserved satisfaction. I assume that I am in control of my life. I have a good day, child cooperates with me, sleeps reasonably and I manage most (never all) of my tasks. I might even have a moment to myself. I start to plan. I dare to dream about all the things I could do, all the projects, and I hope I will catch up with all missed things, important and unimportant.
Because the reality is I am behind with everything. I can not manage to do everything I want to or even need to do. When I was pregnant I expected my life to stop for a while. I knew that the newborn baby will take over and I will have to accommodate my child. It was natural and right. I also expected that it will get better. I assumed I will get in control of things, I will learn how to do mothering and have my life.
What I didn't realize was that a child is an ongoing project. That once the 20 hours days are over it doesn't mean that it gets any less demanding. It just gets different. And always when mothering seems to get simpler and I sense a pattern of a routine and start to plan some other activities than playing, feeding, washing, tidying, something happens, a new milestone comes and I am back at square one. And no matter how many times that happened during last 18 months, I am still so naive that I hope there will be a routine, an undisturbed sleep, a time for myself.
Couple of weeks ago I thought I will be able to do nanowrimo this year. I assumed I will be able to commit to the daily writing. Yet I can not even blog once a week or compose a daily tweet. There was a glimpse of times getting better and then it changed again.
My child is developing so fast at 18 months and keeping me so busy and so awake that I actually think about the first very exhausting weeks with nostalgia. Because there are so many more needs now. But at the same time I am rewarded with a healthy strong and very happy little person. If she only kept on napping every day! The child assumes naps are for smaller people and fights it off few days each week. It is becoming very regular. And my precious me time (or cleaning time, whichever is more pressing) is disappearing. Plus I am facing a full day with an increasingly tired and clingy toddler. Yes, child might go to sleep early, but I can not function after 7 pm. I am left as a zombie in front of i player and decide to count it as a quality time before I fall into a coma. Until child decides to demand some more space on my pillow.
But there are signs of me getting used to the life style. Instead of trying to change it, I am embracing it. After six weeks of rigorous exercise and experiments with 5:2 diet I found myself weighing exactly the same as at the start of my experiment but leaner looking and stronger. I must say the number on my scales was disappointing, no matter how much better I felt.
I didn't step up my challenge. There were some sleepless nights with our child, some bad family news, few trips and visits, I started to go to child groups which changed my morning exercise routines.... So I slipped again.
But on the other hand last month was the first month I felt my is husband completely on board with our trying for a new child. We argued less, made time for each other (actually sneaking away from our own bedroom once our child fell a sleep in our bed, very funny), something shifted and although we weren't successful this month, I am feeling very confident that we will be. We are nicer to each other and it is actually so important and good.
With all the demands, lack of sleep, lots of things to accept and take care of, I gave myself much easier challenge. For a month I tried to pay more attention to the way I present myself. I picked a colour each day and did my makeup, took care of my hair, tried to wear some child proof accessories. Some mums are always made up. I wasn't one of them. But I must say that it felt good going out of the house with nice make up and some little touch to my outfit. Specially with meeting new people through baby groups, I felt much more confident. And taking extra time in front of the mirror each morning wasn't as impossible as I thought. After my little challenge passed I slipped again, but I hope I will keep it up - just not for home days. Although, was that the secret to the new spark in our relationship? Will report later.
So, maybe, in a very small way, I am making progress and maybe, just as putting on make up and brushing my hair each day, I will elbow in some more time for simple things like reading or writing or meeting friends. Maybe I will even sleep undisturbed one day.... Can not wait.....