Wednesday, January 16, 2013

perfection...guilt...balance

I am going to be honest and say that I am really struggling with being back to work.  I miss my son all day long.  Then I get home and I'm tired, but I smile and say hello to Hank and his gummy toothless grin sets my heart on fire, but I'm still tired.  He is precious beyond compare.  It's such a cliche to say, but I have never known love like this.  He is perfection in every sense of the word.  I can do no wrong in his eyes and it's magical to feel so loved and to love so much in return...perfection...guilt...balance. 
I always imagined myself being the perfect mother.  Clean house, meals made, happy husband, happy baby, happy Laura.  Well...damn it's hard.  I'm pretty sure I need the day to be longer or I need to require less sleep.  I want to be able to find enough time for all the things I need to do, have enough time to snuggle and love on my husband and baby and of course enough time to do something for myself...perfection...guilt...balance.

Towards the end of maternity leave I had my shit together.  Hank and I were on a schedule, my house was clean, I even had time to get in a little yoga and eat.  Since I've started working again I feel that anxiety of not having enough time again.  The same anxiety I felt when Hank was first born.  Oh, the terrible feeling of balancing sleep, Hank, DJ, dogs, house work, showers.  And after I fought with myself long enough, sleep inevitably won, leaving my house a mess and an empty belly until DJ got home from work and finally made me something to eat.  Now, after what feels like a brief moment of relief that I had it all figured out, I'm back to work again and there goes 8,9, and sometimes 10 hours of my day.  It takes very large amounts of caffeine to keep me going these days.   How do you perfect working moms do it?  How do you hand paint your baby's leggings, make meals that Pinterest inspired and keep your homes so clean?  The thing is I probably could do all those things, but then when do I get to actually spend enough time with my son to see him in the leggings, watch my husband enjoy his dinner or slip my work out shoes on and pump some iron...perfection...guilt...balance.

Last week was my first attempt at gaining balance in my life again.  I would get up early to get myself ready for work so that when Henry woke up I wasn't running around the house. I could just baby babble with him and enjoy his smiles.  I would go home for lunch and drink a protein shake because that still allowed me to play on the floor with Henry and then head back to work.  Usually when I got home at the end of the day Henry would be napping so I would try to throw something lame in the oven for dinner and get showered.  Then Henry would wake up, I would feed him and play until bedtime.  That's about the time that I would be fading fast right along with my baby.  We bathe Henry every other day and I actually skipped a bath one day because I just couldn't do it.  I was too tired.  Guilt.  Then bedtime ensued.  I worked out twice with a personal trainer and my best friend, I would eat right after Hank went to bed and lastly I would sneak in some tv time in bed until I couldn't keep my eyes open and then repeat.  Did you figure out yet what I sucked at?  Taking care of my husband.  I had already accepted that my house will probably always be in shambles through out the week, but it didn't dawn on me until Saturday when I had to work in the morning and I had mentioned to DJ that I might stop at the mall on the way home and he got a slight attitude, that I had completely neglected him all week.  I felt awful...perfection...guilt...balance.
Saturday after work it was unseasonably warm for January in Michigan so we bundled up Henry, grabbed the dogs and took a walk together.  I told DJ that I was sorry.  We talked about how this gift of parenthood that we've been given is a work in progress.  We are adjusting and it's hard.  We love our life and wouldn't change a single thing.  We have a deep love and appreciation for each other and all that we have.  Every week is a re-do and I will progressively get more organized (per my new years resolutions).  In the mean time it's a cycle of perfection...guilt...balance.

3 comments:

Lauren said...

love your shoes!!

k8te said...

i'm sure it's SO hard to find a good balance...i feel like we struggle with finding time to clean/spend quality time together with our needy puppy, so i can't imagine how much harder a baby will be to maintain the balancing act. i think you're right though, you just have to keep at it...it's an adjustment..you'll get there! think of what an amazing job you've done so far!

Anonymous said...

You are doing a great job!! Moms never feel like they are doing enough because things change so fast. Enjoy, laugh, relax, love, count your blessings and sleep when you can. Mama xoxo