Friday, July 15, 2011

Maternity Leave

Probably as aptly titled: Rambling Thoughts of a New Mother


So, today is my last day of maternity leave. Twelve weeks. Almost a quarter of a year.

I've been thinking about this post for a while, but since Elle has been napping in the room where the computer is, it's been hard for me to get online the past few weeks. It never occurred to me to take my husband's laptop and move to a different room. [Probably because I hate typing and working on the laptop].

This morning I decided enough is enough and instead of heading on our morning walk I put Elle in the Moby (see above) and sat down to type. Got the picture uploaded and the first sentence written when Scott called to tell me the plumber will be here in an hour to fix the front entry toilet. Which means no morning nap, no pumping time, and probably a cranky baby and mommy. Figures.

In many ways it has been the most amazing twelve weeks of my life and also the most trying. I knew my life would change drastically but I don't think I realized just how much it would flip on its head. There was absolutely nothing that could have prepared me for what was to come and just two nights ago I went to a "Mom Dinner" with a group of ladies and an expecting woman attended. I couldn't help but feel excited for her and pity her all at the same time.

The first two weeks were certainly the most difficult. When I was walking around as a zombie, my hormones were raging, I could barely sit down I hurt so badly, the baby would cry and cry and I couldn't figure out why, it was taking an hour to nurse and it seemed like as soon as I finished it was time to start again. I remember sobbing to my mom that I just didn't think I could do it. But I did.

I still have moments like that, though. Just this week Elle wasn't wanting to nap but was so tired that she'd fuss and fuss and fuss. "Wasn't this supposed to get easier?" I'd think to myself (and sob to my mom), but when I think back to those first weeks I realize it has gotten easier. And I have adjusted and grown. But I'm also starting to realize it will never be easy--there will always be something. That's the thing that shocks me most about motherhood--the amount of responsibility. How is it that I'm responsible for shaping this little being? I'm still trying to shape my own life!

And now Elle is up and not wanting to be in the Moby. And still so many things I want to talk about! I've missed blogging terribly but part of me wonders how I'll ever get back into it again. Sure I could probably figure out how to fit in writing posts (though the dreams I had of drafting up all these posts to publish when I went back to work has finally gone out the window), but I don't know how to do the interaction thing. After not blogging for three weeks there are 600 posts in my Google Reader and that's after a bit of cleaning up here and there.

But can I confess that my interests have changed a bit while on leave? Would you believe me if I told you I only finished four books in the past twelve weeks? I've felt lazy sitting around with a book (I've never really been one spend a lot of time reading at home), so instead I've been working on quilting during the day when Elle does nap. In the afternoons while she's up and fussy I try to take her out of the house. Consequently I've spent more money during my maternity leave than I have in a long time. On what? Scrapbook crap. I swear I go to Hobby Lobby every other day.

And thanks to Pinterest (my new obsession after I got bored seeing the same people and conversations on Twitter), I've discovered all sorts of scrapbooking blogs. And photography blogs. Who would have thought! Not that I've had time to read any of these blogs or do any scrapbooking, but there you have it. And thanks to Hobby Lobby (and occasionally JoAnn), I have so much scrapbooking stuff I could probably open my own store!

Wow this post is unwieldy. I kind of want to bulletpoint the rest of what I had to say since none of it is any more coherent than what I've already written. But then when it really comes down to it I don't really know what to say. Hats off to stay at home moms. I don't know how you've done it and not gone insane. I'm not looking forward to going back to work, especially the two hours I'll be in the car each day and especially the bullshit at work, but I'll be grateful to be amongst adults again. And honestly, when the patience traits were being passed out, I must have been distracted by something shiny and skipped the line.

But on the other hand its starting to sink in that another woman will be caring for my child 10 hours out of the day. This doesn't include the 45 minutes before that when I'll leave her with Scott so I can head off to work in the morning. I can't begin to explain how heartbreaking this is for me. Because for all the tears and frustration and the "I can't do it" and "I feel like the world's worst mom," every time I see Elle's precious smile or her looking at me with those huge blue eyes of hers I can't help but melt and forget all of the difficulties.

And now I'm sobbing whilst typing just thinking of her smiling and those huge blue eyes. Tears dripping on that poor baby's head. Because while I've learned that being a mom is the most difficult thing I've ever done and will ever do, and that I have very little patience, and while I've learned that sometimes you just have to make it up as you go and sometimes you just have to cry and sometimes you can't have your way and have to let things go and sometimes dinner will be stone cold when you eat it and sometimes you'll have to hold a crying baby all day and sometimes you'll be checking out at Target while your baby screams her head off and sometimes the plumber will come when the baby is supposed to be napping and you'll miss out on your very little "me" time for the day, I've also learned the very deep and infinite love I have for Elle. It hurts how much I love her.

OK I think I've pressed my luck enough for one morning...and I've forgotten the point of this post anyway. ;)

Friday, July 1, 2011

100 Mile Fitness Challenge Wahoo!


Remember the 100 Mile Fitness Challenge I did a few years ago? Well, Amanda and Jill are continuing the challenge starting TODAY! Head over to the 100 Mile Fitness Challenge website for information and to sign up. I don't think they've changed any of the basic rules and the challenge runs from July 1 through September 30th. (In brief, 1 mile running/walking = 1 mile; 15 minutes of other workout = 1 mile).

I'm not sure if this challenge is starting at the perfect time for me or the worst with the baby (the perfect time) and going back to work in two weeks (the worst time). But...I'm signing up and pledging 100 miles.
I don't have any weight loss goals for this quarter--I gained 40 pounds (or more?) during my pregnancy and at my six week check up had lost 29. Because I'm exclusively nursing I'm not trying to lose those last 10 pounds--right now Elle is my priority. BUT, the muscle loss during the pregnancy! I can't believe how just a few short months of not working out (and eating everything I wanted) has made me quite squishy--and not just in my tummy.

So, my biggest goal for this quarter is to start strengthening my muscles again. In addition to the walking I've already been doing (and a tiny bit of running), I need to spend time doing yoga, pilates, and good old weight lifting. Part of me can't believe how lazy I've become in terms of lifting weights but the other part of me is excited to get back into it. I'm hoping that toning up will help me back into my pre-pregnancy pants. Now...just figuring out how to find the time!  Another thing I'd like to focus on is eating better. I've been a bit lax about watching what I eat, especially since I've been home on maternity leave. I'm hoping that being back at work will help with my boredom and stress grazings.

So what do you say? You in?? Hurrah!!!

And need something to get you pumped up? Check out my favorite Workout Songs. I'd love to know what tunes you're working out to...

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