When people ask how I’m doing with motherhood, I’m never sure what to say. On one hand I have no idea what I’m doing, and I’m fairly confident that I never will. As soon as I think I’ve figured something out, our daughter changes and we have to learn everything over again. On the other hand, I feel like I have settled into motherhood very comfortably. I love loving my daughter and parenting next to my wonderful husband. I am so thankful for the pretty decent amount of sleep we’ve been getting. I am over the moon grateful for successful breastfeeding (and for a more balanced milk supply and hardly no more pain). I am amazed at the quick recovery my body has managed before my very surprised eyes.
I was afraid of how frazzled my life would feel. And yes, part of me feels frazzled. But somehow I don’t feel like I’m at my wits end. I have been bathing and putting on nice clothes and make up every day, and I’ve tried to balance productivity with rest. But alas, balance is elusive. I have had moments of tearful breakdowns because I had high hopes for accomplishing all-the-things and feeling like I’ve accomplished nothing. I spent four hours working ahead on worship sets and got exactly one week ….ONE WEEK… finished. The previous version of Melanie would have had 2 or 3 months worth done in that amount of time. I came home in a tizzy from a day when I tried to cram too much in with my newborn daughter. I should have just tackled the trip to the Chiropractor, but instead I added a long visit to Meijer and the result was two girls in stressful, hangry (hungry angry) tears.
I have re-developed a severe case of carpal tunnel syndrome in my right wrist. It tends to flair up once a year when I’ve been sleeping with a crooked wrist for too long. But that is not the case this time. This flare up is because of the way I’ve been holding my baby’s head in my bent wrist multiple times a day. Normal flare ups are moderately annoying numbness. This case is insane. Four of my five fingers are numb and stay that way for hours at a time. The pain is like lightening and is now shooting all the way up to my elbow. I’ll thank my dad for passing on this genetic disposition and pray that I don’t have to have surgery like he did.
Limitations are so hard for me. My time must be spent so differently than before. Caring for my daughter is my first priority. I can’t accomplish nearly as much in my day. And that’s a beautiful ok thing (Do you hear me, Mel?!) I get exhausted so easily, no longer capable of marathon sessions of office work or even just-for-fun outings. By 3pm I feel spent for the day. And if I don’t get a nap in before 5pm, the evening may or may not go well. My body feels amazing and new and ready to do-all-the-things but I must realize that I’m still healing for a very strenuous labor and delivery…not to mention 10 months of sharing my body with a growing baby!
These are my new life mottos. Feel free to remind me of them when I appear frazzled or frustrated or in need of a reminder that my value is not attached to how many items I check off a to-do list.