I don’t think any woman has ever become a mom without experiencing this battle. You know, the place you end up setting camp, somewhere in the middle between Meettheirendlessneeds Cove and just a little further away from Takeaminutetoyourself Beach.
When I had Liv, I thought that places like that didn’t exist. That the Cove and the Beach existed in exactly the same spot. I heard from other friends that had children almost as early as I did and I pitied how they never seemed to be able to find time to do anything; let alone take a break. I remember hearing my friend tell my over the phone that after she had her son, she had to fight to find time to take a shower. I sat their smugly in my favorite chair thinking how ridiculous it sounded! Fighting to find time for a shower! Why, I showered almost every morning. If Liv was awake, I simply slid her into her bouncer and peeked at her every couple minutes or so. That was hardly a fight. Sure, it wasn’t like in high school; but I wasn’t in high school anymore. I was MUCH more sophisticated.
Then I got pregnant with Duncan. Finding time to shower my oversized abdomen became slightly more complicated as now my girl could walk. She refused to be trapped in her playpen and I’m sure if I would have left her there long enough she would have discovered how to scale the sides. I opted on the idea of keeping her out of there enough to keep her mind from wandering the different ideas and routes she could use to escape. Normally, I would lock her in the bathroom with me, check the cupboards for cleaning supplies and etc. (though she never had any interest in my cupboards) and scattering a few bath toys on the floor for her. She was elated and played quietly. Mind you, this was only if I didn’t have time to shower during one of her two daily naps lasting anywhere from 2-3 hours each.
With two, it wasn’t much different. Though I chose to accept help if offered only so I could have a complete relief for a few minutes. We also “played with Dunky” while Mommy was in the shower, where Liv sat next to the bouncer, happily making faces at a screaming little boy while I rapidly showered. The whole ordeal lasted 4-5 minutes.
Lately, I keep finding these small smidgens of opportunities to actually get to that metaphorical beach but find I’m so exhausted I can hardly plan for the trip, let alone stand up and GO there. And it’s not all about showering. Now I’m to the point where there’s enough hands on deck for it all to work out. But actually keeping motivation to do something for myself other than basic toilette necessities – good luck.
I know this is a personal balance thing, some women are still in that stage where I was with Olivia – how I wish I could be in that frame of mind. It’s overwhelming but possible. If I schedule my time in, I get it. Probably the same way that a regular old movie and homemade dinner tastes and seems completely different if it’s penciled in on the calendar as a “date night”. Funny how the mind can transform things.
I’m not entirely sure why I’ve decided to write all this out today. Perhaps, it’s because I’ve decided to clean, make homemade chili, and look presentable with vacuumed carpets, dressed and hair-done children, and not a spot of spit up on me – all by the time Cam gets home. It’s possible, I’ll get there, and I’m not far from there now. Sometimes it’s important to put a little too much on my plate just to prove to myself I can get it all done and make it all work when I put my mind to it. 😉
But for now, I’ll keep scheduling in my tidbits knowing that with three children it will take a lot longer than I’m used to to get back to that normal area of living where Meettheirendlessneeds Cove and Takeaminutetoyourself Beach are right around the corner from each other.