I miss my old life. No, I don't mean the before kids although we had a lot of fun. I miss the life that comes with having one child. But before you get your draws all in a bunch, I'm not saying that I regret my daughter. Not in the least! My little she babe makes my day with her four teeth grin and her little noises that say so much yet nothing at all.
Some people would be inclined to think that having a child ends any semblance of having a life (it doesn't). They believe that you have to give up everything you are, everything you once did just to raise a child. Sure, not being able stand outside at 230 in the morning waiting in line to see Jay-Z perform in his first city of a 7 city tour all done in one day followed by a trip to Waffle House then sleep for hours probably won't happen anymore without some type of advanced planning (it was the best night ever!). But life isn't over. It's just different.
Upon bringing our little boy home, it was definitely a drastic change, at first. My mental and emotional well being did not bode well due to this new tiny human beckoning me at any given moment night or day. Sleep deprived and angry at the loss of control, I was losing it. But with my husband being the breadwinner and me being at home with he man, around 5 or 5 and half months or so, I eventually found my groove.
I began hitting the gym regularly. I had play dates with mom friends and their kiddos from my Bradley birth group. I went out with girlfriends or I would host a get together at our home. The hubs and I traveled as far as Atlanta for a wedding for 3 or 4 days but also as close as Austin for a weekend. I traveled with friends as well as solo. I took classes in subjects that interested me such as metalsmithing and sewing. I did things!!
But now, my days seem to only be filled with cooking what feels like all day because my son and I eat like teenage boys, endless amounts of laundry, errands and chasing the she babe around the house until it's time to get big brother. Occasionally I get to the gym but often times I'm so tired from the day (plus interrupted sleep because guess who doesn't sleep through the night) I have no energy for anybody's workout. My house is in a constant state of disarray but not much gets done because...she babe. I’m caught in this wretched routine and I. Want. Out!
Y'all I haven't even began to touch the goals I outlined for myself to accomplish this year. I know it's only January, wait excuse me February. In the blink of an eye it will be December again and I'll be wondering what happened to my year if I sit back and do nothing.
Recalling the words (or as close as I can remember since I can't find the email) from her “What I'm Feeling Friday” emails, Myleik Teele, the founder of Curlbox and virtual mentor in my head, stated that the new year is not always about smashing goals. Sometimes it's about developing the necessary habits needed to accomplish them.
So that's what I'm going to do. While I still have a couple of big goals I really want to see come to fruition this year, I must first relearn to take care of me. By doing so, it will not only provide the motivation to get through each day but also help me utilize the limited hours I have each day for “extracurricular” activities to the fullest.
How Sway? How? Well Sway finally has some answers.
Treat Each Day Like A Work Day
Trying to write, take photos or make products during naps or while the she babe is playing just doesn't work for me. I often feel rushed by an imaginary clock ticking loudly in my head so I can't completely get into work mode at times. I become easily distracted and began to surf the interwebs mindlessly. But on the rare chance I'm fully immersed and the words are flowing, the she babe wakes up. I'm immediately frustrated because my thoughts have to grind to a halt. It's hard getting back into “the zone” hours later. So like many moms who have a side hustle that has to wait until work is done and the kids are in bed, I’ll be doing the same.
Plan It Like You Mean It. Then Commit To It.
I'll be honest. My bullet journaling has fallen by the wayside severely. So while there is a running list of tasks to complete, man have been left undone simply because I have not made them a priority day to day. When I wrote things down, things got done. That sense of accomplishment always felt good at the end of a day as I crossed items off my list.
Preparation Makes All The Difference
Listen let me just preface this by saying I know I do the absolute most when it comes to grocery shopping. I know this. I also know this is the biggest contributing factor on how much time it takes for me to finally get in the kitchen and get food prepared. Combine that with the fact I hate to cook but enjoy a good hot plate and the struggle is real EVERY. DAMN. WEEK. Le sigh...but I digress.
Currently I grocery shop on Fridays between 3 different stores (I'm bougie about my food) with meal prep occurring on Sundays.
First I'm going to give either curbside service or some version of online shopping a try. I keep saying I'll try it, but I can't keep this up anymore. While baby girl is a trooper, all the prep needed to be out for hours (snacks for me and her, plus extra clothing and diapers), I'm over it all.
Second, doing all of the meal prep on Sundays just to get two meals plus a breakfast dish done after spending 4-5 hours in the kitchen isn’t happening ANYMORE. Nope! Not gon’ be able to do it.
Instead I'll start my prep Saturday night and save the cookin for Sunday. I tried it this past weekend and the prep alone was still two hours AND I didn't even finish. But I was able to cook multiple sides, a main dish and make a faux cream cheese by spending only 1.5 hours in the kitchen. Thats a win because I he more time to relax and do other things before the week started over again. Plus by getting ahead by prepping even just the ingredients for use later in the week, I can more quickly handle a fussy baby who is either hungry, sleepy or simply wants a few cuddles with mommy.
Make The First Move
Listen, I’m lonely and I miss hanging out with my girls. While I have mom friends here, our conversations and interactions pretty much revolve around kids, parenting, diapers and some random crunchy mom topic. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for the conversation and often enjoy them buuuuuut sometimes I just want to twerk a little and occasionally make things other than just food or people.
So, despite my first rejection, I’m going to keep putting myself out there to build relationships beyond just our children.
I'm sure there's more that I can do but as of right now, this is what I need to start feeling more like a person and less like a shell of my former self. Becoming a parent changes so many things especially you and makes it so easy to lose your entire identity if you let it.
While I am truly grateful for the life I get to live, I prefer to live my whole life and not simply pieces of it.