The hardest thing about having a newborn is the weird reorganization of your life. By that I mean that suddenly all of my days are lived in increments of 90 minutes. The most important thing, obviously, is taking care of baby. ( Nurse, play, change, sleep, repeat. ) She eats every 3 hours which means that if she goes down for her nap easily, and if she takes a solid nap I have 90 minutes for me while she is sleeping.
I know, I know, I should sleep when she sleeps but I’m not always ready for a nap. Well, that and I’m getting much better at never actually sleeping but surviving on a series of naps throughout the night. Some mornings I get up and feel great at 7am. Other mornings I keep sleeping with Tessie through her first morning nap and get up closer to 9 or 10. Some days I can spend a few solid hours in the office, other days I am worthless the entire day and go to bed early.
But I digress.
It is weird to think about productivity in short, staccato like segments of time. What can I do in 90 minutes? Shower and pick up. Sort through the inbox at work and organize what needs to be done. Make a list. Work on a quote. Watch CSI and drink my coffee. Run an errand. Take a walk. Make dinner. Of course at least one of those chunks of time is busy with the baby not actually napping.
I feel like I am doing a pretty good job with baby. She is on a schedule – she eats every 3 hours and she is a good sleeper. I am controlling the chaos in terms of random baby clutter, laundry and the always full diaper pail. I am doing my best to eat real food through the day (but could always be better). I am having a hard time preparing an actual meal for us at a time we can eat . I am somehow continually surprised when Steve leaves at 4pm for a night of appointments. I panic when I realize he will have to eat whatever I make when he gets home at 9 or 10 or else eat fast food. Some days I feel like every waking moment is thinking about feeding the baby and feeding her Dad. I need to make sure both of them get the best possible meals, but I am just so tired some days it doesn’t happen.
I really struggle with keeping up in the office because even though I am adjusting to life with our newborn, the business plugs on. Jobs keep coming in, shows keep happening, someone, somewhere is getting their windows installed, and that pile of work on the desk keeps getting bigger. And, inevitably, when late afternoon rolls around and I want nothing more than to nap I am left with the work phone. Someone will call, someone will stop by, and something will need to be done RIGHT NOW.
People offer to come help me and “hold the baby” while I sleep but that won’t help. I need someone to do my job while I sleep. I need someone to feed the baby so I can sleep longer so I can get my work done. I need to not feel so tired and so drained that the easiest task in the world feels so hard that I can’t do it. I need to feel productivity again in a format than constantly writing lists of what needs to be done. Maybe really what I need is to get myself on a schedule – like the baby.
And I need to have some time to be with my husband and baby. Awake. During the day. When we can just be a family and enjoy each other outside of work and at a time when I don’t just want to say “take her I’m going to bed”.
I know if Steve was writing this he would say he wants those same things. He wants to feel some relief from the pressure of he needs to do more in the office so I can do less. He wants to feel that he has time he can spend with us too, without sacrificing running appointments and overall sales. I know he feels the weight of the world on his shoulders. I want to sit with him and brainstorm and work together to keep the business moving forward. It is what we have done for years and it is weird for both of us to have me not able to do that right now.
Really, all I want is what we have. To be blissfully aware of this amazing gift we have been given and to enjoy every moment with her – especially while she is so very small. I want us to remain grateful and thankful to each other for what the other is doing. We are a team and even though our roles have shifted a bit, we are still the strongest when we work together.
Monday we are hosting both of our families to celebrate his birthday (and a few others). He would rather ignore his birthday but I just can’t do it. I want to force him to take time off – to be surrounded by people who are happy to be with him and are happy that he was born. Good food, good company, and good solid family time. That is really what it’s all about, right?