Well, its been four months now with our baby girl and we’re finally starting to feel back to normal. We’ve had a crazy time full of good and bad days (and nights!) and learned so much through it. I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t adjust as well as I could have. I haven’t been the best mom or wife I know I could and should have been these last few months and am striving to improve that daily. So I thought I would share a few of the things I’ve learned through this adjustment. Disclaimer: these are things I am constantly working through and definitely have not mastered 🙂
1. Don’t skip out on God time!
I found it pretty easy to slack on my devotions. Long nights, rough days, and a mile long “To Do” list made for easy excuses. I quickly realized how my relationships with my husband, daughter and family quickly struggled as I failed to take time with God. I was relying upon myself to manage everything and quickly forgot to rely on the only one who could bring me strength and rejuvenation. At first Hannah would spend a minimum of 40 min to nurse. I found these times where I was stuck in my glider a great time to pray and read my bible. Now I try to take advantage of her morning nap for my devo time. When I find that my life is becoming chaotic and stressful 9 times out of 10 it’s because my spiritual life is suffering. All that being said, I’m so glad for a God who constantly forgives and has mercy on me!
2. Make time for your marriage!
During my pregnancy I knew that this would probably be my biggest struggle. I tried to come up with a game plan of how I would make sure that my husband would take priority over our baby BUT surprise surprise that didn’t happen when Hannah arrived. I became so swept up with this little beauty. Between multiple late night feedings and fussy days when she was a newborn I basically checked out when Matt got home. Instead of intentionally spending time with him it turned into “take this baby so I can have ME time”. Now not to say that having a newborn shouldn’t be a total shock to your system or that it shouldn’t take time to adjust to parenthood – I can personally give about a hundred examples of how I could have easily improved my adjustment period. I also think it’s really important to have “me” time but I was taking it at the wrong time. Now I’ve learned how to better manage my time so that I get my “To Dos” out of the way before he gets home and have had some quiet time for my self as well (more on that later).
We haven’t been able to have as many date nights as we thought we would have been able to by now. Unfortunately, Hannah refuses to take a bottle so our times out are restricted to a 3 hour period in-between her nursing time. Thankfully our family is close by and has babysat so we can dash out to a movie and our friends took her so we could have a dinner out. We’ve learned to take advantage of Hannah’s early bed time – as much as I would like to throw in the towel then, it’s really the only time we have just the two of us. We usually put her down for the night between 7:30-8:30pm and have at home date nights. We are big fans of board games so we’ve dusted them off and enjoyed some quality time munching on our favourite snacks. We also try to not obsessively talk about her the whole evening we have off 🙂 As exciting as she is and even though she is the most important person to us we try not to be consumed by all things Hannah. Taking time to talk about our relationship and investing in each other needs to be a big priority in order for our marriage to work. I could probably go on and on and on about this but I’ll stop here 🙂
3. Lists are my new best friend!
I can’t believe how easily I forget what I need to accomplish during the week and become so overwhelmed when I mentally go over what needs to be done. I was always a big organizing geek but that seems to be set into overdrive now. At the beginning of the week I try to write out a list and space out my tasks. I’ve learned that I don’t need to do it all at once and I can live with the tumbleweeds of dog hair on my fl0or 🙂 I found in order to be mentally present when Matt gets home from work and for Hannah during the day I can’t do a million things in an 8 hour period. I’ll do a few tasks a day – it may take me a whole lot longer to get all the laundry done or the floors clean but at least I’m not a moody exhausted wife/mom at the end of the day. It also allows me to be less stressed because I know I have a lot of time to get things done within a week.
I’ve also seen how valuable it is for Hannah. I used to try to go to the grocery store, costco, and four other errands all in the same day with the mentality of “if I’m going out I might as well get it all done” like I use too. That would always end with an extremely tired and overstimulated fussy baby and me wondering what was going on. Instead of feeling accomplished and productive I was wiped out. Now I’ll do one outing at a time when I know she either won’t nap or can handle not having one. If we’ve had a busy weekend or a full day out I’ll make sure we have a chill at home day with nothing planned, so that we can recuperate.
4. Don’t feel guilty about having me time!
I’ve learned that letting Hannah play on her own is ok and I’ve come to love her little baby gym. She’ll play contently for a good 30 min and it allows me to have some time to myself. Our main floor is open concept so I can bake or read (two of my favourite things) while keeping an eye on her in the living room. It doesn’t always happen but when it does I find I’m a much more agreeable person to be around 🙂
These are just some of the things I’ve been mulling over since Hannah has arrived and I’m continuing to learn more each day with her. I’m so grateful for all that we’ve gone through and can’t wait to see what’s next for our little family of three.