Wednesday, November 4, 2009

To Be or Not To Be... Frustrated, That Is

So I did post something for today, but a) I didn't write anything besides the title... and b) I set it up yesterday to post today. Does that count? Hmmmmm.... Maybe not. So I'm going to actually write something.

Today Adelyn turns four weeks old. The past couple days I've been hovering between getting frustrated and willfully ignoring that temptation. With that four week birthday I've been hoping for a return to a routine/normalcy, but I have to keep telling myself that normalcy has changed... if not forever, for a VERY long time. (Recite to self: "It is normal to not get things done with a newborn. It is normal to have a messy house.") Part of me tells myself to just relax and let go. The other part says, "Why are you blogging while she is asleep right now? You should be folding laundry. Or at least getting out of your pajamas."

I've had enough experience having kids that it's not like I expect myself to be going full throttle and have a perfect house and a routine organized life with a four-week-old baby. By this point in my parenting experience I am actually very well-adapted to adjusting my life to a child's pace: taking advantage of little openings to get things done when they come and accepting interruptions the rest of the time. But I often lose my calm and get frustrated when things get to the point that it seems like my life is one continuous interruption: interrupted sleep, interrupted meal, interrupted phone call, interrupted thought, interrupted sentence, interrupted feeding.... It seems like my daily life comes down to a balancing dance going between interruptions from Jackson and Addy: feed Addy while trying to verbally coax Jackson into his high chair; try to quickly get Jackson to bed before Addy wakes up and starts crying (or end up trying to rock/read story/nurse all at the same time); fold laundry before Jackson can dump the folded piles; change Addy's umpteenth diaper then run to pull raisins out of Jackson ears; blog until Jackson starts pressing the delete button and trying to close my laptop (happening as I type now...).

I understand that this is part of life -- no, this IS life-- at my current stage and I am willing to accept that. Jackson is at a stage where the daily endangerment of his person (and our household electronic equipment) is a simple unpleasant fact of life. I just do my best to rescue him or at least mitigate the risk from him standing on the oven door, destroying the DVD player, turning on the garbage disposal, walking on the counter, climbing into Addy's baby swing and so forth. (Did I mention that he got out one of my crystal goblets from the china cupboard up high the other day? That kid...) Adelyn is at the stage where she pretty much needs to be held or nursed most of the time-- and if she doesn't, she needs to be protected from Jackson's attention and love. But what if you are a person that craves order and control and completion? What if having a clean and orderly home makes you feel peaceful and happy? What if you would like to have an uninterrupted moment sometime before 2015? How do you avoid going crazy?

In a slightly different vein, yesterday I was actually feeling quite skinny. My stomach felt downright flat. I was so excited about this new development that I made the mistake of actually measuring it. Don't ever do that four weeks post-baby. (In case you were wondering, my waist was 1 inch smaller than my chest used to be in my post-Camryn skinny days. Whether that says worse things about my waist now or my chest then I will decline to comment on.)

Which brings me to the post-baby weight frustration... between Jared and Camryn (and Dave =]) I put on quite a bit of weight, so after Camryn really worked hard and lost it all, getting down to skinnier than I was in college. I eventually leveled out a few pounds higher, but it was still a really good, healthy weight for me. Then I had Jackson and never lost the last 10 lbs. with him. Now, having had another baby to add to it, I am much closer to where I was when I started losing weight after Camryn than where I was when I finished. That is really frustrating. I know I'm not even to the six-week point yet, but it still pretty much stinks. Don't you think you should get some kind of heavenly weight-loss reward for having babies? Too bad it doesn't work out that way. I'm eating healthy and having lots of vegetables, but getting it off is so much slower than putting it on.

So I'm at that lovely stage where almost none of my clothes fit: maternity tops are way too big, regular jeans are way too small... regular tops will be WAY too small for as long as I am nursing. But of course, I spent almost all of my weekly budget on Monday... buying vegetables so I can eat healthy and fit into my clothes again. GRRRRRR!!!

Now, of course I can just choose not to be frustrated. Weight gain is part of childbirth and with time and patience I can lose it. Looking fabulous doesn't need to be the focus of my life right now. Having a clean house doesn't either. Jackson will outgrow this stage eventually (right????) and Addy will outgrow the newborn stage faster than I want her to.

My phone just rang and I could not find the phone because Jackson had been playing with it. I could hear it ringing, not more than 5 feet away, but I could not find it. Finally after it stopped ringing I used the handset finder to locate the phone. I finally found it only 2 feet away from me... inside the Raisin Bran box, of course. (Of course!) That just kind of summarizes my life right now. But I can choose not to be frustrated. After all, a Raisin Bran box is a perfectly logical place for a phone to go... at least to a two-year-old.


Emily Laing said...

I don't care what anyone says, #4 was my hardest. It was harder to bounce back, had a colicy kid and as far as your climber goes, buy super glue and butterfly bandages. It will save you many trips to the urgent care...and very long thin tweezers for raisin and bean removal! Hugs!

Jadie said...

"A heavenly weight-loss reward for having babies..." If only!!

janeannechovy said...

Do you have a good sling? That might help you to get something done while simultaneously holding Adelyn *and* keeping her safe from Jackson.

Jared & Allyson said...

Oh, Karen! My baby isn't as young as yours and I don't have as many kids as you, but I totally feel your pain. (I guess besides the post baby birth stuff - thank you, adoption!) Anyway, just wanted to let you know that you're not alone in the feeling frustrated phase and the desire to have some order. Of course, things get better as time passes, but know that you're not alone.

If it means anything, I showed Jared your blog the other day and he said "Karen looks the same as she did in college - she hasn't aged at all." I wish I could say that I still looked that young.

Thanks for being so real about everything. Good luck this next little while and hang in there! :)