My youngest is just about to turn 18 months. 18 long months after having a baby – and my life has not restored order. But being number 4, this isn’t my first rodeo with restoring order after having a baby. Here are some steps I find helpful in restoring order to my life post baby.
1) Don’t look down
Afraid of heights, I’m fine when I look up and take a step at a time. But if I look down the entire task becomes overwhelming.
There were so many ways I spent my time before this last baby. I was running regularly (20-25 mi/wk). I also attended exercise classes at work and even found time for additional workouts. On top of all that physical fitness, I found time for pleasure reading and spending quiet time in the morning reading my Bible. I had a social life and friends. I think about all the things I did and sometimes feel overwhelmed with finding time for all of this again. That was 2 years ago. This is now. As with any monumental task, pick a place and work on that one thing. Contemplating where I was will get me nowhere. Contemplating where I need to be and how to get there (an actionable plan) absolutely will.
In high school I did archery. In fact, I was state champion two years running. One of the mantras in archery was FOLLOW THROUGH! If you lowered the bow immediately after shooting the arch of the arrow was affected and the mark was never hit.
Goals are great – but they certain do not happen by themselves. What will it take to achieve them? In my case, I really want to spend some quiet time in the morning. This means setting my alarm earlier, going to bed earlier and giving up those snoozes. Right now, I’m actually just showering earlier because I’m working on changing my natural body clock. In order to have effective quiet time in the morning – I can’t be a zombie. I felt like this morning was a win when I woke up a minute before my alarm. It has taken a lot of personal will power to not hit the snooze. I’m following through by getting my tush out of bed.
3) Keep on keeping on
Be realistic. In my case, I’ve got a baby. I can’t expect life to be just exactly like it was in 2 months. In fact, if I’m completely honest with myself I know that it takes a solid year to return to any kind of normalcy post baby. It is one long year of life rebuilding, of adding things on a bit at a time. Everything from figuring out how to eat or shower with a baby to going back to work. And LORD HELP US ALL if the house needs to be clean on top of it all. It all takes time. The only way to get there is to keep trying. The best way to never get there is to quit or give up.
And in the spirit of being realistic – I also know that there are some things I probably will not accomplish for many years to come. I’d love to learn to knit. I want to make cute baby blankets and baby hats. I have come to the conclusion there is a reason little old ladies make these things and not working mothers…some day, I will have time for these things.
This is the longest I’ve ever taken to get back to me. This past year I haven’t even done simple hobbies like photographing my children with my beloved Cannon. This latest baby has been my caboose. And cherishing every minute of his babyhood was important to me. But as we exit that babyhood – I’m finally feeling ready to begin tackling the subject of me. My next goal (after restoring my morning quiet time) will be exercise. I dearly miss running and have a Garmin watch that has been calling my name…