Lately if someone asked me what I do with my days I’d struggle to rustle up a coherent response. I certainly don’t feel productive in the sense that I did when I was working and studying. The good ole days where productivity was measured by the number of projects finalised, reports written, training conducted or assignments submitted.
Outcomes of my daily activity seem a bit more intangible now, well at least until I watched this clip shared on FB by Stacey-Lee from Get On With It Already.
It made me think about how I really spend my days. This is what I came with for a typical weekday (24hr period).
I spend an average of:
- 3hrs 30mins breastfeeding
- 4hrs settling, rocking, patting etc (This is probably a rather conservative estimate and does not include baby wearing)
- 1hr doing school/kindy run
That’s 8hrs clocked up already.
Then there is an indeterminate amount of time chalked up doing each of the following:
- Preparing meals
- Running errands
- Refereeing arguments
- Wiping bottoms
- Kissing Boo-boos
- Searching for missing socks/toys/other random items
- Putting together lego, being a talking teddy, reading stories in funny voices
- Bathing 3 humans other than myself
- General cleaning/maintenance (Confession: some days not too much time spent on that!)
Perhaps an average of 5hrs?
Plus there are extras like:
- Christmas shopping
- Visiting/phoning friends and family
Let’s say around 1-3hrs of extra curricular activity most days.
I don’t do daytime TV but The Man & I usually watch an hour or so of mind fluff at night to wind down. I’m usually feeding and settling bub during this time.
I also confess to spending roughly an hour or two of accumulated time faffing online. It’s my little escape but I tend to do most of this while feeding or watching TV. e.g. I’m writing this post while feeding!
Hmmm… so that’s roughly 16hrs of my day accounted for. I’m certainly not getting 8hrs sleep so my calculations must be off somewhere.
Obviously that’s why I feel so unproductive – all that time unaccounted for!
Or perhaps I just need to redefine my concept of fulfilling outcomes for my days?
Children alive? House still standing? Yep, it’s been a successful day!!
How do you define productivity? Do you feel fulfilled at the end of most days?
The inordinate amount of time I spend baby gazing lately has given me ample opportunity to ponder life, the universe and everything. Not surprisingly, the phenomenon of maternal love has been forefront in my mind.
How is it that you can feel such blind, near-paralyzingly love for a small person you barely know? I’m so captivated by this tiny creature that robs me of my sleep, chomps on my nipples like a hungry shark and screams in my ear. Not to mention the fact that she single handedly eradicated any remaining shreds of dignity I had as she catapulted into this world.
Despite all of this I love her. Completely and unconditionally.
Is it because I made her? Is it because I carried her and felt her grow inside me? Or is it because she has my button nose and detached earlobes?
I know not everyone is fortunate enough to feel this intense love for their children. Sometimes it can take a while to foster, sometimes it may wane, and inexplicably, sometimes it may never be there at all. Maternal love is as confounding in its absence as it is in presence.
All I know is that when I gaze upon the face of my daughter I feel my heart could burst. I know that this love will help me get through the dark days and long nights that we will inevitably share.
I care for my children, clothe them, feed them, teach them but above all else, this unwavering love is what truly makes me feel like a mother.
If you feel like you are having issues bonding with your baby, please don’t be afraid to seek help. Talk to your doctor and visit the PANDA website for more information on available supports.
This post was drafted when Pebbles was two weeks old. I didn’t publish it for fear of jinxing myself, but it seems the very act of putting my thoughts into words was enough…
The saying really is true, no two babies are a like.
The Wilful One had reflux. I was certain before we even left the hospital but it took me another 2 months or so to convince the paediatrician. Yes, yes, I had to to say, I’m aware all babies vomit but they don’t all manage to paint the opposite wall with it while their head is spinning around like something from the exorcist do they? I’m sure it’s reflux. Let’s just call it mother’s intuition, ok? The poor little guy needed to be upright constantly, even hating the slight recline of the pram or the car seat. Some serious medication, mummy’s minor mental breakdown and a million sleepless nights and endless days later, we had managed to get on top of it.
*Ding Ding* Round two. Ever a challenge, Bam Bam’s reflux presented differently and took a bit longer for this mama to suss out. He just wouldn’t settle. Ever. Unlike the child himself, the reflux was of a silent nature. Not so much chucking, but he experienced the painful burning at the back of his throat when laid down and no amount of propping up of cots was going to fix it. Coupled with an intolerance to dairy, things were difficult for a long time. Eventually we got him on to medication as well, and things resolved slowly. Unfortunately my mental health had deteriorated even further, but that’s a whole other story and one that’s been told many times before.
So, it was with major apprehension that I approached newborn number three. Would she have reflux, too? How would we all cope with yet another screaming baby in the house? Was I going to lose the plot all over again? Ok, so maybe the plot was already long gone, but I would have liked to have reclaimed it at some point.
I would lay in bed at night while pregnant with my hand on my belly repeating over and over, “Please be a sleeper. Please don’t have reflux.”
Nope, that plot isn’t going to be found anytime soon.
(Now here’s the part I shouldn’t have put in print)
However, I am pleased to report, two weeks in, and things in newborn land are different yet again. Pebbles is a generally content bub and a bit of a darling really. She only cries for feeds, and it’s the cutest little squeal. Sleeping is also going well. She can be quite chucky but as people keep telling me “All babies vomit!”. Obviously, it’s only early days and I have to admit the cynic in me is still holding her breath, waiting for the sunshine and lollipops to fade to a black pit of endless screaming and sleepless nights.
In any case, I think we have definitely proven the theory that no two (or three) babies are alike. Hopefully, for us it’s third time lucky and I’ve finally landed my “angel baby”
Four weeks on and the honeymoon is over. Seems I hit the reflux baby trifecta! Pebbles’ happy chucking has morphed into an all too familiar cycle of back arching, gagging and crying in distress.
We haven’t quite reached black pit stage as she is not as bad as the boys (yet!) but it is still heartbreaking to see her so restless and uncomfortable. So once again we enter the world of raised cot ends, staying upright after feeds and prolonged periods of trying to settle. Bibs and cloth nappies over the shoulder are a must and Mylanta is back in the fridge. Hopefully we won’t need to progress to the stronger meds. Oops!..there I go jinxing myself again!
She is happiest in the sling so we spend many an hour like this…
Or with her sleeping on my chest. Catching a cold has compounded the need for this and I feel like I’m babywearing 24/7.
But you know what? I don’t mind that much at all. Ironic now that I have 3 times the work in caring for children that I’m less perturbed by a high demands baby. Maybe it’s because I’ve been there before and I know this period won’t last forever. My baby will disappear into a toddler all too quickly. Perhaps it’s because I recognise the signs of depression and I’ve gone back onto my medication. Overall, I feel better equipped to keep the black dog at bay.
Whatever the reason, I’m determined to soak up all the newborn goodness I can. I’m not saying we won’t have bad days, but I will breathe deeply and hold my girl close when she’s crying, safe in the knowledge that that’s what she needs most in the world right now. And maybe it’s just what I need too…
Did any of your babies suffer from reflux? Were you lucky enough to get an angel baby at some point?
You would think that third time around I’d be a dab hand at this newborn business. Well, I thought I would be anyway.
Alas, it seems practice does not always make perfect and there are still some things that leave me second,
third and fourth guessing and tying myself in ever increasingly neurotic knots.
Here’s a few things I don’t think I’ll ever get used to about babies:
Incessant crying: Ok, admittedly after two reflux babies, I am a LOT more relaxed about the relentless, heart wrenching cry of a newborn. These days, I am less inclined to drop everything to immediately attend to Pebbles if she’s got her banshee on, however there is still only so much a mother bear can bear. I continue to find incessant crying hard on the heart strings, particularly in the car.
Sleep deprivation: Ain’t no getting used to that.
Breastfeeding: If there were capability assessments, I’d still rank as “novice”, even though it’s my third crack at it.
Overwhelming adoration: I don’t think I will ever get used to being swept away by the sporadic waves of love and devotion I feel when I look at my babies. You know, those stolen moments (generally in the wee hours) where you find yourself staring in disbelief at this little creature you created, thinking that the parenting police are going to come and tell you that you don’t have a license to be responsible for something so damn tiny and cute.
Health concerns: I think any parent will agree it’s hard to be blasé when it comes to the health and well being of their child. No matter how much I tell myself to take it with a grain of salt, a few less than positive remarks from a child health nurse can get my mother-neurosis firing just as much third time round. The interwebs don’t help either, and, thanks to Dr Google, my children have had suspected cases of everything from A to Z.
For example, I’m currently impatiently awaiting Pebbles’ 6 week paediatric check-up so I can quiz him on the likelihood of craniosynostosis. I shit you not. (I am are only up to ‘C’ with her in potential ailments. She is only 5 wks,after all).
Née, step away from the Google search!
How quickly they grow: Sounds cliché, but it’s true. Babies change and grow so fast and somedays I really wish I could hit the pause button to enable me to relish this time for a little longer, before I hang up my newborn bootees for good.
Dressing a newborn: It’s much like trying to stuff an electric eel into a sausage skin, I assume. Granted, I’m less fearful of breaking Pebbles than I was with the boys, but it’s still a challenge. Add lethal nappy contents for increased degrees of difficulty.
So, there’s a few things about newborns that I will probably never master. I’m certainly not going to go back for another shot at it!
What do you think was the most insurmountable or challenging thing about having a newborn?
As the breeze rustles through the surrounding palm trees, I doze on a daybed in an open air pavilion on a pristine island beach. I can hear the distant sounds of my boys playing happily with their father, down by the water’s edge.
My newborn girl contentedly sleeps in a baby hammock next to me, sated by my super milk, that she only requires three times a day. The bra of my bikini, therefore is not stuffed with hydrogel nursing pads as my nipples are not tender and grazed from hourly feeds. In fact, my body overall has recovered from birth remarkably, with no need for stifling Lycra knee length recovery shorts or inch thick maternity pads.
I open my eyes and uncross my slim, non-swollen ankles (not a cankle in sight) as a waiter quietly places a platter of fresh seafood and a glass of Möet down beside me. He smiles apologetically and backs away so as not to disturb the sleeping babe…
Wait, that wasn’t actually a handsome waiter, that was a demanding preschooler hunting for my iPad.
And unfortunately he didn’t care about disturbing me OR the sleeping baby.
An ear-piercing squeal triggers my milk let down and I raise head from the crumpled sheets, idly wondering when the last time I brushed my hair was. I look at the clock, noting the distinct lack of food and beverages at my bedside, before realising I have managed a 45 minute nap.
And in this mumma’s eyes, that more than makes up for the missing seafood platter.
My Instagramed Life
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
Hi, I’m NéeI live with 3 boys, 2 dogs and a cat. My house is a mess and my life is chaos but I wouldn't have it any other way (well a little cleaner & calmer wouldn't hurt!) Welcome to my little corner of the blogosphere...
- Diary of a SAHM
- Life Love and Hiccups
- Get on with it already
- Tessie Girl
- Life in a pink fibro
- My Big Nutshell
- Wait until the sunset
- CRAP Mamma
- Be a fun mum
- Crash Test Mummy
- About a bugg
- Suger coat it
- Daisy Roo & Two
- Lipgloss Mumma
- Lovely Living
- Diary of a SAHM