It’s been a while since I’ve written anything and for that, my dear readers, I am truly sorry. I can only say that I’ve been so preoccupied being a new mom and everything new that goes along with it, that I haven’t had a chance to sit down and write (#newmomlife). Here I am, turning over a new leaf and I’m feeling newly inspired.
To my surprise, the inspiration to write today actually comes from being a mom and having a baby. You see, I’ve been in a period of transition in my life. It took a while to get into the swing of things (10 months of pregnancy and 8 months of being a mom to be exact). Now that I’m swinging along on the playground of mom life, I want to share a few things I’ve learned…I swear, the skills/expertise that comes from being a mom should be listed on a resume and be at the top of the priority list for job recruiters).
1. Time Management
By far, the number one thing I’ve learned from being a mom with an infant is time management. It has become even more difficult to manage my time since having a baby so I’ve had to learn to prioritize. Now, everything revolves around the baby’s nap, diaper, and feeding schedule, not that the timing of those things is incredibly reliable, but hear me out.
Before #momlife I could do a quick run to the grocery store for whatever ingredient I may be missing for a recipe I was trying out for a last minute sweet tooth attack. Heck, I could even drop everything, grab my keys and go out to meet a friend for a movie or dinner in Portland (which is an hour a way).
Now if I need to drive to the grocery store it’s no longer a “quick run.” It’s much more of a production. Even though the grocery store is less than 10 minutes away, I can’t leave while the baby is sleeping and once she’s awake it usually takes about 15 minutes to get her ready to go. By then my sweet tooth attack has been satiated (disappointingly) by whatever granola bar or piece of fruit I could find and shove in my mouth.
And if you want an interesting study into time management, take a look at what it takes for me “drop everything” to go into Portland. I know that the estimated time of departure either needs to be by 9:30 am so she can sleep in the car, or I can’t leave until she has woken up. I also know that I have to change her diaper before putting her in the car seat or she’ll cry the whole way, and I need time to feed her beforehand. Then, I need to leave at least a 30 minute window between when I need to be somewhere in Portland and arriving there because, inevitably, there is another diaper change, possible clothing change depending on the severity of the diaper change, and possible feeding too.
After that, I have maybe an hour window before she will need to be back in the moving car or somewhere dark and quiet, or she will skip her next nap and our lives become somewhat unbearable for the rest of the day.
More importantly, the things on my to-do list can only get done while the baby is napping. So I’ve discovered how productive I can actually be when I prioritize that time. Surprisingly, I actually can get more done in less time. What I’ve discovered is that if I write down the top three things I need to get done, I can cross those off my list while she’s napping and get it done in less than an hour.
I breast feed my eight month old. The other day I realized how present I am with her during feeding times and how checked out I can be outside of those times when #adulting gets in the way. Checked in, mindful, present, I notice her hands, how small they are and the way she grips my thumb with her whole hand. I notice the small noises she makes when she feeds and the way she breathes.
This realization has helped me to “check-in” more in my daily life. How is my breathing? Am I holding any tension in certain areas of my body? Am I giving my family my undivided attention while we’re together or am I thinking about other things?
I always considered myself a patient person but I would say that the old me would lose a contest in patience to the new me after having a baby. Now that she is eight months old, the baby is crawling, very fast might I add. Today she grabbed the table cloth and pulled the hot coffee down along with everything else (no hot coffee on her head thank goodness).
She has also discovered her teeth while breastfeeding…enough said on that one I think. The list goes on and on. So my patience is tried on a minute to minute basis at this point. And the baby is too young to discipline other than to give a stern “no” and redirect to other shiny, yet safe, things for her to play with.
Multi-tasking is an absolute requirement when you’re a mom. The other day I found a way to carry the car seat with the sleeping baby in it, three bags of groceries, and some boxes from the mail, out of the car, all while pulling out my keys and unlocking the front door. I’ve also found that I can keep the baby preoccupied with some toys while I do the dishes and listen to a personal development podcast. But let’s not forget that I have to keep her away from the dishwasher at the same time, which requires either putting her in a bouncy seat (which she’ll only tolerate for short stretches) or rinsing and loading the dishes in in between redirecting the baby to another toy. The same goes for doing the laundry or any other household chore.
All in all, I’ve loved being a mom and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. As the baby grows up, I’m sure there will be tons of new skills learned and mastered that I can add to my resume.
What important life skills have you mastered from being a mom? Let us know in the comments.