When A was born, it was like a shock to my system. On one hand, I was filled with love for this precious baby and felt a huge need to protect him. I worried constantly about him and he became my main focus. On the other hand, I wondered – what about me? I was so used to being independent, going to work out class on a whim, doing my girly things like getting my hair done, etc. Suddenly, I had a little buddy attached to me. To make it to workout class, I needed to make sure I had enough pumped milk and coordinate with J. To get my hair done, I needed to ask my mother-in-law what her schedule was like. Little things like getting through a pile of laundry seemed impossible all of a sudden.
It took me a while, but I found my new normal and suddenly I preferred my new life to my old one. I got used to relying on others to help me get my “me” time. For day to day life, one of the things that helped me the most was figuring out what was stressful or challenging and creating a system to address it. For example, washing bottles after coming home from work to get ready for the next day really got to me for some reason. After weeks my coworker was like, why don’t you just buy extra bottles? Um, duh. I have no idea why that never occurred to me, but problem solved! Over months this evolved into creating a schedule for chores, meal planning, and pre-making A’s lunches.
Now that baby #2 is here, I am re-organizing my life again but this time I already have my toolbox: figure out what is stressful, and make a plan for it. I I noticed that A sometimes has a hard time transitioning from daycare to getting home for the afternoon, so I have a snack and his water ready to go now and that helps him. This week C has been needing a supplemental bottle in the middle of the night after nursing (that is a whole other story) so after a few nights of running downstairs and fumbling around with bottles and formula, I started pre-making small bottles and putting them in the fridge ready to go. I’m finding another new normal now, and I know that just like before, this will be the best “normal” yet.