Last time I was on maternity leave, I had very low expectations for myself. My goal was to get one productive thing done per day. It could be to clean something, do a load of laundry, call the cable company, or whatever. It may not seem like much, but it turns out that taking care of a baby is a lot of work. Still, the office job mentality is tough to leave behind, where you have a to do list and your self-worth is often based on what you can get done from it.
This time around I feel a little more like an old pro, but even now I'm not quite sure where the day goes. At this point Carter is still sleeping a lot, but I still feel like it's a challenge to get things done. This time around I probably have more to keep me occupied, since there's Jacob's laundry and other pre-existing mom things to attend to beyond the needs of a new baby. I try to set aside one nap for getting things done, and one nap for napping myself, but it doesn't always happen. I'm trying to appreciate my time with Carter while I have it, so I don't hesitate to sit and hold him for a bit when he's sleeping or when he's wide awake. I feel like my last maternity leave was a little regimented--I was so concerned with doing everything well--and I wanted to make sure I enjoyed this one more. Last time I pushed myself to get things done when Jacob napped, to not spoil him by holding him too much, and to try to take real naps myself, but I think at some point Jacob's napping decreased greatly (it may have been some sort of colicky issues, or looking back on it it may have been his reflux, which we didn't know about until later) and I got frustrated. That may still be ahead of us this time, too, for all I know, but I'm trying to keep things simple and casual for now. I am trying to nap and I am trying to get things done, but I'm trying to stop and smell the roses, too.
I do want to be a better homemaker while I can, so I'm trying to plan out better dinners, if nothing else. I'm enjoying making my lunches--ahhh, the return of cold cuts!--and I'm doing what I can to sort through piles of stuff where I can. It doesn't always happen as soon as I'd like, but I'll get there. I still have to finish up a couple things in Carter's room, and I have curtains to hang in my room, but I still have a few weeks to manage that.
The one frustration I have is that I don't really want to take Carter out into the germy world yet, but there are things I'd like to do. I miss being able to go to Wegmans, Walmart, or Target without a big plan to make sure Carter won't be hungry and Jacob will be taken care of. I want to help Craig out by picking up Jacob from daycare, but I'm hesitant to go there with Carter because inevitably there will be a lot of germy people wanting to get a look at him. I'd love to stop into my office and grab a couple things I left there in the rush to leave, and Craig's office finally wants to give us the shower that had to be postponed, in the form of a lunch, but I'm admittedly nervous. I'd like to get out in the world and feel productive. Last time I was so nervous about taking Jacob out that I didn't even really want to be out very much, but this time I know I can do it (though I need some practice!) so perhaps I'm less hesitant.
It's just funny how productivity changes once you have a baby. I know that my job right now is to take care of Carter, and it's the most important position I can have. Of course, my part time job in the evenings is to make dinner and take care of Jacob, too. There's definitely a lot to juggle, and it will only get worse once I go back to work. So for now I'm trying to enjoy the slower pace and maximize the time I have, while still being as productive as I can be. But if I only get one other thing done each day, so be it. I have something much better to occupy my time right now...