Monday, June 11, 2012

A Hairy Situation

Ayden put himself to sleep a half hour early for his morning nap this morning. I always peek out at him once in a while during my shower to make sure he's okay. About half way through I looked out to see him rubbing both hands down the sides of his face. If that's not a sleepy cue I don't know what is. I finished up my shower, dried off and carried him straight to his bed. He watched his projector for a couple of minutes, rolled to his side and went right to sleep. It only lasted 30 minutes but it was effortless which is what we've been working towards. Small victories! Now if we can just get him to STAY asleep longer...

Speaking of showers, I found myself telling David last night that they have fallen into the same category as Facebook for me these days: Worthless Time Suck. I suppose they aren't really worthless as they do serve the purpose of getting you clean and all. It's just that since I've become a mom I've found that things like showers and even using the bathroom, although necessary, have become what feel like a waste of time. There are just so many other things I can accomplish in the time it takes to shower and get ready.

It also doesn't help that post partum hair loss is in full swing. I find that I'm spending half of my shower time unwinding wet, clingy strands of hair from my fingers. Once I get them free, I try keeping them collected on the wall of the shower so I can throw them away in an effort to keep the drain clear. Despite my effort it's currently clogged so I suppose David's in for a hairball of a treat when he get's around to cleaning it out. My hair also always finds its way wound around Ayden's little fingers too. Apparently during pregnancy, all the hormones slow down your usual hair shedding pattern, then somewhere between 3 and 4 months postpartum, when hormones are beginning to regulate again, the body starts releasing all those hairs it's been holding onto for so long. I hear it will all go back to normal but not until I've made it through the cycle of my already fine head of hair thinning even more, then having spikey baby hairs sticking up everywhere while some of what was released grows back in.

Fresh out of the shower this morning...
Yes, gross, I know... But who said motherhood was all rainbows and sunshine??
As I am going through all of this, along with several other not so sexy necessary postpartum activities (ie: milking myself like a cow regularly, almost always wearing my new perfume al la "Spit Up," having permanent bags and dark circles under my eyes that seem to age me a good 5 years, etc,) it is all starting to come together. I always wondered how new moms could ever let themselves become "frumpy" or "loose themselves" like you always see or hear about. Now almost 5 months into my very own field study it all makes sense. Now you may ask, has it happened to me? The honest answer is... "Maybe a little bit?"  But will I allow it to take over completely? That answer is a definitive, "NO!!"

For the first few months I felt like I had plenty of time for myself.  Newborns sleep a lot and when they're awake they are content to stare at windows and such.  I obviously interacted with him for most of his awake time, but my point is that it was much easier to find some time for myself here and there.  During Aydens 4th month, however, he started becoming more interactive. This is an amazing and very necessary milestone that I am totally excited about; but with it has come a trade off and the need for creativity. I used to be able to have him play independently in his bouncy seat or on his play mat next to me for a bit while I did some photo/video editing (one hobby of mine). Or, I'd get in a good 20-30 minutes of reading in while he nursed, since he used to be a little more lazy and less efficient of an eater. Now I am finding that housework and "me time" mainly has to happen while Ayden sleeps. I need to be careful because as things are right now, house work is almost always winning out over me time and when me time wins it's usually for a much needed nap.  I should note that Ayden still works on and is good at playing independently, which is just as important for a baby's development as interaction, but now that he's becoming more active, his independent play requires some level of supervision preventing me from diving full on into my own activities while he plays.

Loving his door jumper while I got ready this morning :)
I need to work on finding balance so that I can make time for the things that make me...Me. I have a few crafts lined up and lots of videos to make/edit so now I just need to MAKE time for them. I also want to set aside time to paint my nails every week. Even something as small as that will help me hold onto Me. I think this is the mistake those other "lost mommies" make. They feel themselves slipping away and just say, "Oh well... She'll come back once he's 18" but then she never does.

Lucky for me, I have a hubby who is caring and supportive and willing to help. If I go a week without sufficient "me time" he will help ensure that I can get a little time to myself during which I can do whatever I like. I have mentioned several of the many hats I wear in previous posts (wife, mommy, daughter, pet owner, etc) and the Me hat is moving her way back towards the top before she's lost forever.

David and I are also having to get more creative for "us time" if you know what I mean.  But that's possibly another post all by itself.  Bottom line?  It has to happen!  No exceptions here...

Though I feel like taking a shower and getting ready is a waste of time, I obviously will continue to engage in such "frivolous" activities because 1) nobody wants to be a stinky mommy ;) and 2) once I've finished fixing my hair, getting dressed and doing my makeup I look in the mirror and think, "Oh good...You're still here!" which reminds me the effort and "wasted time" was worth it.

<3 And WORTH IT it all of this is!! <3
What do you do to properly balance being a mommy and still being You??


1 comment:

  1. You hit the nail right on the head. It's so easy to sacrifice time for yourself. I know I sure did the first year (started right around this age). The only time I made it a priority to get showered and dressed was when I had to go to work. Otherwise I used nap times to clean and such. Though my house was in order, I didn't feel good and still always felt like I had more to do, so 13 months in, I've decided to start using some of my time for myself. Good job catching it before you slip too far!