Monday, September 24, 2012

My New "Normal"

As many of you know having a baby completely changes your life and my how my life has changed since having Ella.  I don't usually open up about my personal life on my blog but I really want to share with my readers what's been going on with me and why there has been such a lack of posts lately.  My life is a constant balancing act.  I'm trying to find the right balance of wearing many, many hats in my "new normal."  It's been really, really hard...much harder than I ever thought it would be.  Thankfully I have an amazing husband, understanding boss and great support from family and friends.  When people ask me, "how are you doing?" I say I'm adjusting to our "new normal" and every day gets better.  I thought I would share with all of you how I'm adjusting to wearing many hats and what has helped me get back to some sort of routine/schedule.  Prepare yourself...this is a looong post.  

Mommy - My new number one priority is wearing my mom hat.  I want to be the best mom I can be for Ella and be there for her at all times.  It's been a challenge now that I'm back at work but its also helped me make the most of our time together.  During the week is the hardest because I only get a couple hours in the morning and at night with her.  Thankfully she's in daycare at my work so I use my lunch time to go down and check on her and get in a few hugs and kisses.  I also cherish morning time now.  She's always so happy and giggly when I go get her in the morning.  There's nothing better than seeing her smiling face when I walk in her room.  Seeing that makes it all worth it. 

PR Professional - I went back to work a couple of weeks ago and it's definitely been a transition and adjustment.  I'm a different "employee" than I was before maternity leave.  The old me would work 10 hours days, constantly on my blackberry and able to take on any new project.  The new me works 9-5:30, doesn't have time to check her blackberry unless before 7am or after 9pm and trying to juggle it all.  I've found being organized and getting out the door in a timely fashion is key.  I get up around 5am every morning to either go to the gym or get myself together.  The best thing my husband and I did was establish a routine.  On MWF, I'm at the gym then home to get myself ready for work and Hubby takes care of Ella and vice versa on Tu/Th.  And we do everything the night before - make her bottles, prep anything she needs for daycare, make my breakfast/lunch, etc.  We've gotten into such a good rhythm that I'm able to get out the door every morning without feeling stressed.  It's all about being a team and organized.    

Housekeeper - I like a very clean and organized house and I HATE clutter.  It's been a challenge to keep up a clean and organized house when you have an infant at home and both you and your husband work fairly demanding jobs.  First thing is, thank goodness for my cleaning lady who comes every two weeks.  She is seriously a lifesaver!!! I would give up Starbucks, pedicures, shopping, whatever it took to keep my cleaning lady!  And then as far as the day to day and keeping things neat a's all about putting things away right away and implementing some new organization methods like the Kitchen Command Center.  I also have a very helpful husband that also hates clutter.

Cook - With the first three "hats" really who has time to cook?!?!?!  Again, it's all about the organization.  I plan my meals out ahead of time (thank you to Pinterest for the helpful planning sheet), grocery shop for those specific meals and cook as much as I can first.  For example this is our weekly menu (I don't usually plan Sat/Sun because there's actually time to cook and I don't have to worry ahead of time)and how I prepped ahead of time -
  • Turkey Tacos - Prepped the meat and everything that goes with it yesterday.  Just have to heat up the meat and tacos shells and put my tacos together. 
  • Roasted Tilapia - Decided to do this meal on a day that my husband goes to the gym in the morning.  He gets home from work before me so he can be in charge of dinner and have it ready for when I get home. 
  • Slow Cooker Pot Roast - Key word in this meal is "slow cooker".  I prep everything the night before and then in the AM all I have to do is throw it all together and turn on the crock pot.  Voila - dinner ready when I walk in the door.  
  • Slower Cooker Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup - Again prep the night before, throw everything in the crock pot and dinner ready to go when I get home.

Blogger -  This has definitely fallen to the back burner as you can see by lack of posts.  It's not that I don't have lots of things to blog about...really I do...but between all the other hats and keeping up the family blog I really have little to no time to work on Favorite Things.  I've decided that I want to start setting aside a couple hours a week (once during the week and a couple on the weekend) to take time to blog.  I love my blog and the community I've built.  I want to keep growing and meeting new bloggers.  So here's my promise to you - at least one or two blog posts a week and all I ask is for your patience. 

Just being Christina - This "hat" has by far been the hardest one to balance...I'm always last on the list.  And I know that's how it should be most of the time but sometimes I really just want some "me" time.  I've been desperately needing a haircut and manicure/pedicure but unfortunately its always last on the list of things to do and as you can see from all the other "hats" my to do list is VERY long.  I'm getting much better about it and thanks to my amazing husband I'm able to have some "me" time.  I also try and have time to myself when Ella is sleeping.  On Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday I get up at 5am and head to the gym.  I'm home in time to see Ella wake up.  It's not easy getting up that early but I end up having more energy if I get a quick workout in.     


Mrs EyeCanSee said...

Adjusting to being a mom is definitely a huge adjustment! HUGE! And while I don't want to start some working vs SAMH mom war, it's a different kind of balancing act for sure.

As a "veteran" working mom of 2 years I will say it gets easier. Those early months were tough. I'd see Jamie in the morning just long enough to get him dressed before I was out the door and in the evenings we only had an hour or so before the bedtime routine started. I saw my son for like 2 waking hours a day. It was so hard.

I guess what I'm trying to say it, I get it. I've been there. Hang in there!

Meg Godish said...

Thank you so much for this post!!! My husband and I are planning to start a family in the next two years when he finishes school...and this really helped bring me a touch of reality. I know from friends who are starting families how hard it can be, but only from passing comments. It seems like everyone wants to put up that they are super mom and it's easy to juggle.

You sound like you are doing an amazing job!!! I hope to learn a lot from you as I begin this same journey with my own mini-family soon.

I would like to ask - maybe you can post about it - did you and your hubby do any pre-planning when gearing up before Ella?

Good luck on the continuous journey - you are going continue to be a fabulous mom!!!

[darci @ the good life] said...

Hi dear-

It sounds like you have the right perspective and are tackling it all with a good attitude and acknowledging that YOU too are important. Definitely make time for yourself!!

I think you're doing great....sounds like y'all have a great routine falling into place and it will only get better and easier over time!

PS - Ummm.... you look teeny tiny already! Hot mama! Happy Friday, friend!


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