The past few weeks have really been great for me. The hardest part of becoming a mom and staying home all these weeks has been that I feel like I've been losing me. When friends call, I feel tied down and incapable of leaving to go out for a little while. Micah's eating had been a huge consuming part of my life, and has left me a bit unsure about stepping away for too long. When I have friends on the phone, I have lost my ability to hold a conversation - I have nothing to discuss other than Micah. I can talk about poop, or sleeping, or breastfeeding, or how many ounces I can pump. I can tell you the last time I fed the baby, and how many outfits he has worn in any given day . . . but most of these things probably aren't interesting to anyone other than me . . . or possibly DH. I don't do anything else during the day, so it is quite difficult to find interesting topics to discuss. I have felt a bit starved for grownup interactions, and I miss doing my work and being able to go to meetings and schedule my calls. I definitely needed this time off, and I'm not ready to fully return to work, but I miss me.
So, the past few weeks I've tried to get a life. I joined a Baby & Me class, which has been wonderful! It gets us out of the house once a week, and we interact with other mommies. I don't feel quite so boring because I have lots of other mommies who don't care if I talk diapers and pumping. I have been going to a breastfeeding support group that gets me out of the house a second day and I usually go out to lunch after that as well. I am certain I will develop a nice playgroup for Micah from all of these activities. Next month, I am joining another group - each week for 6 weeks, we will go to a different location for a baby-friendly activity - infant massage, a yoga class, a pottery class, a visit with a pediatrician, a photo session, etc. I am excited to learn what activities are out there for Micah and me!
Perhaps the best things that have happened are Micah finally nursing "normally" and sleeping through the night. Nursing normally allows me the freedom to just feed him - when he wants, when we are out, etc. I now have a stash of breast milk in the freezer, so I don't have a panic about what to do if I have to (or want to) run out. It has been unbelievably freeing! Even better, Micah is now sleeping through the night. We put him down at 8:30 and he sleeps until 6:30 or so. What is amazing about that is I can go out after he is asleep! I can even miss the last feed and go out to dinner and have an evening out. On Wednesday, I left DH with a bottle of milk, nursed Micah at 7, then went out to dinner with a friend. It was so freeing to be able to just go out and do my thing for a few hours.
My mom and dad have been great about babysitting. On Sunday night, they came over and watched Micah for a few hours. DH & I were able to go out for dinner to celebrate a belated Valentine's Day - our first "date night" since Micah was born. It was some time we needed to recharge our relationship. Of course, we spent the whole time talking about Micah, but at least we got out! Now that we officially have a bedtime routine and Micah is sleeping through the night, I think we are going to start having them babysit AND put Micah to bed so we can take a longer evening to ourselves. My mom actually asked if she could come and do this one night a week!
So, slowly but surely, I'm trying to find myself again. The new me . . . the one that is a mommy, and the one that has a life beyond being a mommy, too. The balance is so important to me - I really want to "have it all." Wish me luck!
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