I started worrying years ago about how my life was going to change once I was a mother. I am such a routine person, and when we lived in Houston and got our cat I remember having my mornings so thrown off because now I had this hyper little kitten who I was having to chase around the apartment. And then we got a dog and I remember being so frustrated for about two months that I had to spend my mornings refereeing between the cat and puppy until they both got tired and fell asleep.
So I’ve always wondered in the past years as I’ve moved through my days how everything would change when we had a baby. What would my work situation be like and how would I balance it with being a mother? Would the baby nap and give me some writing time? What about bed time? And morning computer time? And watching the news? And cleaning the house? And cooking dinner? And reading books?
It’s not that I expected everything to remain the same–far from it. It’s just that I knew things would change and I wanted to be able to predict what that was going to be like.
And here is what I’m learning: I have no idea.
Because even now, even though I’m here, I have no idea what my life will look like from day to day. And it’s a good lesson for me to learn because I am such a routine and schedule person. But I’m learning to go with the flow more, to expect every day to be different.
The only schedule Evelyn is on is an eating schedule, which she has come up with herself, and which is making my life so much easier than it was back in the fall. But other than that, nothing is set in stone.
Some days she naps well and I can get some things done. Some days she hardly naps at all and I feel like I might pull my hair out (we are desperate for a nap schedule over here! and for naps that consistently last longer than 30 minutes!).
Some days we go to the office and I get as much work done as I can while trying to entertain her. Some days at work she is great and I get a lot done. Some days she fussy and while I may be there for 6 hours, I can really only bill 3 of them. Some days we just stay at home.
Some days I get some cleaning done. Some weeks laundry sits for days before being folded. Some days I can work out. Some weeks it doesn’t happen at all.
There are so many things to do in life: mothering and working and writing and cooking and blogging and cleaning and grocery shopping and working out and spending time with Gerrit and watching shows that make me laugh and reading books that make me think and spending time with my family and sometimes just sitting still.
When it’s all reduced down, the only REAL requirement on this list that must be done every day is mothering. And because of that, I know I can’t do it all every day.
But I think I’m learning that if I can do at least some of it every day, if I can do my best to just do something, then I can go to bed happy. Because if I spent some time writing but left the floors dirty, that’s fine some days. Or if I went to work during a busy week but didn’t have time to read, that’s ok, too. Tomorrow I can maybe mop and then read before bed. And in the end it will (hopefully) all balance out.