Monday, October 22, 2012

Lesson 14: Everything Is A Lot More Work

One night last week, Sam took a late nap and I didn't get the lasagna in the oven until after 6.  When Jeff came home and Sam was awake, I noticed we still had a good hour before the sun went down and my kitchen timer went off, so we hurriedly bundled our boy and dashed across the alley to the park.  On a whim, I texted our neighbor (and Sam's buddy), and they joined us.  Later, we ate lasagna at 7:30 and then took a spur-of-the-moment trip through the Starbucks drive-thru for a Pumpkin Spice latte just because... It was a WONDERFUL night.

There was a time not very long ago, when a night like that would have seemed ordinary.  We would work or play until close to seven, eat a late dinner, and often go out afterwards.  That was my life B.B. (before baby).  These days, it goes a little more like this:
6:30PM - dinner
7:00PM - clean up dinner while Jeff takes Sam upstairs for bath
7:30PM - wrestle Sam into his pajamas, brush his teeth, read books, say a prayer, put to him to bed
8:00PM - fold laundry, grade papers, feed Addy (poor girl), respond to emails, lesson plan, etc., etc. and literally collapse into bed, exhausted, some time between 9:30 and 1:30 depending on the night.

Can you relate?

Lesson #14: Everything Is A Lot More Work

Sometimes I catch myself dreaming about the Saturdays when I could sit at my laptop cranking out blog posts and Facebook stalking and re-heating my coffee ALL day if I wanted.  Or the days when I could shop with only a small purse or get ready to go out by simply showering and primping myself.  Or the nights when Jeff and I would decide at 7PM to go out to eat and catch a movie with friends, then come home tired and go right to bed... and stay there until well after 8AM the next morning.  Sometimes, I admit, those feel a little like "the good ole days."

Life with a baby is BUSY.  Everything - and really, I mean everything - is more work than life before.

To be honest, this has been one of my most difficult transitions to motherhood - just the constant feeling that something needs to be done and you are the one to do it --

A trip to the grocery store requires strict planning because I only have thirty minutes before someone starts climbing out of the cart.

An afternoon at the mall requires a stroller, diaper bag, change of clothes, snack, sippy cup, toys, jacket, and a strict 3PM deadline for nap time.

Dinner out? No problem, as long as we have a lifetime supply of food, a bib, our own high chair if we are going to someone's house, a sticky mat for the table... Or, better yet, a babysitter. :)

And, don't even get me started on a quick weekend getaway or - heaven forbid - a beach vacation.

Nothing is ever simple...
This post is part of a series for 31 Days of Change hosted by The Nester. To see my other "lessons," click here.

20 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  3. (I just clicked through from Google Reader to comment on your post about not getting comments, but that post appears to be missing now, so I'll leave this here.)

    I'm a long time reader but don't have the time to comment much. Truthfully, I used to really enjoy your writing, but lately I find it so incredibly whiney. Reading your blog is exhausting. I come back to blogs to be entertained, inspired, uplifted. Not make my head spin from constant freak-outs.

    I don't mean that to be so harsh, just honest. I stick around because I hope one day you'll return to that straight-from-the-heart style that I enjoyed so much.

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  4. Ditto to the above comment.

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  5. My goodness! The above comments are not so nice, even if the 'anonymous' reader is being honest. I love reading your blog. Love love love it. It has gotten me started on my own blog, and my own lists of things to do in life, setting goals, etc. You make your life so sound wonderful and fun and crazy and hectic- and almost convinces me that I want the exact same things in life. Thank you for writing, and keep up everything that you want to publish!

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  6. I totally disagree with the above commenters. I really love your blog because you are REAL. You don't try to sugar coat life and that keeps your blog honest. I love hearing about your journey into motherhood, because I can't wait to one day be there myself. One thing I can recommend is that I'd love to see more pics. of baby (or toddler) Sam. :) He is just the cutest thing!

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  7. Being honest here -- I've been reading since the early days and I feel like your blog used to be a lot more FUN. As in, unique features, the joys and embarrassments of living in your hometown, home projects, etc. I realize that your life is different with a kid but I don't have any and get bored when all of your posts revolve around him. I agree that the whiney-ness and freakout posts are turn-offs, too. As far as the 31 lessons in 31 days go, I think most blog readers appreciate quality over quantity. Be purposeful! You are a great writer -- you just need to get back to what you were doing when you started the blog and found so many followers who loved it.

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  8. My oldest child is 17 years old and I still get nostalgic about the way my husband & I could just go if the mood struck us. It does get easier, but the really funny thing is that my son will call us to check on us if he thinks we are out too late.

    As for all the negativity in the previous comments, I just started reading your blog, but fell in love with it instantly. As a mom, I've been around the block, and what you are writing about is the same "aha" moments most of us have as new mothers. You're putting it all out there, the ups & downs & in-betweens and I think it's great! I love how you seem to roll with the punches and make adjustments as needed in how you are handling situations. Keep up the great work, I'll be reading!

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  9. I found your blog through another blog and i really enjoy reading it! as a student teacher i enjoy reading it and hearing your stories about teaching. i also love hearing your stories about Sam because I am starting to have baby fever (even though I'm still many years away). don't get discouraged, your blog is lovely. :]

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  10. Whatever happened to "if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all." The negative comments on her haven't even been constructive. It may not be your cup of tea, but there are a lot of parents out there looking to connect with someone who is experiencing what they are. Parenting is lonely and hard and there are tons of people out there looking to know they aren't alone. In reading each others struggles we can comfort the anxiety that comes with those constant questions that plague us as moms: "Am I doing the right thing? Is it normal to feel this way about being a mom? Is this feeling temporary?"

    Maybe this blog isn't what it was when you started reading it, but it is a great source for mothers to find comfort and a friend. There are countless other blogs you can go read if you are looking for something else. But I know E will gain a slew of new readers as she connects with young moms and creates not just a comforting environment, but a community.

    Keep it up, E. Our lives evolve constantly. It's okay for a blog to evolve too. Just as we lose friends as we evolve, we may lose readers. But you will also gain new friends and new readers as you evolve. And maybe they will be better friends who will have something helpful and constructive to say :)


    M.
    windowsbymelissa.blogspot.com

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  11. Sorry to comment twice, but I just wanted to add that I like a blog that I can grow with! It's like having a good friend or family that will always be there. I like knowing I can come here and find something that helps me know that what I am experiencing is normal. Reading your blog is like having lunch with a good friend. It's light hearted when it needs to be, but addresses the concerns of real life. Basically, it's real. And I appreciate that.


    M.
    windowsbymelissa.blogspot.com

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  12. I would be willing to bet the "nay-sayers" don't have little ones. This blog has been nothing but an encouragement to me as a new mom! I appreciate your honesty so much!

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  13. E, I found your blog through my friend's blog (Keeping Up With the Kimseys), and I love it! I am a fellow high school English teacher and Clemson graduate, and my daughter was born around the same time you had Sam. You are a wonderful writer and I can totally relate to a lot of your posts. What you write about is real and honest, and I hope that you are not discouraged by some of the above comments. Your blog is wonderful!

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  14. E, your blog is often a highlight of my day. I am totally relating to your mom lessons as I embarking on my own journey into motherhood. And I've been honored to be a part of it when you visited us in Seattle. You've inspired me to start my own blog and, while not nearly as amazing as yours, I hope I can inspire others or just make them laugh. BTW - thanks for the super cute hat that you sent to Sawyer! I hope that him and Sam can meet one of these days when we are visiting.

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  15. loving the 31 lessons--i think the lack of comments (at least on my end) are that i dont want to feel like an "overcommenter" so if you post 4 in a day, i only want to comment on one-feel free to delete this, i think you deleted the comments post? it showed up in my reader anyhow though :)

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  16. whoah, i just read the other comments--i guess you asked for honesty but...yikes, no one means it when they say that! (just me?) LOVE your blog and love relating, but then again i have a one year old...chin up!

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  17. I too read your "Frustrated" post, and as a chronic blog reader/non-commenter (sorry :\ ), I feel like I at least owe you a comment on this one. I've been a reader since you were pregnant (our little guys were born about a month apart), and the keep-it-real quality is what I love most about your blog. I would agree that lately you've been sounding...discouraged? I actually really love this current post, because I totally get how an ordinary trip to Starbucks can make for a special night these days. And that's the kind of happy tidbit that I love seeing from you. Little things from your everyday life - the good and the bad!

    Think about the impact that Cup of Jo can have with just an image and a few words. I love your writing, but you do not have to write lengthy posts every time. Also, you are a working new mom, and NO ONE expects multiple posts a day, or even per week. Just do what makes you happy!

    I'll try to do better in the commenting department. Just know we anonymous readers are here because we like what you have to say! Since I don't blog, I guess I always feel weird being just a name in the comments without an online identity to tie it to. Does that make sense?

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  18. Another nod of support here... Ultimately, no one is forcing people to read your blog, so I am of the mind that you can talk about whatever is going on in your life - that's what makes the blog genuine. You are a wonderful writer now as you were before Sam. I'll admit that I have a little one born a month after yours, so of course your blog is probably more poignant to my life than it may have been had I not had any children. And that's the beauty of the internet - all the "haters" can feel free to explore other blogs and the rest of this world wide web to find something that is more pertinent to their lives, or more "fun"... ;-)

    Thanks for writing!

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  19. I have enjoyed your "31 Lessons" series the most of any of your writing. I think you do a nice job of expressing both the joys and frustrations of being a new mom (a lot of bloggers veer too far in one or the other direction). It is very heartfelt and insightful to me since I am not a mom yet (someday!).

    This also means that I feel limited in what I can say in a comment since I have no personal experience to draw from, and your writing often seems to be specifically addressing other moms and I feel a little left out of the "Mom Club."

    But I also recognize that this is just because our lives evolve, as a previous commenter said. It has been a lot of fun to see you progress from a young married woman to a new mom. Even if I haven't had the same experiences as you, I learn a lot from reading your writing.

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Your comments are what makes this thing fun! I LOVE to hear from you and do my best to respond to everyone! THANK YOU!


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