Amaya is 21 weeks! It’s so amazing to watch her grow. She’s so fun, always playing and laughing, rarely upset unless she’s tired or hangry. I love observing her as she develops; every day is a new adventure, and I’m learning so much about her! However, that in no way makes her predictable in the least bit. This leads me to a topic that has been on my mind lately – change.
From Balance to Instability
Last week I had a huge meltdown at work. I came in after dropping off Amaya, took one look at the moving box under my desk and burst into tears. My coworker immediately asked me if I was upset about moving my desk, but that wasn’t really the issue. The problem was one more thing in my life was changing. As a new mom, nothing in my life is a constant right now. Amaya keeps me on my toes. Sleep is unpredictable (the lack of which makes me act like a crazy person). Traveling back from Houston was super chaotic a few weekends before, especially compared to our first two trips. Even my marriage looks different – we’ve had more tough conversations in the past week than we’ve had in the past 2 years! And to top it all off, I had been sick and missed two days of work, but it felt like I was two weeks behind. I was so used to achieving this ease and balance in my life. Now my life feels upside down, and I don’t feel like a good wife, mom, or employee. My coworker, whose daughter is now one and a half, told me she feels the exact same way still. I immediately felt comforted. But I also wondered, how will I cope if things don’t get easier?
Negative Thinking Manifests
I went to pump and paused to catch my breath and clear my mind before I started. Then I began pumping, and nothing came out. I know that stress impacts my ability to relax which prevents me from being able to pump. I must have still felt frustrated because after starting and stopping 3 times with no success, I burst into tears again. Why couldn’t I do anything right today?! I sat in the pump room feeling upset and sorry for myself for 20 minutes and then went to find my manager. I needed to talk it out.
I sat down with my boss and with tears streaming down my face told her how I was feeling. After I finished rambling, hiccuping, and sniffling, I came to the conclusion that I need structure and routine. But nothing in my life right now lends itself to structure to anchor me down. I constantly feel overwhelmed and under water, and I’m fighting so hard to stay afloat. She told me, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” This has been my daily mantra. Afterwards I was able to finally pump, and it was the most wonderful relief and release (like when you’ve been holding your pee for forever!)
After talking to Andy that night he reminded me that I haven’t made time for yoga and meditation, and it’s obvious that I need it. This was perfect because he also reminded me I love action items from every hard lesson, and this is something I can work on. I’ve started using YogaGlo and doing practices at home. Granted, most of them are only 20 minutes, but at least it’s something. I’m already noticing myself react less and pause more. I think it’s helping!
Routine Does Not Bring Progress
My new mom friend put it perfectly: “I like to keep reminding myself that everything is new and strange right now. I crave routine and ‘normalcy’ but I think change is the new normal.” If I’m going to make it as a parent, I need to embrace change and stop wishing for consistency. I will create some structure when possible, but being unwilling to budget or upset about things not going my way causes way too much stress that I don’t need. For now, I’m focused on finding ways to stay grounded and cutting myself some slack; this means letting go of my to do list, accepting that good enough is my reality right now, and being kinder to myself and Andy.