Tuesday, November 30, 2010
I actually feel like I've been nesting this entire pregnancy. I've rearranged and organized the entire house. I've put little systems in place that make it possible for me to get my housework done - at least to my satisfaction. I've created routines for myself and the kids that make our days run more smoothly. I'm filling the freezer with food so I won't have to cook or worry about what people are going to eat while I'm snuggling a newborn. I've gotten most of my Christmas planning and shopping done. And I am feeling really good about the home we've created to bring this little baby into.
I know I wasn't nearly this prepared to bring home my other two babes. With Helen, I had grand plans to cook ahead, but I never got around to it. I think I somehow expected life to be easier after my second was born - like I knew what I was doing. I didn't. I was a mess.
This time, I'm trying to be more realistic. And more prepared. Which is easier, because this time, I have a little bit better idea of what needs to be done. And I have more realistic standards. I now that my older children will need to eat and that I will need to be prepared to feed them. I also know that it is perfectly okay for them to live for awhile on a diet made up solely of PBJ, canned fruit, apples, mac & cheese, cheese sticks and gold fish crackers. They'll be thrilled, it'll be easy for me, and we can worry about variety and nutrition when I'm no longer nursing a newborn around the clock.
On the other hand, I know that my hubby and I are not usually content with such monotonous fare. Especially me. Especially when I'm nursing a newborn around the clock. I must eat. I must eat copious amounts of food. I must eat meat at every meal. And so I have a freezer full of food that I like and that can be quickly nuked to feed a starving new mama.
My vision for this time is a bit different too. I'm learning to live with a bit of mess. I no longer harbor delusions that I'll be able to get through baby's first year with a shiny sink. I've built into my daily routines times that are just for sitting with my kids. I no longer rely quite as much on television to babysit my kids, and at the same time, I have no guilt about using it when I need it.
All of these are practical, pragmatic changes I've made that I hope will help me get through the addition of this new bundle of joy without a third bout with post partum depression. I know I still have some personal demons to face. I need to trust in myself as a mother. I need to trust that I can parent my older children and my newborn in a way that won't mess them up for life - even if that doesn't look like what Dr. Sears or Alfie Kohn or the wonderful, gentle mothers in my mother's group would consider ideal. I need to know that children are resilient and what they most need from me is my sanity. I need to know, deep in my soul and not just intellectually, that life is not perfect, that I am not perfect, that my imperfection is not the end of the world and that we will all survive it.