One detail that I didn’t mention in my blog post comparing this pregnancy to my last one is the fact that I’m really making an effort to go about some key behaviors differently. Before, I figured that as long as I wasn’t in pain or bleeding, I could take over the world with my baby bump. I had no qualms about climbing ladders to paint, moving furniture, or lifting light to moderate weight boxes. I was also standing for about six hours total to teach four days a week while in my second trimester, so I was pushing it. It wasn’t until a doctor hooked me up to a fetal monitor and showed me that I was having regular contractions that I knew anything was wrong. This of course led to my hospitalization at 30 weeks, and being placed on bed rest for weeks 30-35 before giving birth to Kennedy at 39 weeks 2 days. This may very well be my last pregnancy – not because I don’t believe I can ever be pregnant again, but because I’ve only ever really desired to have two kids – so I owe it to myself to go a different route this time. Even though I work from home for my job, I still have to pace myself, know when to take it slow, and give myself adequate time for rest so as to avoid having the same perils with my son.
This is hard for a woman like me.
If I need a box moved, I don’t like asking someone else to do it and then waiting for that person to move it. I’d rather just move it.
I have standards for how clean I like to keep my home, and that usually entails vacuuming the floors at least once a week, mopping once every two weeks, cleaning toilets and showers every two weeks, and dusting furniture weekly. I try to dust our ceiling fans once a month.
Laundry gets done weekly, and I do usually ask my husband to haul that over to the machine for me because sometimes it’s just way too much to try to carry, or even kick/scoot across the floor.
I grocery shop weekly, which means groceries are hauled in from the car weekly, though if he’s home when I come back from the store, my husband will also do this.
But in addition to these chores, I’m also cooking meals daily (which requires standing) and doing shopping (which requires walking on hard surfaces).
I got to learn the hard way this past weekend that I don’t have as much energy to go around for these things as our son grows and grows. I spent Saturday morning shopping, the afternoon at the play area with Kennedy, dinner at Red Robin with Kennedy, and then sat through a movie (and millions of previews) with Kennedy. It was a long day, and I was burnt out by the end of it. My husband came home to find me seated on the couch under a throw blanket watching Mean Girls with a glazed over look on my face. I told him about my day and how exhausted it had made me. I also told him about how Kennedy’s attitude (typical of a three year old) had also worn on me.
I think all parents try to be the impressive, fun person their kids want to hang out with all the time and share fun memories with. Where reality balances this dream is that we can’t always do everything our hearts aim for. Some of us would love to take our kids to Disney every weekend, but time, money, or geographical constraints stop us. We would love to be able to buy them the hottest clothes and greatest toys and coolest gadgets, but certain factors prevent us from that, too. Eventually, we want to be able to send our kids to Ivy League schools with a full ride, but that’s not practical for everyone, either. I had this lesson handed to me as I tried to be everything mom while also being expecting mom – it just doesn’t work. And while my daughter surely loved me for taking her out to play, and to dinner, and to a movie, and for all the awesome new clothes I surprised her with that day, she would’ve also been okay with a trip to the park, dinner at home, and maybe a Redbox movie on the couch with homemade popcorn. I don’t have to (and in my current state, really can’t) wear myself out to make her happy, because I alone can be enough. More importantly, I don’t need to place such expectations on myself in order to feel like I’m succeeding as a mom or a wife or a person. This last part is the trickiest for me to master.
It’s hard for me to sit back and relax and let others do things for me.
I don’t do well at waiting on others. Perhaps it’s impatience? I don’t know.
I’m a woman of action. I have a vision, I put it in motion, and I get things done. Taking a more docile approach goes against a lot of what I’m about.
…but the cost of not doing such is far too great right now. I’m setting aside my selfishness – which is equal parts ego and need for purpose – and erring on the side of nurturing our baby boy right now.
Check on me in a couple weeks to see how this is going. 😅