I wrote a post which had goals for my year on mat leave. Of course, I wrote it before I had Charlie but was smart enough to not publish it. It turns out the only thing that can really prepare you for what life will be like with a baby is actually having a baby (regardless of how much time you spend with nieces and nephews).
The part of that draft post that gets me the most is the goal of not turning on the TV until my “to do” list is done.
Let me tell you a bit about my daughter. If she had her way she would play and eat. It’s not far off the average infant life. It’s just missing the whole “sleep” thing. Instead of letting Momma have a break, she would much rather just eat again. Even if she just ate five minutes before hand.
Whatever mother who tells you she gazes adoringly at her child at every feeding is either a liar or a saint. Whatever mother says she reads doesn’t have a hyperactive monkey child. Whatever mother says she feeds her child hands free in a baby carrier is a contortionist. The only way to maintain at least some sanity is either to be glued to your cellphone or marathon a tv series on Netflix (Gilmore Girls is a great one).
The reality is that most days I can make it further through a season of TV than through my to do list. Sure, it would be nice to be able to look at a completed list and get that feeling of accomplishment. But once you resign yourself to the fact that the first few months won’t be the most productive, you can settle into a different level of contentment.
I would much rather spend my days snuggled on the couch with my baby than trying to rush through a feeding just to get through a list on time.