So after sitting Andra in her bouncy seat in front of the dishwasher (which by the way had CLEAN dishes in it as I ran it this morning, but never emptied) because the girl NEEDED A NAP (serious meltdown), I turned on Oprah. (I really meant to finish a book from the library that I checked out in February and have renewed twice already.) The show is about motherhood! And how so many women have overblown expectations.
I don't think I had unrealistic expectations. I don't have the need to be perfect, to have the perfect kid (although of course I do!), to stay on the perfect schedule. My husband will affirm that our house is not particularly clean, and I don't cook much or well. And that's all ok with me. My priorities are 1) happy kid (preferably one who NAPS, though sleeping 10-12 hours at night is good enough), 2) working out (I'm ok with maintaining right now, even though I wish I could do 2 hour workouts and be as fit as I was when I got pregnant). Everything else just has to fall into place, and if it doesn't...eh, well, it just has to.
I remember freaking out while pregnant about how things would change, about how my priorities would change, what if I couldn't work out or hang out with friends? And some people told me that those things just wouldn't matter to me then. It's sort of true. You sacrifice things, but it doesn't really feel like a sacrifice. It's a choice - and so far I haven't felt badly about having to miss out on things. "You can't get back there." They just said that on Oprah, referring to your pre-mommy life. You have to reinvent yourself. That sounds a little dramatic, but I think it's definitely true for some aspects. Your self image does change. And it's not a bad thing. There's just SO MUCH about motherhood that you can't prepare for, you just can't imagine it AT ALL until you go through it. From being pregnant (SO much better that I would've anticipated), to labor (OUCH, who'd have thought pain like that existed and that you really could forget how much it hurt?), to not minding a little creature sucking on your super sore nipples (yeah, I would never have believed I'd still be breastfeeding)...it's endless. You just have to be open to what comes and learn to roll with the punches. If you don't...well, then you end up on Oprah telling the world how all your dreams and expectations were dashed. Which is part of the reason I don't beat myself up that I can't get past 6 miles running. Physically I could (if there were enough bathrooms along the course...that's another story). Mentally, an hour away is enough. Maybe, as Andra is getting older, if I didn't work I could do it (and hope to this summer!). But after 8 hours away, dealing with work and getting up at 5:30 am, working out some is enough. I don't have the option of working part time. So I have to work out part time. It's the way it is, no purpose in assigning it a "good" or "bad" label. I do wish I could fulfill the unrealistic workout expectations I had for after baby, but... for now I have to be ok with the status quo.
I went to a spinning class today...first one in like 6 months, or more. It was too easy. Partly because my heart rate monitor wasn't in my gym bag when I got there, so I didn't have that info to make me push myself harder, and partly because I expected it to be hard so I held back. It was good still, and FUN to be doing that again. I can go at least twice more this week, and I will.
Andra's nap lasted 26 minutes. It took at least that long for her to fall asleep to begin with. I sense another meltdown in 2 hours for bedtime...