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Finding My New Mom-of-Two Personal Normal

There’s a lot of press given to not losing who you are in motherhood, to making sure you take care of yourself and get the time you need to do things that are important to you. I’m all about that, but at the same time, the beginning days of being a mother of two left little time or desire to attend to things that matter to me aside from my children. Their needs were so big, and I was so tired. I didn’t really care if I was “losing myself.” I would gladly have gotten lost if I could have had a few more hours of uninterrupted sleep. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with just being in survival mode for a season, letting go of everything aside from just making sure everyone is alive and kicking at the end of each day.

However, now that we’ve been home nearly four months and Elvie has been cleared to proceed with normal well baby check-ups instead of bi-weekly monitoring, I have a little more time and energy to get backing to being, well, myself. I still can’t do anything huge, and caring for my children is still my main occupation, but there are some little things I’ve slipped back into my routine that make me feel like life is normal again.

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  • Dressing Well 1 of 5
    Dressing Well
    I really like getting dressed in something cute, but the first months of being a mom of two (and living through hospitals stays and everything that came after) was all about survival, otherwise known as all about elastic waistbands and jersey knit. Now that life is a little more settled, I'm finding time to dress a little better on the days I leave the house. I even bought myself a new dress and some new earrings. While my post adoption weight gain still lingers, there's plenty in my closet that looks and feels good.
  • Running 2 of 5
    Running
    This is a photo of me pre-marriage and pre-kids, waiting to start the Pikes Peak Marathon. While I'm not going to be able to get back to that level of training, even running a short distance three nights a week helps me clear my head and remember how well my body adapts when I ask it to.
  • Making and Eating a Lunch That’s Just For Me 3 of 5
    Making and Eating a Lunch That's Just For Me
    I suffer from adult acne, and a year ago I did an elimination diet to figure out what caused it. Inconveniently enough, if I want to be acne free, I need to avoid grains, the milk part of dairy (I can have cream and butter), and most legumes. This leaves a limited amount of items that are easy to make for lunch, so I've just been having acne since the baby came home. It's just been too difficult to prepare that kind of lunch for two, and Zinashi balks when I tell her that she needs to eat something different from me; I got stuck in the trap of making enough for two so I could share. Well, guess what? I figured out that I don't have to share if I don't want to. We have a fridge and cabinet full of things Zinashi can eat that I shouldn't, and there's no reason I can't begin to teach her to be considerate of the needs of others. While she's not a fan of the fact that I won't make her an identical salad (which she will pick through and leave half eaten) to mine, she's adjusting, and I am enjoying having a lunch that tastes good and won't give me twelve new zits by morning.
  • Baking Alone 4 of 5
    Baking Alone
    I realize this runs counter to what I just said about my skin issues, but I find that there are both things that I can bake without acne causing ingredients, and some that are okay in moderation (like things with oats). I love baking, but it's a lot of extra work when little hands want to help, so I've started doing a little baking late at night or when the kids are hanging out with Jarod in the evening. I get the satisfying experience of making something delicious, and my family gets the satisfying experience of eating some of it.
  • Watching Downton Abbey 5 of 5
    Watching Downton Abbey
    When I was in the thick of paperwork to bring Elvie home, I used all my spare time both during the day and after Zinashi went to sleep to get paperwork and travel planning done. When we were home, even after I brought Elvie home from the hospital, I was so exhausted by the end of the day that it was all I could do to keep my eyes open long enough to reply to some emails. Add in the fact that I got woefully behind on opening mail and other necessary household tasks, and there was always something to do that didn't involve relaxing in front of a television drama. Luckily, my free time and exhaustion levels started to improve just as the new season of Downton Abbey was starting. I now sit in front of my computer screen late Sunday night with something I've baked and a glass of sparkling water and enjoy my favorite aristocrats and their household staff.

Read more of our family story on Finding Magnolia.
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