This is one of the first lessons I’ve learned. Truly, it is. Flexibility is a must when it comes to motherhood.
Unfortunately, “go with the flow” is one euphemism that has never, does not, and will never describe me. Yet it’s something I’m learning every day as a mom.
A planner, a plotter, a ten-steps-ahead thinker … I’ve always handled changes to the plan (be it shopping plans with a friend, a weekend date with my husband, or a work plan gone awry) with discomfort. In my mind, if I set out to do something, it ought to happen. Right?
Enter parenthood, where your every whim is dictated by someone else … a little 13 lb bundle of joy who is, in many ways, our little czarina — and we love her to pieces 🙂
I worried I would not handle this changes with ease; that I’d find myself stressed to the nines when things don’t go according to my “plan.”
What I’m learning is that I’m getting much better with flexibility, and I think I’m a better mom because of it. I’m learning to adjust my expectations of what I can do/will do. It’s quite cathartic to have this realization, if I’m being completely honest.
Don’t get me wrong — Maya has a feeding/sleeping schedule now (though daytime nap durations and frequency vary at the moment). But some nights she is rubbing her eyes at 6:30 and we skip her bath to put her to bed earlier than her usual 7:30/8 bedtime.
Or she might have a late afternoon nap at babyschool and might want to party til 8:30.
Or she might wake at 6 AM hungry or wet, instead of me waking her up at 7/7:15 to get ready.
It’s a gamble in many ways with a four-month old. And today was a perfect example in learning to take things in stride and be flexible. My husband is in San Diego/Tijuana for work this week, so I’d planned (there’s that word again!) to savor the late afternoon sunshine and take Maya for a long walk after work … figuring it’d compensate for a total lack of gym time the past two weeks.
Well, when I got to babyschool at 5:30 she was about to eat (she usually would have eaten at 4)… so I needed to feed her when we got home. While feeding her, the sky changed from blue to gray to that pre-storm charcoal color which dashed my walk plans.
I still needed to run to the grocery store (something I’d do once she was in bed if my husband had been here to watch her) so I adjusted my expectations: I figured we’d rush to the store and see if we could beat the rain. We did, and when we got back, we were able to get in a quick 30 minute stroll … Only problem was by the time we did bath time and her last feeding (and I actually ended up nursing her — something I don’t do often anymore — to kill two birds with one stone: feed her/lull her to sleep) it was 8 and she didn’t go to sleep til closer to 8:30.
Which means I probably won’t have time to do some pleasure reading like I’d hoped if I got everything else done. Oh well!
Nights like tonight, I look at my to-do list and realize some things just aren’t going to get done. And I’m OK with that. I have a little work to do that I brought home, but other than that, the rest can wait. That precious time with Maya tonight is totally worth bringing my laptop home!
I like to think that as each day passes, I’m transforming (albeit gradually) into a willow tree — and I have Maya to thank for it.
How about you? How do you handle changes in plans? Do you bend easily or do you get stressed with change?
One thought on “Motherhood 101: Bend like the willow or break like the oak”
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Controlling your weight through food is not hard but it does take some practice and getting used to.