Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Get 'Er Done.

When I was pregnant, I expected to get absolutely nothing done for the first few weeks of  Gabriel's life. I expected to eat strictly frozen pizzas and peanut butter sandwiches, sleep when the baby slept, and let my house become completely destroyed. And I was totally okay with it. (Frozen pizzas? More naps? Abandoning housework? Sign me up!) 

But here's the thing: it wasn't that bad. 

I still cooked. I showered often. I didn't need to nap all day. I mailed out birth announcements. I blogged more often than I do now. The laundry was done. We even cleaned our apartment every now and then. 

I was pleasantly surprised that I wasn't just a lump on the couch. 

(Though, there was a great deal of that, happily:)

Worth a Thousand Words.

But, Gabe is nearly four-and-a-half-months old now, and things aren't that much different than his early newborn stage.  I still find it difficult to clean our apartment, to get laundry folded (much less put away...) to make dinner, to sew an Etsy order, or to blog with him. Perhaps I am expecting too much too soon?

While I know that raising Gabe and attending to his needs for love, attention, and food is vastly more important than my desire to not live in a complete pig sty, edit some photos, and do a little yoga, but it's still difficult. I adore kissing his little cheeks, cuddling with him while he nurses, and laughing with him, but can't I also adore a clean apartment? Does it make me selfish to get frustrated that I can never seem to complete my to do list? Am I ridiculous to want to work out?

Despite these frustrations, we've managed to adapt our life to one with a baby fairly well, and some of our tricks include:

Studying with papa
Reading with baby.
Child Labor
Sewing with baby.
Hair Cut!
Cutting Mike's hair with baby. (Just put a towel over Gabe's head and you're good to go!)
Watching a documentary with Gabe.

My primary way of getting things done (aside from plopping him on Mike's lap or taking advantage of a nap), is the wrap. Or sling. Or infant carrier. I love having my hands free:
Wearing my baby

And I absolute adore the view I get when I'm 'wearing' Gabe:

Sweet little face

Sadly, I don't do too much of this these days:

Holding hands.
Hiking with Gabe.
Oh, how I miss getting out of the house and in the fresh air with Gabe. Silly snow. And 16 degree days.
Going on a walk!
Going on a fall stroll with Gabe.
Other ways to get things done include: wearing Gabe in the kitchen while I cook (though I usually have to get Mike to deal with the oven for me, since I don't fancy baking my kid), rocking Gabe with my foot while straightening my hair, sticking Gabe in the bathroom while I take a shower (white noise = calm baby), rotating him between the half a dozen baby play mats and baby containment devices we have in our apartment, and sticking him in the high chair in the kitchen while I'm doing dishes.

I know we'll look back on these days with fondness, so I'm trying to treasure them as much as I can. But if you have any tips for getting things done with a baby, I'm listening!

(In the course of starting this blog post, I've done three loads of laundry, cooked dried beans and made pasta with beans and veggie sausage for lunch, nursed Gabe three times, put him down for two naps, changed his diaper, and plopped him in no less than four baby containment devices. So, I get things done, it just takes much, much longer.)
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