The most difficult lesson I've learned over the past six and a half months as a mom is to keep my expectations extremely low. As in virtually non-existent low.
If I have a day's worth of to-do items to accomplish it is inevitable that nothing will get done and as a result I'll feel like I failed. That to-do list I'm talking about is usually pretty simple things like put the dishes in the dishwasher, take out the trash, respond to an email, do something with my hair so I can stop feeling like a slob. Things like going to a yoga class, working on my graphic design projects and sleeping aren't ever on the list anymore. If I add them, or even think about them, feelings of disappointment and frustration set in when they aren't accomplished and I'd just rather not even enter into that spiral. It's a slippery one for sure.
The type A/ambitious/competitive personality in me (i think it still exists?) wants to plan it all out and get everything done so I can move on to other things and maybe, just maybe, have 5 extra minutes to spare. Maybe even tackle a personal goal, such as run a half-marathon? But then there is always another diaper to change, a baby to be calmed or a dinner to be made.
People warned me about sleep deprivation and all that comes with having a young baby but I honestly never though that would be me. Surely I had it in me to rise above it all and prove that it could be done and be done well. I've been running on adrenaline for 6 months and every night I think, if I can just get one more hour of sleep I'll be able to tackle it all. Well that hasn't happened yet and I've learned that I need to remove that expectation from my head because at the moment it's causing more harm then good.
I know one day I'll look back on this time and long for the days when Connor was small and dependent on his mama. In the meantime I'll just keep loving that toothless smile. Luckily it brings me so much more joy then having a clean sink.