11-13-08: Reality TV and Me
Lately I've been watching a lot of reality TV while I nurse the baby. Shows that feature some kind of makeover are my favorite. It's no wonder. I could use a serious life makeover of my own.
Let me paint you a picture. This morning the girls woke me up at 6:30. That gave us over two hours to eat breakfast and get ready for preschool. Despite my advanced preparations, such as laying out clothes and packing snacks, the morning quickly spiraled out of control. By 8:00 am, there was playdoh squished into my floors and yogurt smeared all over my dinning room table. And as always, I was running around trying to keep up. After fixing breakfast and cleaning up messes, I nursed the baby. Then I took a quick shower and got dressed into the only pants the fit me at the moment: a shabby pair of black stretch pants. I left my hair wet and it dried into a frizzy frazzled mess. I didn't manage to put on any makeup because the baby was fussing in his crib. When I picked him up, he spit up all over my clean red turtleneck. By the time this all played out, it was about time to get the girls to school. I scarfed downed the last bit of egg and toast that Julia left on her plate. Still starving, I grabbed an Oreo cookie and swigged some milk.
Once I got back home, I surveyed my house. I wanted nothing more than to pull out the vacuum, but instead I had to finish writing an essay. This was stressful because the baby was fussing as I wrote. I had a deadline to meet, though, so I worked through his protests. When I finished with my work, I sat down to nurse David again. I tried to relax, but the state of my house (and the state of myself) has me feeling so tense.
I know David is just four weeks old. I know I need to loosen my expectations. And if I've learned anything about parenthood it's this: I'll never have a clean house again. Yet I can't help but think there must be a better way to get through the day. Is it so bad to want to look and feel good as I navigate my way through baby spit-ups and toddler tantrums? Right now it feels impossible to pull off. The other day I managed to eat a very delicious veggie-hummus wrap because we had left over salad in the refrigerator. The next day, I attempted to fix the same healthy lunch, but with the girls demanding my attention and the baby wiggling in my arms there was no way I could cut up vegetables. So I ate some leftover macaroni and cheese instead.
While it's true that having a new baby makes it hard to achieve any kind of schedule, I confess that I was having a pretty tough time achieving balance even before he was born. I've struggled to make time for consistent exercise and healthy eating. And forget about finding time to decorate my house. That being said, although I might dream of being made over, I realize there are three things in my life that are just perfect as they are: Their names are Julia, Elise, and David.