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After having a second baby, I’ve had to drastically shift my priorities.
In the past few weeks, I’ve had to adjust my priorities quite a bit.
I used to have very high expectations of myself on a daily basis.
I liked dinner to be ready and the house to be clean by 5:30 when my husband got home. Clean as in all toys put away in their proper places, beds made, laundry done, and the downstairs vacuumed.
This usually meant running around like a madwoman starting at 4:00 trying to get everything done. During this time, I would set my two-year-old up with a TV show or DVD to entertain her.
She would rather have been playing outside with me, but I told myself that it was very important to have a clean house. Like top priority.
If the house wasn’t clean, I felt like a failure. And it’s not like I have a husband who expects such things. On the contrary, he doesn’t appear to notice whether the house is a mess or spotless. So it was just my own neurotic self driving this obsession.
My other top priority was my blog.
Since its inception in January, I have posted daily. Prior to my second child’s birth, I had figured that I could still continue posting every day. I would just have to make the time for it. HA!
I also had a goal of serving fruits and vegetables to my daughter at every meal (even though she doesn’t eat them) and walking my dog a mile every morning.
Basically, I wanted everything in my life to be consistent, ritualized, and perfect. Then out popped Baby #2.
I could barely think straight for the first week, I was so sleep-deprived. When I finally felt normal enough to even attempt doing my regular mom/wife duties, I quickly realized there was NO WAY I would be able to meet the insane demands I put on myself.
I took a look at my priorities, with the criteria of “Can it wait?” used to test the importance of each one.
My first decision was surprisingly easy- the blog would go on the backburner…because the answer to the question of “Can it wait?” was “Yes.” If I had time to write a post each day, that’s great. If not, no big deal. That was a huge weight off my chest.
Next came my house cleaning schedule. Can cleaning the house wait? My old answer would have been “No.” Now I saw that hey, the world isn’t going to come to an end if there’s a mess at 5:30. In fact, no one will even notice! So yes, cleaning the house can wait. Therefore it’s not important.
Comforting a fussy newborn by walking him around the house for an hour to soothe him even though it means we will have to order takeout for dinner now. Playing with my daughter outside in her baby pool. Those are now my top priorities and guess what? They are priorities that are fun and make everyone happy!
Clearly I still have some work to do, as I am right now choosing to write this blog post while my daughter is awake rather than at her naptime.
But I’m learning as I go, and trying each day to be satisfied with being less than perfect. It’s difficult for me, but hey, at least I get out of cleaning the house every day now!