Monday afternoon I posted this photo to Instagram with the caption:
Both boys are napping. Do I…
a) fold four baskets of laundry
b) write tomorrow’s blog post
c) take a nap?
Everybody who commented voted for taking a nap. So what did I do? I decided to take advantage of the silence to do something that actually required brainpower. I sat down on the sofa not covered in laundry baskets, opened my laptop, and attempted to write Tuesday’s post.
Yes, I’m sleep deprived, but I felt guilty choosing to nap when there was work to be done. As for the laundry, well, I figured that I could fold clean clothing while supervising playtime later in the evening.
I planned to write about how we hid in the unfinished side of our basement Sunday night because Omaha was under a tornado warning. I was going to include a witty line like “You know you live in the Midwest when your two-and-a-half year old practices tornado drills at school and isn’t phased when the emergency weather radio starts beeping and his mother tosses him into the basement.” I planned to describe how JB nonchalantly did the laundry and Levi ate a picnic dinner while I cowered in the corner rocking Asa and clutching the dog by his collar.
But I couldn’t figure out how to tell the story. I had an idea of what I wanted to say (see above) but couldn’t find the words or write the sentences or muster up the energy to get it done. So I ended up closing my eyes — and the computer — and surrendering to the exhaustion.
What happened yesterday afternoon — trying to choose between writing, cleaning, and sleeping — is a near daily occurrence. When both boys are napping in the afternoon, I usually try to blog because it’s more rewarding (and, occasionally, slightly lucrative) than emptying the dishwasher or putting away laundry. Plus, there’s the satisfaction I feel when I take a good photo or write a well-received post that I don’t necessarily get from vacuuming.
These days, though, it’s not uncommon for me to fall asleep before I finish my work, frequently while I’m still typing. It’s also been taking me f-o-r-e-v-e-r to write; my brain is working so much slower these days. Over the weekend, I spent three hours writing the intro to Monday’s post about my beauty routine when it should have only taken me an hour, tops.
I know I should cut myself some slack. Mommy brain is a real thing. Plus, Asa’s not even three months old, and in any other profession I’d likely still be on maternity leave without pressure to do any work. So why do I put so much pressure on myself?
I’d love to know how you juggled all of your responsibilities those first few months after having a baby. Were you constantly dropping balls or did you create some sort of system to keep them all up in the air? How long did it take until you moved past the mommy brain stage and started feeling like yourself again?