I recently went to a workshop with Joe Rich where he addressed the issue of finding balance in your life.
He said something very importat...parents should not strive to be "Perfect" but "Better". He said that there is no such as thing as being a perfect parent because we can never actually grab perfection. I think that he makes an excelent point...the question is how will we mothers remember this. I have been guilty of trying to be the perfect mother and wife in the past and it has worn me out. When Isa (aka La Preciosa) was born, I wanted to be the perfect mom, wife, cleaning lady, and cheff. I created this vision in my head that I would be able to take care of a newborn, clean the house, cook a delicious meal and be a happy wife when my husband came home.
This lasted one minute....by the first morning I had not had a shower, was eating toast for lunch and had breastfed Isa what felt like a billion times. Thankfully, I quickly realized that I was not going to do all of the things that I had expected to do.
What is funny is that the Husband's expectations where that I would take care of Isa all day and sleep when I could. He only cared that the baby and I were rested and happy.
Once I got the original picture of how my life would be after Isa was born, things were great. My purpose everyday was to ensure that we enjoyed our time together and to sleep whenever she did. This went on for many months and I really enjoyed it. As she got older and started sleeping through the night (at 7 months) I would do some housework while she slept.
Before I went back to work, I again created a picture in my head of how our lives would be once I started work...how I would make sure that our clothes, our lunches, Isa's bottles and extra clothing would all be ready the night before. I would also cook double portions every night so that we would have leftovers for lunch, try to do laundry in the nightt so that I would not have to spend my weekends doing it.
As you can imagine this lasted one night...every once in a while I do try to have things done before I go to bed so that I am not rushed in the mornings but these nights are few and far between. As for cooking double this lasted a little longer then I had expected but there are still many days when I just pop in a ready made meal in the oven and buy my lunch the next day.
I have not beaten myself up for how things are going because we are all doing the best we can and frankly life is not all about cleaning and making sure that I make enough food for leftovers.
My priority is to spend as much time with my beautiful daughter who is growing up so fast. There are days when I want to leave work and just never return. These are the days when I am the most down because I know that I can't, but I miss her so much. But there are days when I have a great time at work and I feel guilty that I am not missing my child. This is one of the many conflicting emotions that mothers feel.
I have vowed that I will just strive to be a better mother and wife and anything extra is just that, extra. I think we should all do that.