I'm Leah, and in a lucky twist of fate, I've landed my three dream jobs:
book editor, writer, and mother. Since having my son in December 2008, my
work-life has been in constant flux - full-time? part-time? freelance?
working at home or in the office? It depends on the day and which way the
wind is blowing - and figuring out how to keep it all going is a constant
challenge. Heck, I'm still getting used to the idea of being someone's
Check out my profile on Work It, Mom! and my personal blog, A Girl and a Boy.
And now, ladies (and gentlemen?), my infant son and I will perform our greatest trick to date: the Structured Nap! Stand back, observe, and be amazed! It may seem a small feat, but some time last week I made the (daring! death-defying!) leap from believing that the kid will fall asleep Whenever, Wherever, and However to the realization that–get this–when he’s showing signs of fatigue, I can change him, swaddle him, feed him and then, mesdames et messieurs, children of all ages, put him in his cradle in a dark room and let him nap, all by himself, for an entire hour (during which I frantically try to eat, shower, send and answer emails, pay bills, clean the whole house, and squeeze in a workout (ha! as if!) before he realizes I’m gone). So far he’s been taking several naps a day, which means that in the best of all possible worlds I’m able to accomplish at least part of one of the tasks on my list; it isn’t everything, but it’s still worth crowing about this early in the game, I think.
Even though naps haven’t solved all my problems, the realization that my newborn is even capable of enjoying some substantial downtime came as a revelation if not an outright miracle, especially since I’d been living the previous five weeks believing I was blessed/cursed with a child who did not like to be put down, not for one second, not even if Mama reeeeally needed both hands to spread peanut butter on an English muffin because it’s 2 p.m. and she still hadn’t eaten breakfast. There was a time when I thought I could do it all–and literally single-handedly if I had to–but now I know it’s just not possible. (Have you ever tried spreading peanut butter with one hand?) This knowledge is at once liberating and frustrating.
Productivity aside, the fact is I need time away from him as much as he needs time away from me (more on that in my next post), so instead of being upset that he hasn’t 100 percent taken to the miracle that is hands-free babywearing (or that I haven’t surrendered to holding him all day every day until he turns six) , I’m learning to appreciate that we can be apart for small chunks of each day and not only survive but be better for it. It’s all about working hard to achieve that delicate balance, especially on days when it seems someone has smeared this motherhood tightrope with lube.
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