Friday, June 8, 2012

Pacing ourselves

The old iron bed I made an outdoor cushion for will eventually go by the garden- but for now it's sitting in between the spruce trees on the lane, and it's a wonderfully private place to relax and enjoy a cuddle.

The remnants of some cold sticky treat are ever present around N's mouth these hot days.


I've been trying to learn how to pace myself this last little while. You see, this whole making a baby inside me thing is sort of tough work, and for some reason this pregnancy is taking a little more effort on my part. I don't know if I just don't remember how it felt the first time- recalling only those last super nesting days (months) when I was like a hurricane of weeding and pickling and baking and sewing, and painting and redecorating, and blanching and freezing.  Seriously, I kept a journal of my daily chores- it is mind boggling- on the day N was due I made two types of pickles (which included pulling the veggies from the garden, and cleaning them), baked a pie- (peach raspberry with a lattice top- hands down one of the best pies I've ever made), and cleaned the house in preparation for a new couch being delivered. I am not feeling that Superwoman vibe this time around, and I think I've got more on my plate now too.

So  I'm trying to adopt a pace somewhere between toddler and my normal non-hormonal self, which would be a good one I think, if I can garner enough patience to immerse myself in it. I've been paying attention to my girl a lot lately- the way that she can focus on a task for about 30-40 minutes and then it's time for a break, a snack, a rest, a story, just something different. When she starts fidgeting or filling my shoes with dirt- or trying to sit on my lap while I crouch down to weed plants it's a sign that she's had enough for now, and it's probably time for me to have a break too.

I'm really trying to take my work and fit it into little bite size chunks, to accept that what would usually take me a day or two will take double that time right now. I'm trying to remind myself to rest now and again, to take a page from the toddler's book and set aside a few moments to listen to the bees, or play with the worms, or to just do everything a bit  more slowly. Sometimes I find myself rushing around doing something harmless, but the speed I'm doing it at is totally too much, it's like extreme kitchen cleaning or something, and that will wear a person out.

The funny thing about all this is that normally my Toddler's pace drives me crazy when I have stuff to do. I also get frustrated with the way they are so intense and busy at certain times, then totally lackadaisical other times. I like to get stuff done, I like to get it done efficiently, both my husband and I value timeliness, and concise working habits- which are not big on the toddler skill list. Sometimes though, you miss things when you hurry about your work, and there's something magical about the way that a Toddler will take their time to do things and allow their curiosity to choose their direction. It's sometimes frustrating as a busy parent- but you have to admire it as well, you know?

I feel like one of the things that N has taught me is patience, and I value that immensely- the biggest compliments I've gotten as a parent have been when someone tells me that I'm so patient with her (usually after hearing me coerce her to do something, like try to sit on the potty, or put clothes on). Patience is a value that doesn't come naturally to me, it's probably the thing I work hardest at cultivating in myself. It's also one of the first things to fly out the window when I'm tired or stressed or whatever, that's why it's such a big compliment to hear how patient I am with N. It's an effort for me to be that patient, but I want her to learn that skill early on, to learn that it is something you can learn to be. Maybe the thing that this yet to be born babe will teach me is how to be patient with myself- because that is way tougher than just being patient with the adorable blondie who will cry when I'm not patient with her.

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