Monday, December 30, 2013

I Don't Know How She Does It

I have a friend that wakes up at 4 am every single morning to write or wok on his freelance projects.

I used to think he was CRAZY! I couldn't ever imagine getting up that early and functioning well enough to brush my teeth - let alone write or work!

And then I had Cooper!

The most beautiful baby.
Yes, I'm biased, but those eyes just melt my heart.

Boy how things change after having kiddos. I love him with all my heart, but let me tell you...4 am feels like sleeping in these days!

Baby Cooper sleeping and holding my hand.
He was only A WEEK old in this picture.
Slow down, time.
Slow.
Down.


I've actually been up since 3 am today. Cooper woke up and needed feed and changed. He quickly fell back asleep, but the distraction of Justin and Cooper snoring kept me awake. Fine, I won't let them take ALL the blame. I was also making the list.

I first learned about the concept of "making the list" when I watched a movie with Sarah Jessica Parker called, "I Don't Know How She Does It." Sarah played an incredibly busy working mother, who loved her kids dearly, but also loved her career!

Coop watching me get ready for work this morning.

Even before I had Cooper, I imagined my life would be very similar to Sarah's in the movie. When she should be sleeping at night, she found herself making a mental list and check-list of "to-do" items.

And that's exactly what I did from 3:30 am to 4:30 am today.

  • You need to pack diapers. Lora said you're almost out. Don't forget extra clothes, teething supplies, formula, and wipes too!
  • The new dishwasher is getting installed this morning! You'll need to unload it before you go to work - Justin might forget or not wake up in time!
  • Did you submit your blog post ideas for the upcoming Jada Beauty blogging schedule? Don't forget to do that by Tuesday!
  • Remember to take out the mini wieners from the freezer and put them in the fridge. And remember to tell Justin that he's responsible for little pigs in a blanket for the New Year's Eve party tomorrow.
  • Do you have your dress for the New Year's Eve party yet? It's a Mad Men Theme...what do Mad Men even wear? I need to look this show up on Netflix.
  • Don't forget to grab the clothes that you need to take back to Old Navy on your lunch break.
  • Speaking of lunch, don't forget to grab your lunch in the morning and pack the grapes and banana. 
  • No waiting until the New Year to start eating healthy. You destroyed all healthy eating over the holiday when you ate a pound of bacon for Christmas brunch the other day. Try not to eat a pound of mini wieners tomorrow.
  • DANG IT - I don't have any clean leggings. 
  • Looks like I'll be wearing jeans today. Let's hope I have a clean vest so I can cover up my muffin top.
  • I need to get back to the gym. Put that on your list of things to do tonight.
  • I wonder what Cooper is dreaming about...Oh, I just love him so much. 
  • You should probably just get up and shower. There is no way you're getting back to sleep.
And that's my life these days.

Being a working mom is a lot harder than I ever anticipated. 

The first challenge is simply missing Cooper and fighting off the mom guilt that's associated with working. I know I'm doing what's best for our family right now, but there are just some days when I would love nothing more than to be at home with Coop.

The best part of my day.

The second challenge is battling the physical and mental exhaustion. By the time I get home from work, I'm ready to go to bed. I am NOT complaining. I realize all new moms feel this way. But I somehow need to find time to:
  • Eat dinner
  • Walk Bandit 
  • Feed Cooper
  • Change Cooper
  • Give Cooper a bath
  • Read to Cooper
  • Go to the gym
  • Write (personal or freelance via Jada Beauty)
  • Do dishes
  • Do laundry
  • Do more dishes
  • Feed Cooper
  • Change Cooper
  • Pack my lunch
  • Shower 
  • Sleep??
  • Feed Cooper
  • Change Cooper
  • HAVE I FED BANDIT YET!?!
  • .......
And more often than not, I don't end up doing all of those things because I'd rather snuggle with Cooper than put him in the YMCA daycare so I can workout. I've been trying to workout on my lunch break to help with my evening time management though!

Some days, I don't know how I get through the day. 

Literally, I have no mental recollection of the day.

But I do.

I make it.

I might not have make-up on. I'm probably wearing leggings. There is a STRONG chance I left something at home. And my hair is probably a mess (if I had time to shower). But I get through the day...

Just don't be upset if I don't respond to your text messages right away.

Don't be mad when I don't answer my phone - I only have two hands and I can't talk on the phone when I'm talking to Coop. I promise I'll call you back when I have a free second!

And please do send me a reminder email if I've forgotten to reply to your first email or simply forgot something you asked me to do in person.

And while my life is crazy and hectic at times, there isn't much I would (or could) change. I'm so incredibly happy to have Cooper. He lights up my world. He gives me meaning and purpose.

Love captured in a single moment of time.

I love Cooper more than anything in this world- he's inspired new goals and reminds me to be the happiest mom possible.

He's the happiest babes in the world.
He keeps me balanced and reminds me to focus on what TRULY matters...not trivial, silly issues or drama. And I know that working helps us save for the future and afford nice things for our family.

So, dear blog reader, I am SORRY that I've been MIA.

I did miss you. 

And I certainly missed my therapy (writing). I was shocked to look at my blog and see only a few blog posts for the month. I knew that writing had taken a spot on the back burner, but I didn't realize it was that far back....

Trust me, I have plenty of blog posts brewing in my mind! And I have inspiration saved in my inbox from the Think Kit 31 Days of Blogging Challenge that I royally failed at this month.

Every morning, I'd see the topic and get excited about what I could write about...then before you know it, the next day had arrived. And then I was a day behind, two days behind, and then days turned into weeks.

Adjusting to my new work schedule and surviving all of the holiday madness simply got the best of me!

Sweet little Coop was sick on Christmas too.

But I'm ready to focus on my new goals for 2014.

And I'm doing my best to embrace healthy habits (both physically and mentally) for the coming year.

My word of 2014 is CLEAN! 

I'll share more about what that word means to me in my next blog post and review how I did with my word for 2013: NEW.

Much love,
Ashley

PS I think stay at home moms work just as hard and are equally exhausted! This blog post is just based on my personal situation. And in an attempt to not sugar coat everything, I am simply sharing that life (while more fulfilled and beautiful than ever before) is simply busier as I try to adjust to new schedule. Thanks to all of you for supporting me and encouraging me during this new adventure! 

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