Sunday, December 28, 2014

Do you validate?

Truth time folks. I don't always feel 100% fulfilled in my new role as a mother. Let me give you a little background. I'm pretty sure I came out of the womb hard-wired to be a people pleaser and rule-follower. I was the kid that teachers loved in school. Eager to please, meet deadlines, and over-achieve. My senior year in high school the faculty voted on 10 students who exemplified citizenship and leadership and you guessed it, I was one of them. I've thrived in jobs where I get frequent feedback on my work and excel in the end-of-year review. It's kind of my jam. "Exceeds Expectations" CHECK, "Bonus Recommended" CHECK.

Now that I'm not working full time outside of the home, there is a deficiency in the validation department. I'm still doing some consulting work, but it's not the same as being in the office, getting the "Atta Girl" after a successful project is delivered or major kudos from your team after you wrap an event.

My biggest projects and events now center around my 10.5 month old son.  Sometimes the doldrums of the day-to-day can wear on you. Feed, Diaper, Play, Wash, Rinse, Repeat. Don't get me wrong...the rewards of parenthood are rich! When he smiles a big gummy grin at me, tries to repeat a word I'm teaching him, or masters a new milestone, I am so overwhelmed with pride! These moments are precious, and I'm not discounting their value. But there is something to be said for finding value in myself outside of my role as "Arlo's Mom."

When I first started to really think this through, I gave myself a stern talking to. "You are a grown ass woman, Lindsey! Validate yourself!" But then I backed off and realized that this is part of who I am. I do feel that I bring value to my family in my role as a mother, but it might not fill up my cup completely. That's okay. In fact, it shouldn't have to. There is a lot more to me than just being a mother. 

Have any of you faced similar feelings upon becoming a parent? 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Hustle

This pic popped up in my Instagram feed a few weeks ago from a fellow blogger (follow her @keepingupwiththehaneys) and it immediately resonated with me.

Be Still. Then Hustle. My days usually have a handful of still moments, usually when rocking my sleepy 10 month old, but I'm so used to multitasking CONSTANTLY that I often rush through these moments to get on with my to-do list. It's always there at the back of my mind. Project plans, emails to respond to, phone calls to return, laundry needing folding, and sweet lord when was the last time I actually mopped our floors?!

I need balance. I need a plan. I need to find a way to cherish these fleeting baby moments with Arlo while not completely neglecting the rest of my obligations. I CANNOT believe that this boy will be a year old in less than two months. He's tall for his age and is already starting to look less like a baby and more like a toddler (sniff, sniff) and is preparing to take his first steps any day now. 

Life is not going to slow down. All I can do is try to manage my response to the whirlwind of the day-to-day. I will be still in those quiet moments. Sniff my baby's head while he dozes and let him sleep in my arms a few minutes longer before transferring him to his crib. I'll gaze at his eyelashes and perfect little toes with wonder, and I'll photograph the hell out of all of this because I can't help myself (@thosegages on Instagram). Then I'll put him down, sneak away and hustle to get the work of life done. I'll sacrifice sleep and stay up a little later after he goes down at night to make deadlines, catch up on laundry and maybe eventually mop the floors. 

I'm eager to hear your tips for time management! How do you keep up with littles, your work, and household?