It’s coveted. It’s elusive. It’s an overused buzzword that is becoming obnoxious. Balance. The internet is full of articles discussing how to achieve (or how difficult it is to achieve) some semblance of balance if you’re a working professional. Oftentimes the context is specific to working parents and even more often, working mothers. Truth be told, even before parenthood, we struggled at times to maintain a work/life balance. We both have several personal interests and responsibilities outside of work; fur children, exercise, volunteer work, travel, good tv, bad tv, family, friends and, of course, projects around our home. Add a tiny human to the mix and throw in some prolonged sleep deprivation, and there are weeks where we are barely keeping our heads above water just doing the bare minimum. Sometimes all we can do is get through the work day, feed ourselves and our dogs, and care for and enjoy as much time as possible with our little one. That is something that I will NOT compromise on.
Every day we make choices to prioritize what little discretionary time we have. Silly example: my hair air dries and gets shoved into a messy bun every day at work. Why? Because I could spend 10 minutes drying my hair, maybe even throw on a little makeup- or I could spend those 10 minutes playing and giggling with the little guy. Easy choice. However, we both feel that it’s important to maintain an identity outside of being Shane’s Mom and Dad – it is admittedly MUCH easier for my husband to do this than it is for me. I think it’s partially self-inflicted and partially just comes with the territory of being a mama. I will say, that I started writing this on Friday evening after a long week and my workweek stress level didn’t really seem to taper off at all- until Sunday morning. We were up early (what else is new) and I decided that instead of just heading to the food store, I would go to 8:30 am spin class and THEN go to the food store. I even treated myself to a smoothie while food shopping. I came home feeling legitimately rejuvenated and so much more like myself- and actually got a whole bunch of laundry and cleaning done (it didn’t hurt that the baby took a 3 hour nap!)- simply because I got to spend an hour getting my endorphins flowing and a little time to do something just for me. It makes me feel guilty to even admit it, especially because I am working all week now and I try to maximize all of my time with our little man, but it’s amazing how much more present I am as a mother when I have the opportunity to do something for myself! These people who tout the merits of self-care might actually be onto something.
But I digress from the main intent of this post, which is how it’s damn near impossible to continue to work on large projects around the home once you have a child. Considering the fact that we were in the middle of our large flooring project when we welcomed Shane into the world, we didn’t have much of a choice other than to figure out how to complete loud, messy and time consuming home improvement projects with a tiny infant blob to tend to. It hasn’t been easy, but in the last 6 months Mike managed to complete the flooring downstairs and is THISCLOSE to finishing the staircase! A strategically planned weekend where the baby and I headed out to visit family, a few Saturday day-long visits with friends or family, and a few days where I went to the office and took the little guy to day care while Mike stayed home and worked have gotten us this far. Slow and steady wins the race, right?
Completed flooring tasks post-parenthood:
- Demo and install floors downstairs
- Demo/prep stairs for flooring
- Order more flooring because we ran short for our downstairs bedroom and the stairs (lol)
- Wait for additional flooring to arrive, a week late, and drive to Cranbury to pick it up
- Install flooring in remaining area of first floor bedroom
- Order new newel post and balusters for railing update
In progress or to be completed:
- Lay flooring on steps (92% complete)
- Install newel post
- Install balusters and railing, stain everything
- Purchase and install runner for stairs (which I have been waiting to do since we moved in almost 3 years ago!!!!! long time coming!) And…believe it or not- I may be taking the lead on this one 🙂
I was going to give a sneak peak of what we have planned for the railing but decided just to wait until it’s all finished! I will give an in progress shot of my hard working hubby though!!! Weekend nights look so much different now, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Once this is FINALLY all done, we may ACTUALLY be taking a break from major projects for awhile! Because we may or may not be planning for a major renovation/expansion of our 2nd floor and a kitchen update in the *hopefully* next summer timeframe. No, we’re not crazy at all. I swear. Maybe.
Until then we will be enjoying planning and brainstorming. (I’ve been going a little nutty on my pinterest boards! https://www.pinterest.com/kerripolidore/addition/ https://www.pinterest.com/kerripolidore/kitchen-update/)
And of course- most of all- we are looking forward to enjoying our little man with fewer distractions!!! I’m already starting to plan all of the details for his first birthday… 6 months in advance! (P.s. how is it possible that I have a 6 month old?! I swear he was 6 weeks a minute ago). I guess it’s just the nature of this season of life! I’m sure our “new normal” will be ever-evolving- right now it’s hectic, stressful at times (to say the least), and tiring- but we’re never bored and our hearts are full. Balance is overrated anyway, right?