The New Speed of Life

I remember my life before I had Carter, but only because it wasn’t that long ago–not because my life not AT ALL resembles what it used to be.  I think back on all the books and magazines I used to read.  I remember watching tv shows regularly.  I remember life being so much slower.  I worked full-time then.  My students would be dismissed at 2:15.  I would take 1 hour to prepare for the next day and leave at 3:15.  I would work out from 3:30 until 4:30 on my way home.  When I got home, I would always, always, always watch Oprah on a DVRed delay so that I didn’t have to watch any commercials.  Then, I’d either take a nap for about 30 minutes or read before I started dinner.  While I made dinner, I’d turn on the news and catch up on current events while I cooked.  Jeff usually got home around 7 and we’d eat dinner.  Then, we’d leisurely clean up the kitchen and go for a walk around our neighborhood (we used to live in a neighborhood in Piedmont) then be back to watch our shows on tv that night.  Extra time.  I remember having it.  Yes, I was still as schedule then as I am now, even though I didn’t really have to be back then.  It’s my nature.  I didn’t really feel that I was being scheduled then, though.  

Life definitely takes on a new speed and a new direction once you have children.  Nothing is about what I want to do anymore.  I’m not whining.  I’m just saying.  It’s not.  Everything is about what Carter NEEDS from me at any given time of day.  I really like that feeling.  Sure, I felt needed as a teacher, but I could take days off and life went on for those children.  If I took a day off with Carter, there are SO many things that would not go on.  My muscles have forgotten what it means to be lazy.  My brain has forgotten what it feels like to let go.  As a mom, I cannot stop thinking about the next step in my day and in my week and in my life.  I manage a house, my family and have a huge part in managing my church.  And, I’ve finally starting managing myself again.  This was my day yesterday:

  1. Get up (7:00)
  2. Take a shower.
  3. Get dressed.
  4. Check email. Write email.
  5. Read blogs.
  6. Get Carter up.
  7. Change diaper.
  8. Make breakfast.
  9. Clean up breakfast.
  10. Put laundry in.
  11. Put away dishes.
  12. Load more dishes.
  13. Start vacuuming.
  14. Talk to grandparents.
  15. Rotate laundry.
  16. Finish vacuuming.
  17. Check email. Write email.
  18. Give Carter a bath.
  19. Get Carter dressed.
  20. Put Carter down for a nap.
  21. Clean bathrooms.
  22. Put on makeup.
  23. Rotate laundry.
  24. Change sheets on bed.
  25. Make menu and grocery list.
  26. Go out to lunch with Dad.
  27. Go to Costco.
  28. Go to Publix.
  29. Put away groceries.
  30. Put Carter down for a nap.
  31. Return phone calls.
  32. Check email.  Write email.
  33. Create agenda and other things for meeting.
  34. Go up to office and print things for meeting.
  35. Make dinner.
  36. Eat dinner.
  37. Take Carter next door to parents.
  38. Go to meeting.
  39. Have meeting.
  40. Drive home.
  41. Pick up Carter.
  42. Put on Carter’s jammies.
  43. Brush Carter’s teeth.
  44. Read stories, say prayers, sing songs.
  45. Check email.  Write email.
  46. Read blogs while loosely watching tv.
  47. Wash face, brush teeth, jammies.  
  48. Sleep.

Every day is like that now.  Scheduling used to be my nature.  Now it’s necessity.  One thing leads right up to the next.  This what I’m doing now is my me time.  Writing is what I enjoy.  It’s my mental dump.

Now I’ve come to the place where there is an actual point to this entry.  I’m getting very close to the place where I have to decide if we’re going to try for another child in about 7 months–when Carter is 2.  I know you’re thinking: C’mon Mandi.  That’s 7 months away.  You don’t have to think about it yet.  But, I do.  In 4 little months I’d have to go off of birth control to give myself 3 months to get it out of my system before we starting trying again.  I always thought I’d have another child, but now I’m not so sure.  When faced with the actual decision other than just the idea of it, I think about the sickness, the exhaustion (even when I was doing NOTHING), the moodiness, the high blood pressure, the sleepless nights, the weight gain, the bed rest, the recovery time, the MORE sleepless nights, the frustration of breast feeding, the pain, the struggle to loose weight.  I know it is selfish to worry about those things but it all does happen to me and  my body, so I think I have some right to feel a little selfish.  How will I function in my life with more balls to keep in the air?  I look at moms with more than one child and I wonder how they do it.  As I sit here and take 20 minutes to write this entry, Carter has pulled the spices out of one of my spice drawers and built towers all over my kitchen floor, thrown the air freshener into the toilet, pulled out the mop and tried to eat the cat’s food.  I would gain so much in having another child, but I also have to consider what else I’d give up.


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