I still read a website called dooce.com. Even though I've gone back and forth on being able to connect to her writing over the last few years, I have continued reading, and have lately gone through a period of completely being able to connect to her experience. Most noticeably, probably because she just had a daughter 2 weeks after me, so we were on the similar wavelengths in terms of pregnancy stages. The part I most enjoy about her writing are the hyperbole metaphors. They are so colorful and painstakingly accurate, I often turn and read them to Andrew, someone who doesn't really care, but humors me anyways. In a recent post, this paragraph sums up perfectly how I've been feeling lately:
"Where was I? Right, yesterday morning. Somehow all the pieces came together and everything that normally has to get done on a Monday morning got done. Leta got dressed, the dogs got fed, Marlo burped and ate and yelled about the wet diaper that had leaked all over her onesie. And then, here's the kicker, I took a shower, washed my hair and applied mascara. If you've never lived with a newborn you're probably going, huh? What? There's a point to this? YES. IN FACT THERE IS A POINT. AN EXCLAMATION POINT. A THUNDERING HERD OF THEM. Because then we got into the car and made it to Marlo's two-week check-up on time. Without any crying or screaming or chucking heavy appliances across the room. I guess the only way to explain the significance of this to someone who hasn't ever lived with a newborn is to imagine waking up in a bed of liquid chocolate next to a naked supermodel. And then suddenly you realize that while you've been sleeping someone came in and wallpapered your room with Twizzlers and one hundred dollar bills."
It's amazing how the most simple tasks become incredibly daunting and exhausting. If anything, this last month has taught me to dramatically lower my expectations: of myself, of what I can accomplish, and of how I think I should feel. Showering, washing AND drying my hair is an gargantuan accomplishment these days, because it usually needs to be done at record speed, before the child realizes I have put her down and she is no longer being walked and rocked. The other day, I opened my make up drawer, and nearly laughed. It looked almost foreign to me. I had put on makeup almost every day for the past 10 years of my life, and suddenly, I didn't recognize how I would ever be able to afford that kind of time again. It was a hopeless moment. The days that I have mustered on much needed concealer are days where I feel heroic. Like I could do anything, multi-task this newborn right into my schedule. Those days, something inevitably happens, something that knocks me right back on my ass, right where I began. It's all about lowering my expectations and celebrating the small victories.
This weekend, Gemsong gave me an early birthday gift, a hair product, because, after all, Gemsong is THE product woman [remind me to tell you about the 4 toiletry bags she toted along on a single weekend trip to California]. I have had the chance to use it once now, and I can't properly express how something that simple, like applying a leave-in treatment to my hair, all 5 seconds of that time, made me feel luxurious. And for the record, it did make my hair feel softer and fuller. If you see me touch my hair and smile, I'm not crazy, or really that vain, I'm celebrating my small victory for the day.