Tuesday, September 03, 2013

emerging from the fog + my postpartum goals

I'm so glad I googled my symptoms...phew. ;) {source}
The baby is 3 weeks old today, and I think I'm slowly emerging from the postpartum fog.

I haven't been able to think about anything but doing the next thing since the baby was due 5 weeks ago, but with homeschooling, regular life, and lots of events coming up this month, I figured it was time to finally make a potential gameplan so I know what to do when I'm too tired to think about it. I'm hoping lining out a few goals will help steer me through the next four months of postpartum/tiny babyness. ;)

If there's one thing I've learned after having 5 kiddos, it's that I need to keep it easy the first few months after having a baby. I've hopped right back into regular life and done too much too quickly before, and the stress of not sleeping/crying babies/events/working too hard really burned me out and made me one stressed out wife and mama.

I just really want to enjoy this sweet little boy, and this precious time of the kids all being little and life being easy and simple. It's perfect right now, and I don't want to lose it until I have to. :) They will all grow up and change too soon, sniff sniff. {Seriously, I could totally cry thinking about it. Totally the hormones. ;)} But I just want to be intentional with this time, you know?


So, that being said, here are my goals for the next three to four months:

Enjoy having a little baby by keeping life simple.
  • stay home as much as possible. {the most important thing for me to remember!}
  • teach fewer fitness classes
  • saving errands for when we can go as a family or by myself
  • let the housework "go" more during the day and work in bursts once at night
  • cook simple meals
    • use crockpot
    • make cold foods
    • keep frozen foods on hand

Focus on starting homeschooling.
  • create and follow a routine by the end of the year.
  • ease into a more disciplined schedule- starting with afternoon schedules/routines, and working backwards to mornings.

Stay healthy.
  • find a doable way/time to do regular devotions when getting up early doesn't/can't happen
  • pray throughout the day {so necessary for me- more on this later!}
  • eat well
    • avoid sugary foods when I'm hungry to keep from crashing
    • eat plenty to keep a good milk supply
  • take naps when I can
  • ease into working out regularly again

Enjoy upcoming fall events.
  • Speak at a church event this month.
  • enjoy 7+ family birthdays
  • keep holidays low-key/low-demand 
  • go on a low-cost fall family getaway
so in love with this little guy.
he makes our life so much sweeter!
How do you stay intentional with the time you have with your kiddos? Do you find the days are long, and the years are short, too? 

How long do you take to "recover" and get back into a routine after having a baby?
I'm finding the longer I take off, the better for everyone in our house. :D I'm definitely not in a hurry to be busy again! I normally start feeling like my old self again around 5-6 months after the baby is born. {a.k.a. when my babies sleep through the night!}.

17 comments:

The Frisk Five said...

Definitely be intentional about every moment. I'm slowly figuring out the letting things go part. I'm not one for chaos ;P, but I guess it's inevitable with number 5 on the way in just a few short weeks. Having said that, last year we had number 4, our sweet Addison Grace, pass away after 24 hours of life and she taught me so much about cherishing every moment. Always praying for your wonderful family :).

Seaweed and Raine said...

Ohh Mandy! He is just so adorable. I completely understand you wanting to savour each moment with him and the rest of your little peeps. (I guess that is one of the reasons that my blog has been lightly "put on ice" so to speak and rarely gets a work out). I'll be following along and seeing how you organise yourself - I've found that Mama's sharing the way they do things is great to get inspired yourself, and realise that everyone has bumps in their road to conquer.
Here's praying that any bumps you encounter smooth themselves out quickly. In the meant time I'll just bliss out with baby photos of your little guy. (I LOVE that first 12 months so much - gave my baby a hair cut the other day and now he looks like the toddler that he is -Boo hoo!).
Enjoy the journey! :)
Sheree x0x

Christa @ BrownSugarToast said...

Oh, this was so helpful to read! I am 34 weeks along with #3. Just a good reminder to have realistic goals afterwards, focus on the new little life God has given, and get rest! It's such a blessing that we can rely on the Lord to give us wisdom to direct our desires and goals!!! Thanks for sharing your goals over the next few months. Trust the Lord will continue to guide you all through this transition period!

Amy K said...

I have had postpartum depression with two out of the three of my kids, and with baby number four on the way I've learned to take it easy and let it go. This is such a season of grace for everyone but especially mama. I do one 15 min miracle of cleaning when everyone takes a nap and then usually start some laundry, and clear up the kitchen when all are in bed. I live by my crock pot and the generosity of others bringing me meals for the first month or so, and then after that we just take it easy. I love that you are easing into homeschool again. That is something I am starting next year when #4 will be around 6 months, so I think we'll be good by then but it's still nice to watch and read how another mama is doing it for encouragement. Thank you for being so open and btw you look gorgeous!!

Joya Towne said...

Wonderful plan! You are so blessed with all these beautiful gifts from God. I'm very happy for you and I hope you enjoy immensely this time with your family.

Tessa W said...

Just love this!
I am starting to do many of the things on your list pre-baby to try to make some good habits beforehand. I think the biggest thing is making the decision not to beat yourself up over things. As you mentioned, this is a phase and stage in your life and you will make it through. Whether or not the house is spic n span will be irrelevant if you haven't taken the time to just enjoy where you are at.

Anonymous said...

Thank you SO much for this. I'm expecting #4 any day, and I am determined to take it easy for a while this time. Trying to get everyone on board and prepared is a little challenging, but I think it will be worth it. I jumped back into "real life" almost immediately after the first 3 babies, and I paid for it. Fatigue, crazy emotions, and I just wasn't the mama I want to be during those postpartum months. It's so reassuring to hear that you're taking it slow too. There's just so much pressure on us to snap back into shape and resume our busy lives after delivery. Not exactly realistic!

-Marie

Cynthia Bolt said...

Love this and great pictures!! I am a mama to 7 and yes you have to let some things go and be intentional about the time you keep and what you do. I understand savoring the moments they are so fleeting enjoy those beautiful kiddos while their still little sis :)
God Bless many blessings to you !!

NicoleM said...

Will you please share your low cost fall family getaway? I would love some ideas!

Jody Dake said...

You are so very smart to "let things go" a bit. This is a time of enjoyment and love of your family, but the postpartum blues are real. Mine are all grown, but I had a severe case and did not know what they really were. I am reading Trim Healthy Mama by Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison and wow! the chapters in the back about hormones are worth getting the book for. I am NOT a get meds, or try this type of woman, but God has been showing me and actually breaking me a bit here lately. If you haven't gotten this book yet, borrow it from someone and read those chapters, who knows it may come in handy.
You are already a super healthy woman, but you may learn something else that would be great to pass along. I'm learning LOTS!
Will be praying for your sweet family!

Always Experiencing Him,
Jody

Mandy said...

oh, Addison Grace is such a sweet name for a precious girl! I'm so sorry you guys had to go through that, Erica! :( Thank you for sharing, and you're so right it definitely is inevitable and so much better when we embrace it! :D I'm adding you to my list of friends to pray for if that's okay!

cal+claire said...

I only have one kiddo and am pregnant with number two. I have already found that it is hard to have really *good* time with her. I have been sick a lot and my entire body hurts. The best position for me is laying (lying? I can never remember) down which makes play time difficult. I am trying to play with her until the pain is too bad, then taking a break. But it's just hard not to feel guilty, you know? I am praying that God would guide me in how to handle it and that He would take away any unnecessary guilt.
I will pray that God helps you find ways to be intentional and that He takes away any unnecessary guilt!

Rochelle said...

Wow!!!! It took me months to emerge from the fog after my second child....maybe with more it gets easier??? Good for you. I definitely identify with the days are long but the years are short. I tear up frequently when I think that my babies are not babies anymore. So happy for you and your family. I would love to get my hands on that baby:o) Absolutely adorable!!!!

Kay said...

I found that my perspective with my kids changed dramatically after the loss of a child as well. I cannot take one day for granted now... its too short.

But as to the original post ~ great article! I think too that keeping priorities straight is the biggie for me. And resting as much as possible!! never enough sleep these days - but there will be time to sleep later, I always say! :)

Adrienne Reina said...

Awe sis I loved this. Such sweet pictures of your family and your transparency. I can totally relate on so many levels, this was encouraging. I love the lists, plans and goals. It's a great way to start from having a baby. I know once you have a baby you want to get back to normalcy as possible and we try. But our bodies tell us sometimes it's too soon. Your exactly where The Lord has you, He will lead, guide and direct your paths.

For time spent with the girls, right now I make every effort to spend every free minute I have. I take each one on dates at least once a week. And sometimes it's just us girls. I think it's so important and fills their love tank because the time alone is special and it's solely focused on them. Now granted some weeks are so busy, but we are together. And if we can't go out we will do something at home with just the one.

I can't really remember how long it took my last pregnancy, but 5-6 months sounds right. When baby is here its like all you want to do is love on them all the day long. Which is another reason I am making an extra effort, or a top priority to spend time with them. And I still will even more once the baby is here.

Thanks for this post encouraging!!
Blessings,
Adrienne

SINCERITY said...

I hesitated on commenting because I don't have any children. I don't have a husband either. I'm single and approaching my mid 30s and I felt like I had nothing to share on blogs that are about families and motherhood.

I actually found your blog from a post you wrote about letting go of one's dreams. My life is nowhere near what I thought it would be. I have wrestled with frustrations and grief over this. It has not been easy because encouragement for singles is so far and few in-between even in churches.

But God has been teaching me that I can still encourage others regardless of my marriage/motherhood status. God has not forgotten me or anyone who puts their trust in Him.

You have a beautiful family and a wonderful blog. I am your newest follower. :) Feel free to visit my blog if you get a chance.

God bless.

http://sincerity-sincerity.blogspot.com

The Frisk Five said...

Thank you so much Mandy, yes please pray for us. I'm now 37 weeks with number 5 Hannah Michelle and the hubby and I are feeling a little alone in the process. We pretty far from family so we're not entirely sure where our other children will go when I go into labor.

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