Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I had coffee on Monday with a girlfriend who has two daughters, the youngest of which is 10 months old, and she commented to me that she was surprised I was out running errands with Josie at only 2 months postpartum. It was then that I realized that maybe I'm being too hard on myself.

These are the things I accomplish on a daily basis:
1. I am keeping both of my children alive and dressed.
2. I pump at least one extra bottle of breastmilk and freeze it for a future date.
3. I make dinner almost every night for all of us.
4. I make Josh's lunch for the next day almost every night.
5. I load and unload the dishwasher.
6. I throw in at least one load of laundry a night.
7. I shower and sometimes even blow dry my hair (and occasionally even pluck my eyebrows).
8. I feed the dogs and let them outside to "do their business".
9. Watch television.
10. Check email.
(I also sometimes get out of the house to do things like grocery shop or mail packages or meet a friend)

The things I do not do:
1. Fold and put away all the laundry.
2. Vacuum.
3. Clean the kitchen.
4. Clean the bathrooms.
5. Clean ANYTHING.
6. Pick up toys.
7. Pick up clutter.
8. Pick up ANYTHING.
9. Put down the baby. Ever.

But all in all, I think I'm not doing THAT badly for 2 months postpartum. Yes, the house is beyond disastrous, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that. I vacuumed last weekend for the first time in, ohhh, a month maybe? And I only did it because Gabe was picking up so much dirt and dog hair on his fleece pajamas that I couldn't, in good conscience, let him get into bed with those same dirt and dog hair covered pajamas, so I was having to wash his pajamas every day and I was tired of doing the extra laundry. The living has wall to wall junk in it, including books and clothing strewn all over the place. The office still has the pillows and bedding from when my parents left on January 10th. The dining room table is covered in boxes of gifts sent by my inlaws' friends. Our bedroom is covered in more clothes and books, and Gabe and Josie's room have toys and laundry all over.

But still. My children seem pretty happy (well, at least the bigger one does, the little one screams a lot so it's hard to tell), I am pretty happy, I think Josh is pretty happy. We are wearing clean clothes and eating actual meals and haven't even ordered take-out or delivery. I'm going to have to be satisfied with that, at least for now. I'd love a cleaner house, and I do feel badly that Josh comes home to such a disaster, but hopefully it'll get better with time. Maybe Gabe can learn to fold and put away laundry. I can pay him in m&ms. Besides, by not cleaning, I'm building their immune system by exposing them to all this dirt, right?


Rev Dr Mom said...

I think you're doing great!

And here's to strong immune systems ;-)

Vacuuming is highly overrated, anyway.

Kris said...

You're getting more done than I do and I don't have any children!

Anonymous said...

You laugh but I wrote an article about that very thing for a parenting website a few years ago. It's called the hygiene hypothesis and there's actual science behind it. So, no, don't be hard on yourself. You know I live by the mantra of "good enough." One might say I'm an expert!

iris said...

Honey, I've been reading your blog since before Gabe was born (we're both Halloween Lovers). You are a delight and those kids are so lucky to have you. When you feel sad and guilty, pretend your mother's arms are around you, holding you close and saying "Everything's going to be all right." It's like a prayer, a blessing. It's amazing how well it can work. And, of course, everything WILL be all right.
God Bless,
Iris, Atlanta

Knit and Purl Mama said...

I hear ya. I'm not sure how I get things done either.

Almost all those things on your I DONT DO list, are on mine too. Which is why I hired a cleaning lady!