Shannon is suggesting we pool our recipes for chocolate-chip cookies, and I'm all for that idea: I'm going through my cookie stash even faster than I'm going through my muffin stash. Go on over and sign up so I can steal your secret family recipe.
This is my fourth time through postpartum, and Paul and I are getting better and better at handling it. What helps most of all is this kind of thing (also, observe my mad Photoshop skillz):
Paul is worth all the food scraps he crams down our non-garbage-disposal-equipped sink when he does stuff like this for me. While I'm the hospital he goes to the grocery store and buys all the foods I want after I have a baby (theme: "things they fed me in the maternity ward where I was ha-a-a-a-a-a-ppyyyyyyyy *bursting into tears*"): cranberry juice, milk, deli turkey and fancy chunky grainy breads, colored wraps and Romaine lettuce and tomatoes and chicken breast and Caesar dressing. Then, whenever he's home, he handles my meals. The above photo is of what I found when I was exhausted and sad at the end of the day and had just peeled an endlessly-nursing baby off of me for what felt like the first time in a week. I went to my computer and there was a chicken Caesar wrap, a glass of milk, and a vase of roses. I shouldn't even be telling you about this, because in the future when I want to complain about Paul you'll all be like, "Yeah, whatever, you spoiled bitch."
Food is the absolute best thing for my morale (well, good food and good narc0tics), but I've also found that small accomplishments are helpful. I'm not saying I wear myself out cleaning the house from tip to toe, because AS IF, and also I think it's more helpful to let that go as much as possible. But if the kitchen counters are making me feel sad and overwhelmed and hopeless because they are covered in dried milk puddles and little blue marks from someone's clay and speckles from boiling fudge, and I manage to wipe them down, I feel like maybe I have a grip on life after all. Also: pretty, sparkly counters.
So this is what I do. I am good at keeping a mental list, but you could do this on paper too--as long as the list itself won't overwhelm you by its very existence. What I do is I put small items on the list in order of priority, choosing each day which one I really want to try to get to. Today it was the counters: I didn't care if I got nothing else done all day, but I did want to get to the counters. Yesterday it was a couple of bills I wanted to pay. The two days before, it was that I wanted to get some digital photos cropped and uploaded so I could order prints for my in-laws.
If I don't get the task done that day, it's no big deal--I just try again the next day. But if I DO get it done, I feel pretty good. I feel like I'm managing to get things done after all, and like maybe I'm coping okay after all. Sometimes, if I got the top list item done, I might even think of tackling the SECOND list item! Superwoman!
I am most likely to be successful if I do my list item early in the day. Today I did the counters while I was still in my pajamas. I got breakfast for Rob and William, and I went into the kitchen intending to make Rob's lunch, and instead I spritzed all the counters. I let the spritz sit while I got Edward dressed. When I came back, I went swipe-swipe-swish with a couple of paper towels and I was done. I didn't lift up the toaster and clean under it, I just did the minimum--but it's surprising how much of a difference it made, and I felt all perky and pleased with myself. Highly recommended, if you can keep yourself from launching one of those cleaning cycles where now you have to scrub the sink, and that reminds you to fill the soap dispenser, and that reminds you to do the one in the bathroom too, and that causes you to spritz the bathroom sink "while you're at it," and so on until you've totally overdone it and also Rob has missed the bus.
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...