Before I entered the world of motherhood, I clung very tightly to my time. I also held onto the idea that if I were to have a good day, it basically depended on having a positive, smooth morning. (I’m not sure why this was a belief of mine; it just seemed to make sense to me.) I’m one of those people who craves routine – and once I find it, I settle deeply into it and I don’t let it go easily! 🙂 Are you like that, too?
These past 8 weeks of life with a newborn have stretched and tested me in so many ways — one of which is the fact that I’ve had to change my attitude in how I approach my day! I’ve learned that my time is no longer solely “mine.” Our little Sophie’s needs come before my needs – and especially before my wants. Since she is so young, I am constantly watching and monitoring her. Does she need her diaper changed? Is she sleeping comfortably? What does this particular cry mean? Is she hungry? Has she burped?
(sometimes you just need to cuddle with Mama in her Lalabu Soothe Shirt!)
I can certainly map out my day, with its to-do list, calendar, and goals, but that’s not actually what determines what the day will look like any more! 🙂
I tend to mourn when I miss what I call a “productivity opportunity.” This happened last week. The morning schedule was open, I was up and felt well-rested (pretty much, haha), I was ready to get going on my day and had aspirations of getting some blogging done….but then Sophie spat up everywhere AND had a diaper blowout all before we even got downstairs! Suddenly, our bedsheets AND duvet cover desperately needed to make a trip to the washing machine, and suddenly my darling little baby desperately needed a new outfit! I then knew that I wouldn’t be blogging that morning, let alone fitting in an early morning shower. Haha. I can laugh about it now, but in the moment, my daughter and I basically froze and looked at each other with wide eyes while I tried not to cry!
But that was okay.
I gathered up the sheets and threw them in the washer, and I cleaned up the baby as best as I could right then. I set aside my dream of getting computer work done, because Sophie came first. It’s my primary job. In the midst of outfit changes and burp cloth maneuvering, my little girl looked up at me with such trust – and then she broke out into a big grin. My heart exploded with joy – not the happiness that comes from a sense of accomplishment or productivity, but the kind of joy that runs much deeper and truer than that. Any disappointment about my unfulfilled planner goals melted away (funny thing is, it always melts away right when I hold her little warm body and sweet-smelling head to me). Because Sophie and I were doing LIFE together – the spit-up, diaper explosions, laundry, baby smiles, shower-free mornings, and all. It’s a gloriously messy package. But it’s the best gift I have been given.
I’ve learned that simply because we had a crazy morning, the day is not “ruined” or really all that off-kilter. The day has just started off a certain way, whether I wanted it to begin that way or not. Once I accept that, I can move on, rather than dwelling on lost time or a missed “productivity opportunity.”
In fact, I’ve learned that the “reset button” does not reside strictly in the morning realm – we can start our day afresh at any time!! Here’s how I do it.
How I Hit the Reset Button During the Day:
1 // Turn on some mood-lifting music. For me, it’s my peaceful Spotify playlist – full of folksy, acoustic-y goodness. Sometimes, I won’t even realize I’ve been holding my breath until I put on music and suddenly all my tension melts. And I’ve even noticed the effect it has on Sophie, allowing her to breathe more deeply and settle down better for her midmorning naps.
RELATED: Our Peaceful Midmorning Playlist
2 // Prayer. When we pray, we are turning our attention away from ourselves and focusing on the One who is greater than our daily circumstances. When I take time to pray aloud for Sophie, for my husband, and for our day, it truly does make a difference. Besides the fact that we serve a God who lovingly hears us and works on our behalf, it resets my attitude and reminds me what is important. It’s Christ. Not a blogging to-do list or a clean bathroom or getting to shower today. It’s Christ.
3 // Whip up a hot drink! Like I said earlier, I’m a fan of routines. The neat thing about a hot beverage is that it feels like a beautiful ritual and it can happen at any time of the day! As soon as I make myself a mug of tea and take that first sip, I feel my body relax and my attitude refreshed. There’s a reason that hot drinks are a significant part of many cultures!
4 // Make sure I’ve eaten. Now that I’m home with Sophie during the day, I have been struggling to make sure I’ve eaten. I make sure my daughter has eaten, of course! And she’ll always be sure to let me know when she’s hungry. 😉 But I forget about myself and that often leads to me emotionally melting by 12:30 pm (we’re nearing that time right now – someone remind me to make lunch soon!). If I’ve eaten, then I have energy and a bit more emotional stability to deal with whatever comes my way!
5 // Straighten up what I can. This is not always possible, but it’s a great thing to strive for if I can make it happen! If we’ve had a messy or chaotic-feeling morning, then I like to make sure the living room is neat and the kitchen is clean – it sets the stage for a more streamlined, productive rest of the day. (I’m kind of obsessed with having a sparkling clean kitchen. It doesn’t always happen, but it sure resets my mood when it’s all in order!)
6 // Reevaluate my priorities for the day. I’m kind of the queen of really long to-do lists. It’s a problem! Even before having a baby, there was no way I could get all 20 items on my list completed in a day. Lately, I’ve taken to listing just about 4 or 5 doable goals for the day. It has made a big difference! And, if the morning starts out differently than I’d anticipated, I can reevaluate and see if we truly can get to the post office before 11:30 am, or if we can save that for another day and do laundry today instead. 🙂
7 // List 15 things that I am grateful for. This can be mentally or out loud! Even expressing gratitude for the smallest things (like a hot drink in a cute mug, sunshine coming in the window, or our Christmas tree lights) helps so much with an attitude readjustment! I like to think about the big things I’m grateful for, too. This time last year, I was still reeling from our miscarriage. Aside from physically healing, I didn’t know what the future looked like and it was rough on me mentally and emotionally. So, looking at my sweet baby girl sleeping next to me now, I can be incredibly thankful. I’m thankful for a healthy, beautiful little girl. I’m thankful for a husband who works hard so that I can be at home with her. I’m thankful for a God of promises and answered prayers. Suddenly, even a “bad day” doesn’t seem so bad after all.
8 // Tell someone about it! Sometimes, you’ve just got to share with someone – and probably laugh about it, too. 🙂 I love having people I can share silly motherhood stories with. It’s nice to be reminded that you’re not actually in this alone. And I like being able to make my husband’s day with cute pictures of Sophie and her shenanigans. 🙂
Resetting my day takes intention and a willingness to start over again! Of course, I still struggle with this on a daily basis – as I’ve been typing this post, I’ve needed to turn my attention to my baby girl’s needs multiple times. And it’s something I do gladly, because I know now that she and I can hit “reset” on our day at any point we need to! 🙂
I’m learning little by little that I really can hit the “reset” button at any time of the day. The day is not actually spinning out on a crazy or a negative trajectory, simply because of something that happened earlier.
Focusing on the beauty and the gift of motherhood works wonders for my attitude. And doing these little “reset” tasks makes a world of difference as well.
How do you like to hit “reset” during your day??