Thursday, February 2, 2012

multitasker anonymous

Having a baby is a humbling experience to a notorious multi-tasker like me. Before I went into maternity leave, I made a list of things to do from home repairs to taking classes and tending to financial stuff. I thought I'd be bored at home watching the baby sleep. It turned out to be quite the opposite of what I expected. I was glued to the baby's every move - from napping, to feeding, to pooping. I can't even go to the bathroom or groom myself the first couple of days unless I hand the baby to my husband or my mom. And of course, all the oxytocin and other hormones partying in my system didn't help either. They made me more emotional and paranoid with how the baby is doing. I get stressed out hearing the baby cry while pumping, which made it more painful to pump. It gets really crazy when I'm super exhausted because that's when I easily fall into tears in frustration when I just can't put the baby to sleep and he's just being fuzzy after I went through the list of what he can possibly want - diaper change, feed, play, nap, etc.

After a while, I just end up realizing that it really takes a village to raise a child. I have to take all kind of help from other people so I can have me-time and be able to run errands and slowly cross off some items on my 'to do' list, if at all possible. I've also been reading new-mom blogs and parenting magazines. One article mentions that moms who embrace the idea that it's a balancing act do better with postpartum depression than those who see themselves as a "can do it all" super-mom.

Since we're planning to take a vacation to the Philippines for a family reunion at the end of the year, I planned on returning to work sooner. Now, I really need to trust other people to take care of our baby and not feel guilty about it. I slowly trained myself to be okay being separated from the baby. I started slow but now, I can actually leave him at my mom's house for a few hours while I run errands. Now, that I'm more relaxed, I'm also starting to be less forgetful and more focused and I think that our baby can sense that. I feel that he's working with me whenever I'm doing something while taking care of him. At this minute, I'm writing this blog while I rock his car seat on the floor and sing to him. He coos back happily with Pandora radio blasting to some french cafe station. Yes, I'm getting more efficient and productive with multitasking and baby Raphael is A-okay.

My social life probably narrows down to texting while in the bathroom and chatting on the phone while doing laundry and marinating meals for dinner but I'm happy that I can go out at least once a week to hang out with friends and go out on a date with my husband without feeling guilty and not sacrificing bonding time with our baby. I still worry about whether or not I'm providing him a good environment that stimulates learning and socialize him enough with his cousins. But now, I understand that having other people help take care of him also provides him a chance to interact and learn from them.

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