On self-care in the time of a newborn (or baby chronicles: Part Six)

Time passes differently when you have a small baby in the home.

  • We wake around 9, as we are nearing the Solstice the days are short and the nights are long.
  • Brew coffee. In retrospect, coffee has been recreational. Now, as a parent, the caffeine is decidedly medicinal.
  • Change Joonsu.
  • Feed Joonsu. (I admittedly have little responsibility here, as he is not yet transitioned to any bottle feeding)
  • Clean up the place.
  • Feed Honey and take her on a morning walk.

This leads us to noon without knowing where the time really went. A few hours of daylight left. We try to squeeze in a midday nap to supplement the interrupted nighttime sleep.

Where oh where do I put my hour-long workouts? My chances to go to the local YMCA and sweat in the saunas? The two-hour blocks of time for a restorative float? Or the treat-yourself 90min massages? The morning yoga session? Evening stretches?

My whole world is reshaping and reforming. I know all sorts of wonderful methods of self-care. However, I am unable to implement many of them.

Can I saddle Mackenzi with Joonsu for two hours while I float? Knowing full well that it will be a few weeks before she can escape his tiny grasp for any considerable amount of time. The guilt is strong and can keep both of us in a perpetual stage of angst.

He is latched to her, however I can escape for short periods of time to recharge. I should do this not for myself, because that would be abandoning my post and duties. I should do this for my partner and son, so that I can support them in the ways that I can.

Tidying up, running the laundry, vacuuming regularly, washing the dishes, making jokes, and having fun. There was a point earlier in the week when everything felt like a job and I just wanted to clock out. That was a low point for us all, when things weren’t easy and the smiles weren’t coming.

After only three weeks of life, I’ve already learned more about myself and what is truly important to keeping me going.

  • Lifting weights? Fun, but not necessary.
  • Cold exposure? Quick and efficient, definitely a solid tool in the parent kit.
  • Yoga? I benefit greatly from a formal practice to loosen up my neck and shoulders, which tighten up from holding the 10# nugget for long stretches of time.
  • Floating? I don’t know, since I haven’t enjoyed the practice since before his birth. 

I look forward to a date night with Mackenzi, when she has enough milk pumped so that we can be just a couple again, for a few hours. We will enjoy a massage together, eat too much food, and go to bed early.

Soon.

For now, I will roll out my taut muscles and release some fascia so that I can fall into a restful sleep interrupted only by my son’s nighttime cries.

Rinse and repeat.

Enjoying the ride is much easier said than done. The days are short and the Solstice is coming. This season will pass and my son will grow, at last and too soon.


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5 thoughts on “On self-care in the time of a newborn (or baby chronicles: Part Six)

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