The Hierarchy

9.16.2015

Yesterday, I called my mother-in-law on her day off to see if she could watch R for an hour or so while I went grocery shopping. Our fridge was in a dismal state, and I wasn't feeling creative enough to make dinner out of half a jar of salsa, some spoiled milk, and two swigs of orange juice. In this instance, Pinterest failed me.

I have gone grocery shopping with R, so it's not that I couldn't do it. But this was a Code S situation. S for starvation, of course, and I knew I would be able to grocery shop faster by myself. So I dropped R off with Jordan's mom and went on my way. While at the store, I got a text saying R was sleeping away and to not worry about her and just take my time.

I ended up having two completely baby free hours, during which time I did the following:
1) Went grocery shopping
2) Drove back home and put all the groceries away
3) Vacuumed the living room
4) Folded a giant pile of laundry

On the way to pick up R, I started thinking about how sad and pathetic my free time is right now. I mean laundry? Vacuuming? Teenage me is crying somewhere.

We all have a list of items that we use to fill up our free time, and every day we make choices. It's a hierarchy of sorts. The things we do have been ranked higher than the things we don't do. Just because it's ranked higher doesn't mean it's more fun, but it's been deemed more immediately important in that moment.

Life with a newborn (or a child of any age, I imagine) is a constant internal debate. I want to do this, but I should do this. I need to do this, but I would rather do this. And actually, life as an adult is a constant debate of wants vs. needs, so let's not pretend you have to have a kid to understand this concept. It's just that with a baby, your free time is chopped in half and then handed back to you in tiny pieces of varying lengths.

Sometimes the boring chore comes out on top because the dishwasher is full and the sink is overflowing and you don't have any more spoons. Sometimes sleep wins out because you wanted to read a book before bed but instead you fell asleep rocking your crying baby. Sometimes weeding the garden wins out because the amazon called and they want their jungle back. And sometimes (praise!) your hobby wins out because you love scrapbooking so dang much and gosh darn it you just need some craft paper in your life today.

And, okay, let's be honest. Sometimes staring at your baby and taking eight hundred pictures of her doing absolutely nothing wins out because see: photo above. The cuteness. I die. You are welcome for not spamming all your social media accounts on a minute-by-minute basis. The struggle is real.

Yesterday, the chores won because I didn't want to eat a dinner that consisted of only sticks of butter, and I had spilled chips on the living room floor and didn't want ants running around everywhere. But today? Well, today blogging and baking lactation cookies has won, because I love writing on here and because I can't blame my chocolate cravings on pregnancy anymore and I'll take any excuse to eat cookies.

And all the breastfeeding women said amen.
p.s. here's the cookie recipe I used.

24 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you're blogging about all of these thoughts. It's making me feel so much better about having these thoughts in a few weeks!

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  2. Leah started preschool today which means that I have two hours to take care of "needs" three times each week! Hooray!

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  3. Look at you being all responsible and "mothery." :) I know what you mean about different times of life bringing different priorities. Angel and I actually have a free afternoon at the same time next week and we're making a dentist appointment, because we've been trying to go to the dentist ever since we moved here (and since we have one car, we kind of have to go at the same time) and it's been almost impossible to find an open chunk of time long enough to fit in two dentist appointments on a day when the dentist is open. Going to the dentist should not be so hard because I hate going anyway, like every normal person.

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  4. I don't have kids, but this is great and I can only imagine how a kid-free grocery shopping trip can feel like Christmas morning sometimes :) That's so great you have family close by!

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  5. Teenage me would be shocked right now at the things I get excited about these days! Haha!

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  6. I bet it was nice to just have a few hours to shop, even if it was just grocery shopping! We totally decide everyday what takes priority. Its always nice when you can sneak in something just for fun.

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  7. Lactation cookies 😂😂😂😂 and truly I can't even imagine having a kid right now because I feel like I already run out of time! You mamas all amaze me!

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  8. Amen to everything you just said.

    Karl took Parker and a bottle to his parents' last week and I had six hours of sweet sweet freedom. So I returned some clothes at the mall and went to Costco. Womp womp. I felt like I should have been day drinking or something to take full advantage.

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  9. Amen. :) Except I'm finally weaning and will no longer have any excuse as far as food. :( The hierarchy is by far the thing I am worst at, especially when kids are very small and windows of time are also so very small. Makes me feel like a mad woman the things I try to accomplish. Today I am simply hoping to make use of a free Shutterfly book, but it may be more than I can really get to do.

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  10. Isn't it funny how different stages of life take :)
    I wouldn't mind your IG blowing up one bit with that cute face :)

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  11. Aghghg! She is so cute. You're giving me baby fever. Lately one of my favorite things to do is organize and declutter, and I find myself letting other things go in order to do that. Such a stark contrast to teenage me! When I was a teenager, I used half my bed for storage and slept in the other half. I don't mind if I'm making teenage Jenn cry, because she was a mess.

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  12. Isn't it sad when you get the house clean and that's the excitement of your day? "Yay! I vacummed!" But the cool thing is that then you get to (hopefully) do something fun after. Like binge watch something on Netflix. Or maybe just one episode because you have to go to bed early (maybe that's just me?). The silver lining to this is that becoming a parent (for moms anyway) starts to make you super efficient in a lot of life areas. There's a learning curve, but it's inevitable - even more so if you're a type A personality.

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  13. Life is all about balance, and finding compromises. And letting go of the illusion of being able to "do it all"! None of us can do that. I think you're doing an amazing job, and staring at your sweet baby's face for hours is the most important thing of all!

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  14. Teenage you is definitely crying a little. But teenage you also didn't get to have R in her life. :) I think it's so true that sometimes you need to vacuum or cook or scrapbook or just stare at that baby. Definitely a hierarchy of what needs to be done most at that moment. :)

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  15. Hi! I have something to tell you... I don't know how to talk about babies, ha! If we lived in the same city I would be the friend who, instead of asking to hold your baby I would just stare at it weirdly and say, "hey, how's it going." But I've totally enjoyed reading your posts, I'm just a slacker friend and haven't commented. Ya know, just keeping it real :)

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    1. Haha, it's okay neither do I really! Also, I'm totally guilty of talking to babies in full sentences like they can respond back. Ha.

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    2. Whew, glad to know I'm not alone! :)

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  16. Love this! Gosh she's adorable. I'm not gonna lie...those lactation cookies kind of had me wondering why they were called lactation cookies..so I had to look at the recipe. Haha. They look REALLY good and now my cookie craving is even worse now. ;)

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  17. Oh man, I totally get it. Things that used to be so easy now have to be planned out and organized so much better when you have a child. My son is two, and while he doesn't need me quite so much as he did in his infant days (he could have gone to the crying olympics his first few months) he still requires a lot of time and patience and attention. So you just take the time when you have it, and do what you can! PS those cookies look so good! Why didn't I know about these when I was trying to breastfeed!?

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  18. I'm a homebody, so I never really feel like I'm missing out in things, per se, but I feel like I still haven't totally got used to not being able to leave the house after 7pm. The thing I miss the most is being able to run errands after work at my leisure. How I took those carefree hours strolling the aisles of Target for granted :)

    Also, I'm totally stealing that recipe.

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  19. I'm a homebody, so I never really feel like I'm missing out in things, per se, but I feel like I still haven't totally got used to not being able to leave the house after 7pm. The thing I miss the most is being able to run errands after work at my leisure. How I took those carefree hours strolling the aisles of Target for granted :)

    Also, I'm totally stealing that recipe.

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  20. I love reading about your experience, Amanda.
    Also, I had no idea "lactation" recipes even existed! :)

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  21. This is TOO TRUE.

    I went through a phase where I made those cookies every Sunday for a couple months. I shouldn't admit that, but some afternoon coffee and cookies got me through the day.

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