I started writing a (not so) little Instagram post this morning, which by the time I got to finishing at night had become rather lengthy so I thought I might just write a blog post instead. Every time I tried to finish it today I got interrupted. We think Charlie is going through a big developmental leap at the moment because he is just so unsettled and clingy. Forget witching hour, we have witching days at the moment. The mantra of parenthood, ‘this shall pass’ is on constant repeat in my head. We do have some peaceful moments, but it’s taking a lot of work, namely in the form of energy and patience, to keep this little boy happy at the moment. So of course I’m questioning my milk supply and wondering why breasts don’t have fuel gauges when breastfeeding. It would remove a whole lot of worry. My intuition says that Charlie is fine, we’re just having a challenging month. Baby had a cold for 2 weeks, then we spent 10 days away from home, sleeping in a new place every few nights. Add in lots of cuddles and attention from friends and family we don’t often see and a visitor once we got home, I just think Charlie is overstimulated and taking some time to wind down. He’s a very alert and observant baby. We’ve noticed this and people have commented on this since his birth. When sitting at the busy doctors office waiting for an appointment, Charlie will watch every single person come and go, or watch the kitchen staff at a cafe do their thing, even if he hasn’t fed for hours, watching is his priority. So I’m sure his brain is currently buzzing with activity, processing all the new things we’ve seen and done lately. Surely he’ll calm down soon. We’re seeing our child and family health nurse next week anyway so I’ll get her opinion then. In the meantime, I’m cancelling all non essential outings for the next week and having some very quiet time at home. Except for getting out for a walk or two a day. They’re calming for Charlie (most of the time) and essential for my sanity.
This blog and my Instagram account have been noticeable quiet since Charlie’s arrival. Writing and sharing pictures has not come easily since his birth. Whilst I have a lot of thoughts and write posts in my head, when I sit down to actually write them I stare at a blank screen and struggle to get the words out. There’s a vulnerability and permanence that comes with actually writing down thoughts and feelings. One that I struggle with. I am not a sharer. Not at all, well not when it comes to important things like feelings. It’s a coping mechanism I developed in my younger years, and whilst it served a purpose then, it is most definitely not helpful now. When I struggle to process things I also withdraw. Another not so helpful trait. Put these two things together and any wonder things have been difficult lately. But I must say, sharing instantly makes things better. So I’m trying. Not very well, but trying nonetheless and with practice and persistence surely it will get easier. Right?
There’s also the question about how much and what is appropriate to share on the internet. Where do I want the lines of privacy to lie? Especially with Charlie. Sometimes I want to take it all down and at other times I want to post pictures of my baby and write about all the things he’s doing all day long because he is so cute and clever.
So whilst I feel like breaking up with the internet and social media at times, I know that it certainly enriches my life. Whilst it can be overwhelming, when one filters through the noise, there are beautiful people doing and sharing beautiful things and isn’t it wonderful how easy it can be to connect these days. I know my life is better thanks to some of the blogs and resources I have found in the world wide web. And there are brilliant people and posts that I draw on and read over and over when I doubt myself in this mothering role. They give me back the confidence on days I find myself doubting the choices I’ve made. Because goodness me I doubt myself often and wonder, especially during these periods with a very unsettled baby, that I’m doing something wrong.
Anyway, back to the Instagram post….. Here’s a picture of my favourite pre or post run snack…. almond butter and honey on toast, preferably sourdough. Also that cup of tea is Twinnings new Morning Tea, a new favourite – I love it! Until I ran consistently, which really was the 6 weeks early last year before falling pregnant, I found I had a very sensitive stomach and opted to run early in the morning before eating or drinking a thing to avoid serious stitches. Now I can manage a small meal and this toast is a strong favourite, so are bananas. I had a slice before heading to parkrun this morning, and another upon returning home because baby was ready for a feed and a snooze, and while breastfeeding I find I NEED to eat straight after exercise. So I quickly gobbled this and enjoyed a bowl of porridge later on once the baby was fed and fast asleep. Or so I thought. He woke very grizzly when I was half way through my bowl but wouldn’t settle back to sleep.
I’m really enjoying running again and I wish I had some pre-pregnancy times to compare to. Whilst I don’t have my endurance back, I don’t think I could do a 14km run just yet (for more reasons than just fitness), I’m sure I’m faster over 5km than I ever was. We’ll keep this one quiet but I’m not really training either, but have already knocked minutes off my 5km time in just a month or so. I try to run 3 times a week, but realistically only get out once or twice. I do walk once or twice a day, usually with Charlie in the Ergo, so without him I’m about 7kg lighter and I’m sure that puts a spring in my step. I’m learning to push myself on a run and know that I’m capable of more than I thought possible. At the start of the run today, when I thought I’m not fast enough to run with these people a friend encouraged me to keep up. Of course my first thought was I can’t do that, but then I thought why not just give it a go and see how far I can keep up for? So I did. And ran harder and faster than I ever have. I ended up beating that friend, that friend I thought I couldn’t possibly keep up with for 5km. Towards the end when I was starting to fade a little, I heard her voice call out to me, ‘don’t let me catch you!’. And that was the push I needed to finish strong. Another parkrun, another PB. Though it boggles me that Alex runs a good 6 minutes faster than me over this distance.
So in a nutshell:
2. Almond butter and honey on toast is fine running fuel.
3. You are capable of more than you know, have a little faith.
End Saturdays thought dump, if you’ve read this far you’ve done well. Thank you for indulging me.