One thing at a time: Managing a baby and everything else

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One thing I quickly realized when my baby boy was born was how hard it suddenly became getting things done.

People did warn me that babies, especially breastfed ones, take a lot of your time.

I considered this and told my mom, “I guess I will need a week to figure it out.” I asked her then, woman to woman, to pass on to me all her secrets about managing motherhood and balancing it with work.

Yes, I was super naive. There are no secrets. My mom is just a super-woman who managed to raise 3 children while working, not unlike many other mothers out there who are not me.

Six weeks later, I can only congratulate myself on being able to keep my child alive and healthy. As for getting things done in the mean time, I am struggling.

I am a mess of a stay-at-home mother/aspiring author. Dishes pile up, the bed doesn’t get made, laundry doesn’t get folded, food gets burned; also blogs don’t get written, stories don’t get published, novels don’t get edited or sent out. Instead I increasingly find myself (figuratively) sitting in a corner of my apartment reciting all the ways that I am a complete and utter failure.

Combine that with sleep deprivation and you get depression lurking at every corner, sharpening its claws and teeth, ready to attack.

But, I should be happy with my life. I have wonderful husband and a healthy, sweet baby boy…what else could I want?

I want to get things done. I don’t want to be just a mama; I want to be an accomplished mama whose son will be proud of her.

Take one step at a time.

When I had difficult projects at my former jobs or at college, I panicked for 5 minutes, got depressed for 10, but finally I made checklists.

Accomplishing one thing at a time not only made me feel good, but got me closer to my goals.

I thought, if I do one new thing a day, get used to it, make it part of my routine and then introduce another, I will, maybe, be able to get things done!

It may not make me an overnight success as a wife/mother/author but each day will be a success.

To my future kid: The greatest thing I should teach you is empathy

Dear Future kid,

If you grow up and have great empathy towards others, I will consider myself a successful parent.

This is the one greatest thing I could teach you.

And this may sound like a sweet trait that nice people have, it is also a trait that tough people have. It is a characteristic that could help you change the world for the better, but it is also one that will cause you great pain.

I am going to warn you first.  Empathy is not something that you should expect to be reciprocal, even by the people closest to you. But, my child, if you have it you will not only feel with your fellow man, you will also know people, understand their joy, their anger or pain. You will be able to see where they come from and what drives them. Even if you don’t agree with them, you will be able understand why they are acting the way they are.

I want you to try to understand everything; understanding is power.

I am going to explain to you what “understanding is power” means, because I don’t believe in using important words for pure wow effect without providing any real essence.

Understanding and empathize with others, gives you power to cause change. This is because if you choose to help, or intervene, you will act in a way that matters.

Sometimes you will be able to predict behaviors, even.

But the number one reason I want you to have empathy is that you will be unable to hurt any living creature. Treat others as you want to be treated. Be gentle. Gentleness is not a weakness either. The world has enough harshness, cruelty and darkness, but if there is one individual willing to make it just a little better, there is hope.

Love and Kisses,

Your future mama.