Saturday, September 26, 2009
Recently, I have been doing a lot of reflection on effort.
Let me restart more honestly. Lately, I have been swallowing a lot of frustration regarding the desire to be recognized. This is really hard for me to admit. I have this desire for people to understand how hard Robin and I are trying. How hard Robin is trying on getting this "other" house out of our hands while working to maintain his mental health in the midst of a very frustrating work situation. How hard we are working to raise a child across the country from both of our families and so many of our close friends. How hard I am working to maintain my self while being a really good mom and the effort required to blend those two roles. We are trying really hard.
I was talking with one of my coworkers about how nice she looks every day, and she said, "I am just trying this year." I responded with some self-deprecation I should have avoided and said, "I feel like I look like crap every day," and she said, "Maybe you just need to try harder." I know she meant nothing by this, and I really enjoy her, but I failed to maintain my calm and wigged out a teeny bit: "I am trying! I have an infant, and I have make-up on!" Blame it on the lack of sleep (because yes, even when your baby sleeps "well," that still involves getting up at 5:45 to prepare for a really exhausting day).
Fast-forward to today. I got up and went to an 8:15 yoga class. It was my second practice this week, and one of those came at the expense of putting Lydia to bed, one of my favorite things because as Robin has taken over as her more primary care-giver during the week, Lydia still clearly prefers me to put her down to sleep. What can I say? Robin can do many things, but he can't lactate. Two ninety-minute work-outs in a week is pretty good for having a six-month-old, if I do say so myself. As I'm congratulating myself for making it through a challenging class, for getting to yoga twice this week, for fitting comfortably into the pair of jeans that I set as my post-partum weight loss goal, the instructor, who I consider a good friend, said, "You need to get here more often!" She's right. I do. But it was really challenging not to feel hurt for the lack of recognition not only in how well I did in class but the effort that it took to get there: getting up at 7:30 on a Saturday after waking up at 5:45 to feed Lydia (she went back to sleep and I left her snuggled in bed with Robin), nursing her again before I left, shoving yogurt into my mouth on the way so I wouldn't starve in class, not to mention that I am still fighting off a cold.
My mom always tells me not to have expectations. Yoga is all about dropping expectations. Cheering for Gopher Football has DEFINITELY taught me not to have expectations.
To make a long story short, I have thrown myself some pity parties recently. It is really hard to not want credit, but I am working to shift my focus from expecting, wanting, and hoping for this recognition to understanding that a lot of people don't understand and just being happy with the knowledge of the effort we're putting forth. I know how hard we are working, and I am really proud of my little family. I think we're doing pretty good, and if there's anything to send resentment running, it's this little stinker. How cute is she?