I can’t explain it, but somehow my house is not currently destroyed. It may not be perfect, but I don’t feel as though I’d be embarrassed if someone just came by unexpectedly (after all, that mess in the living room with all the couch cushions and blankets and pillows was made by the kids just this morning). Even with Ben at the breast every two hours throughout the day and Mike working overtime so he’s not able to do much around the house when he gets home – I’m managing. People with fewer than four children all seem to think I’m nuts or brave or sick in the head (okay, no one has actually used that phrase on me), but I don’t see how it’s all that different than before. You know, aside from having a little human attached to my chest for half the day.
Okay, so how am I doing it? One little bit at a time. At the moment, I do have three loads of laundry to fold and my sheets badly need to be washed (mostly thanks to Ben spitting up all over them every night). But my bathroom is in pretty good shape – the toilet and sink recently cleaned – my kitchen will be easy to tidy up – just the dishwasher to unload and reload and the counter to wipe down. The floor needs sweeping again, but I did it yesterday which means it won’t be a big job. Cleaning up often means pulling myself away from mindless net-surfing or choosing not to crash on the couch in the middle of the day. But even a few minutes here and there make a difference.
I will say one thing – the tradition of “lying in” (see my friend LaSandra‘s post on her church’s take on it here) feels mighty tempting to me at times. To have someone come even once in awhile to help me out with housework or older kid stuff so I could just relax and recuperate sounds pretty good. The catch is that people literally go nowhere other than to the doctor (or they’re not supposed to) for six weeks. I think I’d have a hard time not taking my baby to church the first Sunday after birth, like I have with all my kids, or not going to my in-laws the day we get out of the hospital, something we’ve done with three of our kids now. On Monday of this week, I met my sister-in-law and nephews at the park – it was a bit of work getting everybody out by myself, but it was good for the kids. I went to Wal Mart that night with Ben and picked up a movie on my way home. Last night we went to supper at my sister-in-law’s house – it was her turn to make me a meal and she decided to have us over instead of bringing it to us. I just think I’m too social to be confined completely. But hey, staying home during the day most of the week and having someone here to help me some of the time? Sure, that would be great. As much as I’m saying keeping the house clean isn’t that hard, I will admit that I would probably feel even better right now if I didn’t have to do it. If I could just rest with Ben and get to know him one on one. Sleep in, take naps in the afternoon instead of baking birthday cakes. Maybe I don’t understand the concept very well, but if I could have it my way, lying in would mean spending about 75% of the time at home, being helped by another woman (no, not by my husband…it would just make him grumpy to stay home for weeks and do housework :D) and going out on occasion when my sanity demands it.
But lying in is something I doubt anyone up here has ever heard of (at least anyone under the age of sixty) and aside from a few days of Mike being home and a week of suppers that ladies from our church bring over, I’ve always been expected to take up the housewife role within a week or so of giving birth. Who knows if I would actually be healthier by resting more – I think I might be in a better mood, but only if the house was clean and meals were made in addition to my being more rested. Maybe I wouldn’t be losing weight so fast (twenty-three pounds down after eleven days – nine of those between the 28th and the 1st). Anyway, just a thought.
I’ve been at the computer long enough this morning to give me a bit of a headache – or at least aggravate the one I was already starting to get when I woke up. I have my citizenship test one week from now and have been studying and taking an online practice test over and over again hoping it will work to prepare me enough that I’ll pass it. A twenty question multiple choice test should be easy, right? Well, my brain HATES history…so we’ll see.
Oh, as for my “little” boy – he’s up to 9 lb 10 oz and 21 1/4 inches – twelve ounces and a quarter inch up from birth twelve days ago. Go, Ben, go!! 🙂 Hooray for breastmilk!