Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Love in a Time of Productivity

In the last four months, I have learned that sometimes you snuggle because it's fun, sometimes you snuggle because your baby needs snuggles, and sometimes you snuggle because *you* need it. Friday was the latter.

DangerMouse had her four month checkup last week. 95th percentile for height, 90th percentile for weight, 25th percentile for head size. Fun fact: our pediatrician (who will henceforth be dubbed Dr. FTW) told us that DangerMouse looks a lot like Andrew. In her culture, that means Genevieve will be very successful.

I'll take that. Especially since she didn't tack on "... as a stripper" to the end of that sentence.

(Truth be told, while I would rather Genevieve *not* be a stripper, if she decides to go that route, I would hope she was a very successful one.)


How did this become about strippers? Quick, palate cleanser!

Sweater and hat both by DangerMouse's knitting aunties
In four months she has gone from a scrawny 6 lbs 11 oz to a robust 15 lbs and 11 oz. I'm still kvelling over this. I've also been reading  The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers, which I checked out from the library on a lark.

I'm finding it helpful, partly because it addresses a lot of the less-than-sparkly feelings that sometimes accompany new motherhood, and partly because I'm more mindful of some of the things I can actively work on. Like being frustrated that I'm not getting enough done.

Enough of what? Genevieve is fed, clean, and mostly cheerful. We talk, we sing, we play, we nap. We don't run 400 errands and do 8000 things every day; or every week even. But, I am trying to stay positive and treasure the time I have with her while she is small.

Matching hats at the Farmer's Market

Andrew says he feels it too, the feeling that he's unproductive. But it's things like the picture with their matching hats that reminds him that everything else isn't as important. He's right.

For now, I'll take the snuggles where I can get them, because like the poem says, "I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep."


  1. Hey, the biggest thing you can do is be present!

    Babies make you give up your agendas, and fulfill theirs. The best thing I ever learned was to make the baby happy, and then work around her schedule.

    When Erin was tiny we lived with her grandparents during the first year of the two year remodel from hell. I took care of her, took care of us, worked, and still had to cook for the the Harker family 2 times a week. It was a nightmare. Erin was my joy.

    So yeah, sometimes you will feel unproductive- babies have their own agendas! And I'm delighted that you have your mom and brother to support you, not to mention Andrew the magnificent! My inlaws kept telling me how sorry they felt for poor Robert, and how *hard* Robert worked. Um, I out-earned him by 20K that year.

    Miss Mouse is a moose! How wonderful to have her thriving.

  2. Such cute pictures and great advice to enjoy as much as you can. Who needs to do housework. Enjoy! C x

  3. You do what is right for your family and the rest will follow. She looks adorable in her handknits. Love the photo of her and Andrew and I still think she looks so much like your mum. She is absolutely gorgeous!

  4. Taking care of a person and giving them love is VERY productive. Raising a happy, healthy, well-balanced human being is EXTREMELY productive and a wonderful contribution to our society. :-)

  5. So true. Mine are in their 30's and it all seemed to pass in a blink of an eye. I don't remember be aware of that idea when they were growing up. I wish I did.

    I also believe all the stages of our children's lives are important and precious. Watching them now as adults I know I did a good job when they were children, but I also enjoy seeing them work their way through this life my husband and I gave them. I know I won't be around forever, so I am taking note of everything now.

    Live in the moment. It is gone so fast. Great pictures.

  6. Our two oldest are running around as five year olds now and my husband and I are trying to figure out what happened. Same for our 3 year old. As I hold our newest baby boy, who is 2 months now, I know it will not last very long at all. Enjoy every moment that you can! You will never look back and say "I wish I had washed more dishes" or "I wish I had folded more laundry".

  7. When I had a baby, my mom would come and help snuggle kids. My MIL would come later and clean up the house, and the kids could wait--she was showing them the right way to be a responsible grownup.

    She thought.

    I am so glad you and I both had a mom who knew better and that you're all having such a good time enjoying your baby. Well done.

  8. I struggle with this exact thing. I love my baby boy and every minute I get to spend with him. But some days it is a real struggle to deal with the lack of productivity I feel. Especially since I feel like I was wonder woman before the love of my life came along. The key is to find an embrace our wonder woman and the job in front of us now. We may feel less productive, but how amazing are the snuggles and smiles?!

  9. I've always loved reading your blog, but find it so enduring to read because our girls are so close in age! We have our 4 month checkup in 2 weeks (1 week late) and we were at last apt in the same percentiles as you. I must feel the same way as you sometimes, so I am definitely going to check out that book. Thanks so much for sharing!!

    Also, she is too cute here with Daddy! I heard the song Genevieve by Sugarland yesterday and thought about you :)

  10. Like the others have said just enjoy your time because the other stuff will still be there no matter what but she is only 4 months old for a short period of time. Love the picture in the matching hats. And oh those cheeks I just want to pinch them!

  11. My oldest of four girls is 17 and my youngest is 5. I don't think I've "felt" productive in 17 years, but then they go and do something amazing and you realize you have been productive the WHOLE time!

    Happy First Mother's Day!

    PS. You only get one of those so stay in the moment.

  12. I hear you! I think I will give the book you are reading a chance. Also, I love the poem you linked to.

  13. My twins are turning 2 in July and just now I feel I can "do" something else while they play. My house is pretty chaotic most times with toys all over the place but I'd rather play with them then putting everything away instantly. They get homemade food (nearly) every day, we spend tons of time outside or with their "friends" on the playground (I get some knitting time sneaked in when they are in the sandbox ;) ). It helped me a lot going back to work 2 days a week. I have the feeling to do something "useful" then ;)

  14. dang, I can't log in for some weird reson, so this was tini ;)

  15. Thanks for your great reflections on mothering a baby. Mine is now 19 and it helps me to remember the treasuring we shared.

  16. Thank you for writing and sharing this post! I needed that. It's been one of those weeks. You're making me feel so much better.

    The picture of Genevieve and Andrew is priceless.

    Happy Mother's Day, Jasmin!

  17. Do you like the Moby wrap a lot? I am pregnant and due any day now (today is my due date!) and we just got a gently used one from someone on Craigslist... it seems kind of cumbersome to put on, but I've heard great things about them... and Andrew and Genevieve look cozy!

  18. Good perspective. You may need to continue to remind yourself of this fundamental truth on a weekly basis, so take heart!


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