Week 32: Productivity While Pregnant

Shortly after I found out I was pregnant, the Type A in me perked up with glee. Here’s why:

Type A’s thrive with a goal and a plan of action, Schaubroeck explains. For that reason, to-do lists are one your best friends: You love seeing all your tasks plotted out and thrive on the rush of checking off a finished item.
— Carolyn Gregoire, HuffPost (link below)

I knew there was SO MUCH TO DO and the idealist in me believed that my pregnancy would be just the thing to motivate me to get some tough longstanding items on my To Do Lists checked off.

Lately, I’ve been so overwhelmed with the list that seems to be growing faster than it is shrinking that I’ve become completely ineffective. I walk into the soon-to-be baby nursery, stand in it’s absolute emptiness with just eight weeks to go, and promptly walk right back out. And, just the other day, I made the hasty decision that the guest room should actually be the baby's room instead, so we did a room switch, which meant more work without any progress on my checklist!

I really have no wisdom here for you, just a lot of agonizing and perplexity over the dilemmas I make for myself. Why does it feel like anymore there is only enough time in a day to do one or two things tops!? Why is it often the case that we can kick ass and take names at work, but can’t even fold the laundry after it’s pulled out of the dryer? (Little voice in my head: “That’s if you do the laundry at all...”). Why does adulting mean sacrificing a comfy night on the couch to get the baby dresser put together?

I expect to be the together parent. We just finished our childbirth class and for the past few weeks I’ve had “practice laboring positions” on our checklist at home. Have we done this? Even once? No!

Before I take the easy way out and blame my spouse, I’ve also had “work on my breathing” on that same checklist week to week and, besides the fact that I’m still alive and obviously actively breathing, I cannot say I have at all been intentional about the way I breathe to cross that one off either. In addition to everything else that I want to get done before the baby arrives, the line items involving childbirth, postpartum and taking care of another human being are mocking me at this point. I don’t feel immediate fear per-say when looking at them. I don’t dismiss their importance either. I just don’t have the mental energy lately and feel myself shut down with the sunset every day (ha-ha, like you get home from work before the sunset these days).

On my good days lately, when I’m not freaking out or amped up and realistically believe I can get 50 things done in a weekend, I am getting closer to accepting that we will not get everything that we want to get done accomplished before the baby arrives. Even though a checklist as long as mine can one day be completely crossed out, odds are it will not happen by the given deadline. On a good day, that’s okay with me.

On a not so good day? Or a neutral day, I ask myself if there’s a better way to approach these things that need to get done. The things that I KNOW will be too difficult to do once the baby arrives. The things that will ultimately get pushed by the wayside and five years later I’ll be nagging that we should have done before kids like I had planned. Or be that person who says “We’ve been wanting to get _____ done since 2015” to anyone who visits the house. Things like going through all the cardboard boxes in the garage and organizing the items into plastic bins and labeling them. Getting the chimney inspected so we can actually use the fireplace it without fear. You get the idea. I’m sure you have such a list yourself.

I know some of you are thinking: prioritize. That’s the way to at least make sure the important things done. I’m not talking about THOSE things. That gets handled. But what about the bottom feeder items? Forever bumped.

The real fear that is bubbling up in me is the fact that all these things are so hard to imagine getting done now, when my husband and I are relatively responsibility free. Add a child into the mix plus work, and other obligations, how will it get done? How do others do it with more children, pets, extra-curriculars and other life things we don’t have to deal with yet? What do their To Do Lists look like?

Like I said earlier, I’m not in a position to answer questions today. Not gonna try. But here’s some reading that might help me and might help you.

Further Reading