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Life Lately: Overwhelmed

I’ve started and re-started this post about a half a dozen times. It’s pretty obvious that I haven’t been blogging as much lately, and whenever I get out of the routine it’s hard to find the words to start. I wonder if I even have anything interesting or useful to say these days.

But I suppose not every post needs to be earth-shattering…or even have a real point. So let’s just jump right in.

If there’s one word to describe how I’ve been lately, it’s: OVERWHELMED. Humbled by this transition, feeling like I’m treading water without really moving forward. Don’t get me wrong — things aren’t bad and I’m not unhappy. In fact, in many ways my life is fuller than ever. But I still find myself struggling to adapt to this new normal, to figure out a routine and find myself again somewhere in the midst of all this change.

People have told me many times that they appreciate the “real-ness” of my blog. I sort of wonder if that’s just a nice way of saying that I sound negative a lot of the time. I really hope that’s not the case, but this past year has been a crazy one. And pregnant + new mom life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. There’s a lot of really wonderful, really amazing parts too. But most of the time I feel like I’m just making things up as I go.

So with that said, here’s how things stand around these parts:

Work

As you know, I returned to work last week (thank you all so much for your advice and words of encouragement!). To say it kicked my butt would be an understatement. The long commute (70+ minutes each way), the transition to daycare, figuring out how to use my brain again, learning which outfits are easy to pump/nurse in and which are a big, fat fail (like the dress I wore yesterday…lesson learned)…it’s all a bit overwhelming. And I only had to go into the office 3 days last week. Plus I got to visit Amelia during the day. In terms of a transition, I think I probably had it pretty easy.

work selfieDoes this angle make me look fat?

And yet I still find myself struggling. I knew how to be “working Lauren” and I finally felt like I was starting to figure out “mom Lauren,” but this “working mom” thing is a whole different animal. It’s thrown me for a loop and I’m not quite sure how to balance it all…let alone continue to cook healthy meals, take care of the dog (poor pup has not been walked nearly enough), and RUN (more on that later).

It’s not even that I need more hours in my day. It’s just somehow learning to be more efficient with the hours I do have. I’m trying to give myself some grace, but the perfectionist in me wants to have it all figured out already. Doesn’t matter that this is completely unrealistic. It’s only been a week…obviously there’s going to be some growing pains along the way. But I find myself missing some aspects of my old life. Not necessarily that life itself, but just the ease with which I used to be able to balance things. Why did I always think I was so busy? What did I used to do with my time? And how the heck do people do this with multiple children?? I’m struggling to manage with just one.

On the positive side, Amelia is adjusting (sort of…she cries whenever I leave but at least she’s able to settle down quickly), the daycare has been great about using cloth diapers (win) and I’m still able to pump/nurse during the day (major win!), so I’m focusing on those little victories for now and hoping everything else will fall into place eventually.

Running

Has taken a backseat. You don’t need to hear my excuses, since that’s pretty much all they are. But for someone who was so excited to get back into training again, I’m a bit ashamed to admit that there hasn’t been much of it lately.

I had some pretty awesome runs while we were in Florida a couple of weeks ago. Nothing like warm weather and flat terrain to help you find extra motivation to get out the door. I even managed a short, speedy run where I got my pace down to numbers I haven’t seen in forever. I finally felt like myself again. I was back!

IMG 5635First stroller run. An easy, flat 2-mile jog

And then I hurt my heel and took two big steps backwards. To be fair, I felt some pain coming on during that last run in Florida, but it loosened up as I was running and, you know, it was my LAST CHANCE for a warm run so I kept going. When it comes to running injuries, I’m pretty skilled at self-delusion. Unfortunately after that run it hurt to put any pressure on my heel. And since I couldn’t really rest and stay off it for the remainder of the day, it only got worse.

So I took a week completely off running and even scaled back with the walks, since that seemed to irritate it as well. The few times I have run since have just been okay. Maybe it’s the never-ending cold, maybe it’s the exhaustion from being back at work, or you know — the fact that my body has been to hell and back in the past year (okay, maybe a bit dramatic but you get the point), but my motivation is just lagging lately.

It wouldn’t matter so much if I didn’t have a little race on my calendar in a few weeks. I am completely undertrained for this thing, but I’m going for it anyway. Call me stupid if you like, but I’ve already been planning on running a PW and if I have to walk a bunch, so be it. At this point, adding another DNS to the list feels worse than DNRTWR (oh you don’t know that acronym? It stands for “did not run the whole race”…obviously).

Baby

Is growing like a weed. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen the baby spam. And yeah, I know it’s a lot. But I just can’t help myself. I find it so amazing that this little girl seems to be changing before my eyes. I know not everyone cares about babies or parenthood. And I also realize that most people don’t need to know how many hours Amelia slept last night, how often she eats, how much she weighs now, or even the fact that she laughed for the first time last weekend(!!). But it’s a huge part of my life now and I’m trying to figure out how to fit all that in with the girl who used to be all about running and would only spam people with pictures of her dog. The blog will never go back to the way that it was, but I do hope there’s a little more running and a few less excuses in the future.

Amelia_3 months

Anyway, since I’m now three months out, I really want to pull together another recovery update. Not necessarily because I’m back to my old self and running at my old speeds (far from it!), but because 3 months seems like a pretty significant milestone in both babyhood and recovery. As long as I’m able to get to it sometime within the next month…

 

18 Responses to Life Lately: Overwhelmed

  1. I, for one, have never stopped loving your blog. Through pregnancy, etc. I love how real you always are and you never sound negative. Just honest! Which I love and respect the most. I know I’ve said it before (soooo sorry for the creepiness) but you’re one of the only blogs I’ve followed from running–>pregnant and running–> mommyhood + running and all things in between. I think you’re doing absolutely amazing with all of it. It’s hard! Most of my friends have kids so I’m obviously an expert ;) I will always read your blog and I can’t get enough pictures of Amelia. When your baby is that cute you HAVE to baby-spam us all the time. Cut yourself some slack I think you’re doing great! It will click and you will find your groove. I promise. And as long as you’re writing, I’ll be reading. Now,
    I think that’s enough sap and creepiness for one day, don’t ya think!?! Great post, Lauren!

  2. I think what you’re going through now is TOTALLY normal. Why wouldn’t you feel overwhelmed? Adjusting to life with a baby is huge, and you have no frame of reference for what it will be like. It’s going to take time and that is ok. It actually will probably take a really long time. Motherhood is one long process, as I am learning myself!

    You might want to check out the SHUbox blog, if you haven’t already. It’s written by a physician mom who just had her second baby. She’s also a runner. You might find some encouragement (or some camaraderie) as you continue to adjust to your new life.

    Basically, don’t worry if it takes a while to figure out how to manage your time and fit in all the things you’d like to be doing. You have a whole new life now, and one that isn’t going to be managed like your old one, and it will take time to feel like you have your feet under you. Take it one day at a time.

  3. First of all, honest does not equal negative. Having a baby isn’t always rainbows and puppies. It’s great but it’s also very hard. And it’s okay to talk about that.

    I’m struggling with the same things you are, only I haven’t gone back to work yet. I completely know what you mean about just adjusting to being a mom and then suddenly having to adjust to being a working mom. I’m really nervous about it.

    I really think (and hope!) that it does get easier though. We will just figure out how to fit it all in. And I personally would like to read about how many hours Amelia slept through the night!
    Lee´s last post ..Return to Healthy Living

  4. I second Beth’s post, above. I usually, unintentionally, end up ditching running bloggers turned running mom bloggers (sorry but I can only handle so much baby spam!), BUT….I still totally love your blog in spite of baby. She’s legitimately super cute, which helps!! haha. Yours is one of the few blogs I check daily for new posts (like Beth, sorry if that’s creepy?!), along with hungryrunnergirl, mileposts and a few of my close friends’ blogs. So, take that as a compliment! :)
    Lina´s last post ..Running Again

  5. IT’S NOT BABY SPAM. MORE AMELIA PICTURES. MOOOORE. GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT.

    And for what it’s worth, Conks, I think you’re doing GREAT. And I love you.
    Ali´s last post ..The Triumphant Return Of Thankful Things Thursday

  6. Love your blog and hearing a realistic perspective about pregnancy and your post-birth experiences, as I am currently 23 weeks pregnant and will also be a working mom (and hopefully still a runner!) later this summer/fall. I don’t know much about your prior injuries, as I started reading your blog not that long ago, but are you dealing with plantar fasciitis?? I had it a year and a half ago and purchased a brace from CVS. I thought it REALLY helped. Now, whenever I feel it coming on, I use the brace, and I have not had a problem with my heal since. Anyway, just thought I’d suggest it. Good luck with everything!
    Julia´s last post ..L.A. Marathon Recap at 20.5 weeks pregnant

  7. Honestly, before I had kids,I had many of the same ideas about what life would be like with babies, and it was much harder than I expected. Cut yourself some slack. Pick the important things on your list and let the rest go as much as possible. Honestly, the first year of my boys’ life, I didn’t get much running in. Between working full time out of the house and taking care of them, I was exhausted. But it came back, and we got a good routine going,and I don’t regret the time I missed from running.
    You’ll get in a groove and you will establish a new normal that works. Plus you’ll figure out the shortcuts that work for you. For example, we do one load of laundry a day and mix all the clothes (except brand new red clothes — they bleed). Everything gets washed on warm/cold. It works for us. We have also figured out a meal routine that works for us — things like beans in the crockpot, and veggie burgers. It really did get easier, especially once they were sleeping reliably through the night.

  8. My son’s first year was the worst year of my life — and I didn’t even work full-time. I hate admitting that, but it’s true. Motherhood is the hardest thing in the world, and no one has any inkling of how hard it is until you’re there. Overwhelmed is a huge understatement.

    It takes time, but I promise it gets easier. You’ll eventually balance it all and somehow fit in everything you want to do — but it’ll always be hard. Don’t worry what anyone thinks of you. To share about your life without ever mentioning your BABY!? Kind of impossible! :)

    Sending lots of hugs!
    Jen´s last post ..Pregnancy update: week 36

  9. I think your blog is very honest, and that doesn’t mean negative! It just means you arent afraid to tell it like it is. You don’t pretend that the hard times don’t happen. It’s all a balancing act. It just takes time!
    EB @ Running on E´s last post ..Friday Four (because I’m too tired to come up with 5)

  10. I could have written this when my Amelia was born, five years ago. And I’m still trying to find the right balance! It’s really hard! And no one can tell you that- you have to figure it out for yourself. You really are doing amazingly well- I live in Canada, so I had a year off for maternity leave, and even then, going back was a struggle. You barely have your motherhood feet under you, and now have to juggle all the other responsibilities of adult life. Give it time- you will settle in to a routine.

    As for the running- cut yourself some slack. It took me almost four YEARS to return to running after my daughter was born! And then I did way too much, too soon, and ended up with shin splints, and shortly thereafter, a nasty case of bilateral pneumonia. I had to take three months off… And I had only just gotten started again! I understand the drive to recapture a little piece of who you were, so keep running, but don’t let it become a source of stress for you. It should be fun!

    And just so you know- it’s ok to miss your former life. I miss mine every day. You can love your child to the moon and back, but you don’t have to always love the act of parenting and trying to balance it all. Hugs!
    Catwoman73´s last post ..Weekly Fitness Report, Week 9

  11. Love seeing all the pictures of Amelia!! Keep spamming away :) I think what you are feeling is normal, that being said I haven’t had a child but it seems completely normal to me. It is a hard transition and it looks like you are doing an AWESOME job!
    Sara @ LovingOnTheRun´s last post ..A Few Exciting Things

  12. Finding the balance between being a mom/working/caring for yourself and relationships is tough! You may feel overwhelmed, but it really will get more manageable with time. Especially as the baby gets into more and more routines.
    Having a winter baby (especially this winter – which is supposed to be OVER, hello Mother Nature?!) probably made adding running back in a million times harder. My running really took off again when I was able to start strapping my son in the stroller and hitting the road. More daylight + spring weather are going to make a difference!
    Hope the heel is feeling better!

  13. Lauren, Beautifully written as always. You may have new priorities, but you are still the amazing and sweet Lauren you have always been. The running will come back and when it does, you will cherish each one more than ever. Even the tough days of running will seem easier than they were before Amelia. You cannot do it all and will only frustrate yourself if you try. What you can do, is the very best at everything you attempt. If Amelia has taken the lead as your priority over running, then thank God every day for such a perfect and beautiful new priority!
    Love, Dad

  14. GO YOU! You’re a super hero. You’ll find your rhythm when you don’t even realize it, and look back to say “Wow we’ve come so far!” Amelia is beyond beautiful it’s crazy. My little guy is going to have a serious virtual crush on her, I just know it ;-)
    kristin miller´s last post ..Week 28 Update

  15. Going back to work after having a baby is no easy feat-emotionally OR physically. I think the first month was the roughest for me, but now that I’ve been back to work for a while (if you consider five months a while) I finally feel like I’ve got a handle on the day to day stuff-getting the baby fed/bathed/in bed each night, washing bottles and pump parts, getting his bottles ready for the next day…I’ve got some semblance of a routine down and it helps. Now, things like cleaning the house, getting the dogs exercised, and (god forbid) running? Let’s see-my house is a mess, the dogs desperately need some good walks, and I’m lucky if I run twice a week. Did I mention I’m supposed to be pacing a half in 5 weeks?

    In general, I feel like it’s not necessarily a matter of juggling ALL the balls because that’s just not going to happen. It’s more a matter of figuring out which balls really need to be juggled and which ones can sit on the floor until you have time for them. And you’ll figure it out. Hang in there!
    Lori´s last post ..Back at it…again

  16. I just want to reiterate the same things that everyone else has already said. My son is now 20 months and I remember I felt like I spent most of that first year barely treading water. I was a full time working, breastfeeding, pumping, running (when I ‘had time’) mom. I honestly don’t know how I ever got anything done! Once you think you start to get comfortable with a routine, Amelia is going to change, and you’re going to have to figure out a new routine, and then the cycle starts over, and over, and over. Take care of yourself, your baby, and your husband, decide which things are your absolute top priorities and let the rest go. Cut yourself some slack, just like everyone is telling you to do. Celebrate the small victories like you’re doing and don’t beat yourself up for the “failures”. It’s going to be hard for awhile, but it does get easier, I promise.

    For the record, I think we’re all making it up as we go. :)

  17. Just reading this now…FTR some people are “baby people” and we can’t get enough of the “how manys”, “how longs”, “new favorites”, “new tricks” info that you might share about your new baby. Seek us out if you get worried that no one cares :) Everything you describe sounds so healthy and normal…including the shift in priorities. I love your Dad’s comment :) You’re doing amazingly! And she is beautiful!
    MILF Runner´s last post ..Blood and gore and drugs… (AKA part one of my hip replacement) *warning: some images not suitable for squeamish people…but they’re in the second half

  18. Not to tell you it doesn’t get better, but I still feel the same way you do and Allie is 14 months old. I agree- I don’t know what I did with my time before I had her, because I feel like I manage my time efficiently now and still can’t get it all done and haven’t figured out the best balance. My needs are dead last, I have only had ONE night of her entire life that I wasn’t the one putting her to bed, have yet to hire a baby sitter at all, and rarely run, blog, cook, go to yoga, or any of the things that used to be my hobbies. I wouldn’t change it and she is totally worth it, but it’s definitely a huge change from pre-baby. I think it’s just the new normal!

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