It has been a whirlwind summer in the Lotulelei household.
Back in May, Saia quit his job, and launched his own business, a masonry company. He has been working long days all summer, generally six days a week, 10-hour days, and taking a day off whenever it rains.
Gideon started the summer barely army crawling, and ended it taking his first steps!
And I have been doing a lot of walking, and a lot of thinking.
Motherhood gently ushered me into an entirely new phase of life, and I have struggled to find my footing. At first, it was all about survival in those early sleepless days with a newborn, but now that Gideon is 1, and I am getting more (if not unbroken) sleep, I’ve done a lot of thinking about how I should spend my time.
It boggles my mind how much free time I had before I had a baby. I can’t even really remember how I spent most of it, ha! But these days, as a work-at-home mom, I am with my little man from sun up to sun down, with a few nap breaks in between. My free time is limited, and I’ve wanted to use it as effectively as I possibly can.
And I’ve tried using it for various things–some days I’ve given it to Instagram by scrolling in the last hour of the day, I’ve watched a show to relax once Gideon was gone down for a nap, and other days I’ve spent it in crazed productivity–throwing dishes one way, laundry another, prepping supper with one hand and answering emails with the opposite one racing around the apartment doing everything I possibly could until I finally (and with relief) heard his little cry.
Neither of those things filled my cup–the mindless technology nor the crazed productivity. Neither of those things, in the end, made me a better mom or even refreshed me so that I could dive back into my day. I soon found out that I need to spend my morning and nap hours working on a project. Something concrete. Something that will make me feel like a human first, and a mom second instead of the other way around.
At first, I tried doing my work at night, after he went to bed, but I am a morning person through and through. By afternoon and evening if you ask me to do a creative task, I want to burst into tears and crawl under the covers. I have always enjoyed going to bed, and going to sleep. Ever since I was a kid.
But mornings? Mornings are my jam. Not the first ten minutes of the morning–mind you–as my husband can attest. But once I’ve poured that first cup of coffee, walked onto our patio, and sat down with my laptop, I am ready to go!
Mornings are for making. Mornings are for doing something that will stick, writing something that will last longer than a clean plate or a clean shirt. Mornings are for remembering that I have a college degree, and I am more than a mom. Mornings are for dreaming, and doing: until the offee runs dry, and my little brown-eyed baby boy wakes up, rubbing his face, his eyes still full of sleep, and looking for his mama.
Mornings are for searching out new opportunities. Mornings are for sending a few hundred words out into the world. Mornings are of making dreams happen: one cup of coffee, one document, one picture at a time. Mornings are for me. When the rest of the day is carefully sectioned away to serve my family–mornings are for the mom.
Being a mom is everything to me, and it is the most beautiful part of my day, but if my mind isn’t working on a project I get grumpy, and then I get frustrated, and finally I get depressed. My mind was built for creating, and I’ve learned that if it isn’t actively creating then my mental health suffers.