Motherhood, Musings

Things I Don’t Do Anymore

A sampling of things I don’t do nearly as much as I should (or at all, in some cases), and that I sometimes feel vaguely guilty about/aware of/motivated to change, with varying degrees of success:

  • Read. as much as I’d like to, anyway. I used to read at least a book a week. Now? Maybe one a month if I’m lucky. The issue isn’t even time, it’s attention span. I can’t seem to get my mind to focus in diving into, and fully committing to the kind of books I like to read best, the books where it takes fifteen minutes to settle into the author’s writing style, cadence of speech and narrative. Shifting and arranging yourself until it becomes familiar and engrossing. These days I barely make it ten minutes before jumping up to make tea, switch laundry over, check some entirely useless and unremarkable thing on my phone, etc. UGH.
  • Do yoga. In the year before Olive was born I really got into yoga, I found an amazing studio and was going 2-3 times a week. My body felt loose and capable, strong and flexed. I continued practicing in a mom and baby class after she was born, but since moving I have been to only one or two classes and neither style resonated with me and so I am here, crunched and hunched and feeling as brittle as an eighty year old woman. I have promised to get back into it a million times, but funds are few and yoga studios are tough because you really have to mesh with the teacher – or I do anyway – otherwise I am just spending $15 a class to internally berate someone for repeating “breathe innnnn, breathe outtttt” in an incredibly obnoxious way.
  • Deal with my hair. Oh my god seriously. I did not notice that I had amazing hair when I was pregnant, but in retrospect I suspect that  my hair did get a little bit amazing, comparatively speaking.Take a look at this grainy photograph from when I was about eight or nine months pregnant.


  • I mean, the hair isn’t anything incredible, but compared to the straw heap I am now dealing with this demure little side-parted ponytail looks absolutely breathtaking.The thing is, after you have a baby all of your delightful pregnancy hormones go away. And this means that you suddenly lose all of the hair that you weren’t losing for the past nine months, and what this means is that when your baby is fifteen months old you will be looking in the mirror trying to understand why every strand of your hair – not hyperbole here, literally  every strand- is a different length ranging from 1″ onwards. Hair sticks out of my head in all directions making me look like an angry hedgehog and no matter how much I brush or condition or otherwise attempt to manage it, I look disheveled. So, I mean, what’s the point right? Any other angry hedgehogs out there who have stumbled upon a solution to this issue, please feel free to rescue whats left of my dignity and share it with me in the comments.
  • Connecting with friends. I am the worst at calling people, returning calls, answering calls, and not ignoring calls and/or sending them straight to voicemail. If you have ever tried to call me on the phone I would like to take this opportunity to say two things: 1) I am so, so sorry, and 2) I am probably never phoning you back.It’s not because I don’t love you, or miss you, or wonder what is going on with your life and your house and your husband and your job, it’s just because I feel completely ill-equipped to carry on my end of a conversation and give your words the attention they deserve while simultaneously trying to prevent Olive from eating kibble again. She loves kibble. She is sneaky about getting to the kibble. She becomes enraged when you forcibly extract kibble from her mouth and she tries to bite you and then Gus lurks nearby because he keeps hearing me say “Kibble” and I usually slip in one of his drool puddles and concuss myself.

    So. Email me, maybe?


  •  Sleep. I mean, obviously, right? There’s the baby, but it also bears mentioning that I am completely incapable of going to bed at a reasonable hour so really, I have no business blaming Olive for why every SINGLE morning I haul myself out of bed, stare my bedraggled hedgehog-self in the mirror and say, with utmost sincerity, “Okay I am going to go to bed early tonight. For REAL this time.”And guys, I mean it! I really mean it. Then I go to work and come home, eat dinner, give Olive her bath, read her a million books, put her to bed and then find reason after reason to put off bedtime for like eight more hours. Repeat.

So, is this list basically a summary of several things that I used to truly value and indeed, consider essential to my personhood, that have almost entirely disappeared from my life since having Olive?

Um. Yes. And it’s only going to get worse (or so they tell me!) Each successful child will find a few more things to wrench from my life,  like greedy little succubi (succubuses? I’ve never had the pleasure of using the plural before) until I am little more than a husk that they call Mama.

But in exchange I get this:


So – even?

I hear that doing yoga and having good hair are overrated, anyway.

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  • Reply Jamie Abe January 20, 2014 at 12:35 AM

    I had a serious conversation with myself about my hair a few months ago. It had to change! I started aboard on pinterest with simple and fast styles to keep in mind. I also rekindled my relationship with my topsy tail. Remember those?! Turns out if you search for it there are quite a few chic do’s out there that take minutes! Its my new mom beauty essential tool!

  • Reply Angie B. January 20, 2014 at 1:30 AM

    Coconut oil! Rub it into your hair, then wear a hat and after few hours wash your head as usually. Do this once or(if u can) twice a week. After few weeks your hair will be longer, healthier, and restored. Trust me! I even have some baby hair after series of these treatments. And remember! Ponytail is always fashionable 😉

    • Reply sweetmadeleine January 20, 2014 at 10:10 AM

      I am going to try this! Love me some coconut oil 🙂

      Sent from my iPhone


      • Reply Angie B. January 23, 2014 at 12:48 AM

        Oh. I saw your post on Facebook. Maybe you could use baby shampoo? It’s delicate enough. I remember my first experience and wasn’t happy at all. My hair were oily for another week! Do not freak out! Maybe if you put some hat or wrap on, your hair will soak more good stuff? Here you have some tips how to use it. It’s super easy but yes, first impression can be frustrating. However, I am happy to know that you are not going to give up. It pays off! Really!

  • Reply mrsmjs January 20, 2014 at 1:34 AM

    All too true too! Particularly the friends thing!

  • Reply Ali Mac January 20, 2014 at 5:17 AM

    Had a mini freakout the other day because my hair is coming off in chunks…my daughter is 6 months old. It all makes sense now! Thanks! 🙂

    • Reply sweetmadeleine January 20, 2014 at 10:10 AM

      Ohhhh yes it’s ridiculous isn’t it! Huge handfuls in the shower 🙁 welcome to the angry hedgehog club.

      Sent from my iPhone


  • Reply Amber January 20, 2014 at 8:34 AM

    I just wrote a journal entry similar to this last week. I have two daughters, a 5 year-old and a 7-month old. I was just starting to feel like I was getting back to my “old habits” again of yoga, zumba, taking baths, and reading when then-boom, I had another baby! So now, the only reading I get is the half-hour block that my school sets aside weekly school wide. I keep telling myself to keep enjoying these precious moments with my baby and I will get time to myself again, but a consistent yoga class once in a while would be lovely!

    • Reply sweetmadeleine January 20, 2014 at 10:09 AM

      Agreed. I think the solution is to just do it. Book the class, hand the kids off to your partner (if you’ve got one, or a kid-loving friend if you don’t) and go get your downward dog on. I am excellent at giving this advice and not so great at taking it 😉

      Sent from my iPhone


  • Reply Cynthia Barnes January 20, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    oh Madelaine
    You look great but I am sure you do feel tired. I remember having my first thought when Charlotte was two I was so excited Yeah a thought

    • Reply sweetmadeleine January 20, 2014 at 10:08 AM

      Ha! Only nine months to go, then! Looking forward to it 😉

      Sent from my iPhone


  • Reply queeniescards January 20, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    Not reading anymore is my number one, I was a bookworm like you and I’m lucky if I get the time to finish the current Chatelaine before the next issue arrives. Ditto on the hair, Madeline is 20 months now and when I look back on my maternity photos I pine away at the hair styles I used to have. Oh, and sleep… forget it, lol. But if all of that is scarified for a healthy and happy little girl who gives you hugs and kisses everyday, it’s all worth it 🙂 (But only once… I don’t want a second, I’m done after one kid… I can’t handle this all over again, I feel like we’ve been through too much to reach the toddler stage, I don’t want to go through the newborn-baby phase again). /end rant.

  • Reply Sam Pereira January 20, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    Aah yes, the hair. They tell you it will fall out, but they don’t tell you it will come out in handfuls and will be obviously thinner in places! Meanwhile, my hair-do is either a hastily pulled together ponytail or a “messy is sexy” “bun”. I used to be quite glam. I used to care. Well, I do care, I just don’t have the energy to do anything about it!
    I’m thinking of getting back into Zumba, but even the thought is exhausting!

    • Reply sweetmadeleine January 22, 2014 at 11:15 PM

      What, exactly, is Zumba? I am a little bit scared of it. I don’t know why. The word sounds so aggressive…ZUMBA!

  • Reply Elizabeth January 20, 2014 at 7:32 PM

    I just got my first haircut in about 8 months (my lil babe is just over a year old) and was talking to the stylist about why post-pregnancy I suddenly had this bizzare cowlick just to the right of center of my hairline. She said she’d heard from other clients about their hair/pregnancy experiences. Her theory was that part of the problem was that suddenly you’re not taking the prenatal vitamins anymore, which contain a large amount of folic acid…. And folic acid is great for your hair and nails, regardless of pregnancy. So, who knows, but I found some leftover from my pregnant days and figured, why not?

    • Reply sweetmadeleine January 22, 2014 at 11:15 PM

      Oh that’s a good theory! I have some kicking around, too and they probably won’t last until we have #2, I’m going to start taking them, too! Thanks for the tip!

  • Reply oliviamangle January 23, 2014 at 6:18 AM

    I love how easy and casual your writing style is! So easy to read 🙂

  • Reply Amy January 23, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    I went out and bought a couple of really cute hats. I wear them all the time, plus a head scarf with an elastic back works wonders, too. Hair? I’ve got some kind of overwrought follicles going on and they produce oil so constantly that it looks like I haven’t washed my hair in a week after one day. Ugh. /end rant 😉

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