Regular readers will remember that I have been having trouble getting housework done. This was mostly because I was attempting to function on next-to-no sleep with a baby who cried anytime she wasn't held and continued to cry until she was picked up. I think if either of those factors had been missing I would have been able to accomplish more. If I had been getting better sleep at night, I might have been able to handle doing chores while listening to a crying baby without crying myself. And if Pearl had been content to sit quietly in a playpen, on the floor, or in the bumbo next to me, I think I could have pushed through even though I was exhausted. But that is just an assumption, because I never was able to test either of those scenarios.
She still doesn't sleep so well at night, although it is better. At the worst of it she was sleeping in 5-10 minute intervals, and out of the about three dozen different things we tried to help her sleep better only Motrin, cutting out solids, and bundling her up super warm at night had any success, with Motrin being the far-away winner.
But in the last two weeks we've had a breakthrough. She let me get through with a load of laundry without crying. She even "helped" me fold the clean laundry. And I cleaned the bathroom yesterday while she played happily on her own. (cue angelic chorus)
What caused it? Who knows. But in the last month she has made huge strides. She has:
- mastered crawling
- mastered standing with support and cruising
- started babbling
- cut her first three teeth
- started playing on her own
A month ago, housework had to be done as fast as possible while trying to block out a screaming baby. The only way to eat was while holding her, so junk food and convenience foods had infiltrated my house.
But this week has been completely different. She will sit peacefully through a short lunch. Chores are leisurely affairs, made all the slower because Pearl can
Now, this doesn't mean that all the housework is getting done. I'm still running on fumes all day long. I haven't figured out how to involve her in many things*, like sorting through the mail, cooking, and vacuuming (Pearl, like Luna, seems to take the name Dirt Devil literally), and I can't always find a safe place for her to play while I am doing those things. Those chores I can do with her now take twice as long due to her "help", but it is an incredible improvement if only because instead of dreading those times of day I can now find a joy in doing them with a happy baby beside me.
I'm half expecting the novelty of laundry or dishes to wear off in a few weeks, and we'll be right back where we started. But I'm going to milk this for as long as it lasts.