I just gave Pumpkin her bath. She behaved beautifully (an unusual event these days) and objectively, watching her play story time with her bath toys- she put the alligators in time out for biting the bear and the froggie- was pretty darn cute. But I was nowhere near as engaged and playful as I'd have liked to be. By bath time, I'm like Petunia's swing when its batteries are running down. I'm going through the motions, but without the bells and whistles that make it fun. After a full day of caring for Petunia, my mothering battery is running low.
I've been trying to figure out how to recharge that battery during my last few weeks of my maternity leave. (I return to work part time in January, and then full time in February. Working recharges my mothering battery- which is one reason why I'm a happy working mom.) When Pumpkin was this age, my solution was long, hot showers with nice smelling shower gel. Pumpkin would sit in her bouncy chair, and miraculously be fairly content. Sometimes, she would even fall asleep. This practice is getting harder to justify as my region sinks deeper into drought. Also, the bathroom in our house is not big enough to allow me to bring Petunia into it in her bouncy chair and close the door, and the hot shower is less rejuvenating with a cold draft blowing in from the hall.
I've tried to consider my almost daily walks with Petunia to be "battery recharge" time, but I'm not fooling myself. I take those walks to ensure Petunia gets her afternoon nap when she needs it, and to try to make it possible for me to squeeze back into my pre-pregnancy pants.
Blogging helps, but frankly it takes too long. I can't always squeeze in the time when I need it the most. Similarly, I can't quite see how to make room for a regular yoga class yet, although I'm sure that will come with time. Petunia is sleeping really well, but the flip side of that seems to be that she wants to nurse every hour when she's awake, making it hard to schedule an exercise class.
Does anyone have any ideas? What do you do to recharge your batteries? So far, I've been eating cookies, a practice that I'm going to have to stop (or at least scale back) if I don't want to have to buy a completely new wardrobe for my return to work next month.