To say I am a perfectionist is an understatement. For whatever reason, I have always put a lot of pressure on myself to perform. Dance monkey, dance! Not always the healthiest approach to things, but it motivated me to complete whatever the task at hand was. There is a downside to this approach as well. One that I am discovering more and more, is holding me back more than motivating me.
As I reflect on my pregnancy so far, it is interesting to note, just how NOT in control I am. Of anything. When I found out I was pregnant I was not exactly thrilled. Scared is more like it. You can read more about my fears and thoughts on that here. Once I could wrap my brain around the situation I was immediately determined to have this go my way, if you will. Now, what that means is still changing for me each day.
My ego said, you are going to just keep on rocking your workouts and your eating habits and maintain the status quo. And I think I have accomplished that overall so far. Of course some things have needed to change. Lifting of heavier weights, running and some movements are eventually reevaluated. But, I am not sure that I understood how hard that was going to be for me. I am pregnant, not broken. I stand by that! But there are days when my body, energy and mind are completely depleted. I found myself being upset at the end of each day where this was the case. It really bothered me when I didn’t check off every item on my to do list. Being strong also means knowing when to let go.
Lately I am so aware that I have been out of my normal routine. Blame the holidays, sheer laziness, or hormones, but I have been a mess. Instead of being gentle with myself and understand that there is more at work than simply my control freak nature, I get anxious. I lay in bed at night mentally putting myself down to the point where I dreaded getting up and starting over the next morning. I am already overwhelmed with irrational thoughts that I think most people, who are about to become parents, deal with. I realized recently how much this is holding me back.
We think of To-Do lists as being organized. But I look at it as an impossible feat lately. If I don’t complete it, my world feels like it is going to end. This is not constructive. There are a lot of things that I feel I should be accomplishing. From understanding the physiology of pregnancy thoroughly, reading ALL of the books, meditating, tending to my relationship, working out, ensuring I am developing my pelvic floor, meal planning, perfectly balanced food prep, keeping up with the blog, down to the Christmas cards I didn’t get sent out this year! I tend to think of every thing all at once until I am paralyzed. I don’t know where to start. Thankfully I have my husband who can always give me a reality check. “You don’t need to think about everything at once. Pick one thing and start that.” Doesn’t that sound so easy?! I need to take a page from his book. It is so much more logical than my own.
If there is ever a time to be kind to yourself, it is during pregnancy. While I can’t just sit back and do nothing and feel as if I have a great excuse, I should be able to allow for a bit of self awareness and understanding. Because my pregnancy has been relatively easy thus far, the third trimester is starting to get to me a bit physically and mentally. As it turns out, I can’t be perfect. I can’t have it all under control all of the time. Part of my fear is that I am not pulling my weight in the relationship. I am highly individual and want to be an equal contributor. Again, I am putting pressure on myself to perform. To do it all. No one else has put that weight on my shoulders.
I can see how easily overwhelmed I could get if I don’t allow myself to go with the flow. Parenting won’t be any easier. I need balance. So I have done away with my to-do list until I regain some confidence and patience. I simply have a reminder list of possibilities. Things I have time to complete if they feel good at that moment. It is time to practice imperfection and be okay with that. Time to give my Type-A personality a break, take on a Pisces perspective and have a little empathy for myself. I am taking the time each day to just sit with my thoughts and fears, allow them to be and then let them go. Instead of having all of these idea of how this is supposed to go, I want to simply focus on how it is going.
We owe it to ourselves to take the time to really connect with our minds and bodies. Get grounded and realize that your list, or task will be there for you to complete when you get to it. How was or is your pregnancy going? Did you have trouble accepting simple tasks just may not be that simple for you any more? What did you do, if anything, to chill out?
Sending out positive vibes and taking a deep breath.