Things you can do with one hand
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Now, come on--get your mind out of the gutter! Yes, you can do THAT with one hand (or so I am told), but what I was referring to was things you can do with one hand when you have a little one in the other. I was joking to my colleagues at ParentDish about how I had to type with one hand because I had my son in the other arm and someone suggested I write a post about it.
So here goes! My son is now eleven weeks old, and while he is now able to occupy himself, fit in the bjorn and hang out in the swing, for many of those weeks he was in my arms. Right now, for example, he is in the swing but is desperate for me to pick him up, which means I'll probably be writing the rest of this post with one hand. Yes, you can type with one hand...it's just really, really, really slow. But, it can be done. That's necessity for you, I suppose.
So, in terms of household chores, for example, what can you do with one hand?
The laundry: You can't fold it, that's for sure, but you can fill and run the washer, and, depending on the set up you have, move everything to the dryer. I have a stackable, since I live in a small apartment, and this works to my advantage as I don't need to bend down.
The kitchen: So far I've only been able to unload the top rack of the dishwasher. I cannot seem to wash anything with one hand except for the kiddo, whom I bathe next to the kitchen sink. So long as he isn't ultra-squirmy, I can get him clean in under ten minutes, and all with one hand. Additionally, in terms of eating I can scarf down anything that doesn't have to be opened or prepared. Hence, I eat a lot of apples and raw carrots. I can also refill the water pitcher, and do so frequently--it's really quite satisfying.
The bedroom, livingroom and bathroom: Can't do jack except put away things within arm's reach. Sometimes I find myself rearranging small things at eye level here and there. Well, actually that is not true. I am able to remake the bed, but am not able to change the sheets.
Outdoors: The dogs can be walked, both of them, but only if kiddo is in the baby bjorn. Picking up stinky poo is difficult as I have to bend down, but possible so long as I take the most care with holding the baby's head in with one hand while scooping with the other. I can also totally get the mail. I can even open it and then misplace the important pieces.
The list of things I cannot do with one hand, at least at this point, is still much longer than those I can. All that will change in time, I am sure, as I'll either get use of both my hands back or figure out how to manage more tasks with the use of only one.
The reason I got as far as I have is because I was feeling totally helpless in my own house. I felt trapped on the couch and tired of sitting amongst the mess that was created by the everyday chaos of having a new person in the house. So I started experimenting. Sometimes it took a while to master little things, and there were (and are) plenty of times when I was frustrated, but it is possible to get things done.
I also figured out early on that it is possible to get dolled up while holding my child. I can brush my hair and put on blush. No mascara or anything near the eyes, of course, especially since I have such a wiggler for a baby, but if your hair looks good and you have a little color what more do you really need?
I've also realized that while I can read print rather easily it is still easier to surf the net with one hand. In fact, my son and I do both together every day. I'm not so sure he is getting anything out of Cosmopolitan, but he rather likes the Perez Hilton website.
Ultimately, what everyone says is true: It will get better. It does, I can promise you. I have an acquaintance who just had a baby about a month ago who is freaking out because she thinks her life will never get back to "normal." Whatever "normal" is! I have news for her: She's right. Life will never be the same. It will be better--oh so much better. It will also be harder, and in ways she couldn't have possibly thought of.
But she will get through it, just like I did. Those first few months really test your mettle, but you will get through it. I did, and if I can then so can anyone else.