I didn’t write last week not because there was nothing to write about (because oh there was) but because I’m feeling sort of lost.
As always, first my disclaimer – I am unbelievably thankful to have a baby and to get to stay home with her for these first months. I know what a gift this is and honestly cherish every sleep deprived moment of it. That said, I miss work. I miss adult interaction. I miss going to the bathroom and not having someone crying for me in the hall.* I miss having a clean house. I miss my yummy home-cooked meals. I miss going out for dinner and a beer. I miss evening cookouts/game nights.
Before I assumed the roll of stay-at-home mom I had this glorious vision of days spent trolling around town, my happy baby in tow. I visualized fun play dates daily, mommy outings, mama baby yoga, and more. My idea of life as a SAHM was very much what I saw on TV and movies. In four months I have learned that this is about as far from reality as it gets.
I am sitting at my computer at 5 a.m. typing this out with Sabine cooing in the Rock ‘n Play next to me. I have a 10-15 minute window to write this. I slept a total of six broken hours last night. My hair is on day three of not being washed; my body is on day two. My kitchen is a mess, my house looks like a bomb went off in it and at 4:30 a.m. I discovered my toilet bowl has grown some disgusting pink goo (WTF? I could have sworn I cleaned the potty last week…) I went out to meet a Mom friend and her baby and husband last night for 30 unshowered minutes. I just needed out. I felt disorganized, run down and like the shell of the put-together woman I used to be. I used to be interesting, fun and engaging. Now I am out of the political loop, running on fumes and obsessed with my baby’s sleep schedule and her poop explosions.
I cleaned out and organized my late fall/early winter closet on Sunday. All my pretty clothes remain and taunt me daily. I have no need for silk blouses and beautiful skirts. I now live in yoga pants and tank tops. On a good day I’ll put on a pair of jeans and a sweater. I miss work. But when I think about going to work and leaving my baby I panic. So really I’m at a point where I need to come to terms with my new “normal” while at the same time making an effort to do something daily that makes me feel like me, which is damn hard when you have a high need baby who will only nap in your arms (arms people, arms. No baby carrying device will do and yes, I have tried them all.)
My daily mantras have become, “This too shall pass.” and “She will never be this small, this cuddly, this helpless again. Cherish it.”
How have you maintained a sense of self as a new mom? Those who went back to work, how did your experience differ? Like everything, I know there are pros and cons to both sides of the story!
*HA! In proofing this I remembered one job where my boss would follow me into the restroom and talk work at me through the door so MAYBE life as a mom is not that different than life in PR? 🙂