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The Stillness



Pants on head

Even when sick and fussy we still manage to have fun. The other day we played dress up and wore pj’s as capes and pants as hats. Even her stuffed kitty (smooshed in her arms) is wearing a cape.

I’ve been waking up at 4:30 or 5 a.m. the past 10 days. Partially because my back aches (we got a new mattress topper and it is not jiving with my lanky form) and partially to get a few precious minutes of solitude before Sabine gets up and we start the madness that is Toddlerdom all over again.

I relish this time alone, but it is also wearing me down. I remind myself that just like the sleepless nights of infancy, this too shall pass.

The Professor came home at four yesterday and found a haggard wife, walking back and forth in the living room with a finally sleeping baby strapped to her back. (Possibly another reason my back is hurting lately.) I continued to pace for another 30 minutes until she woke up at 4:30, guns a-blazing. She wailed. She fussed. I handed her to Daddy and crawled into my too squishy bed and passed out until 6 p.m. He reports that she slept on his chest while he rocked her for another hour after I went away. Go figure.

Yes, this is the third day in a row I’m writing about this. But hang with me for a few more sentences. There is method to my madness.

It’s taken 14 months but I’m finally learning how important it is to carve time for yourself in your days and weeks as a SAHM. My worst days are when I don’t get an escape, and no, a nice long nap while I clean the house does not count as an escape. An escape is when I leave my house without a diaper bag. Without a sippy cup. Without a lovey. Without a baby. An escape is when I go to the gym and put all my energy into my glutes, or my quads, or my chest (please, tiny boobs, don’t sag like deflated balloons when we are finally done nursing). An escape is when I carry my yoga mat to class and breathe. An escape is when I take a slow, steady, asthma-laden jog.

A wise friend of mine once said, “What do you mean you ask your husband permission to leave? Just go!”

“What? You mean just walk out? What about Sabine?”

“They will figure it out.”

And they do. I’ve stopped asking permission. I inform.

“I’m going to yoga tonight. I need you home no later than 6:45. I’ll have dinner ready for you and Sabine and you will be in charge of bed time.”


“I’m going to the gym in 15 minutes. You need to get up and watch Sabine. Breakfast is in the microwave.”

I don’t ask. I inform. And it is working for the most part. This week I had to miss yoga because Sabine had a fever and this morning I’ll miss the gym because we have to clean for the mother-in-law, but this afternoon I’ll pick back up. I informed him yesterday that I’ll be going to the gym after we run errands and before he picks his mother up. Just like that. I’m going. And he agrees. And I feel so, so powerful. Until Sabine wakes up and we begin again. 🙂




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  1. September 11, 2014


  2. September 11, 2014

    Good for you! Thus is so important! The permission -asking is something that happens with most moms. I remember a twitter conversation about asking husbands, “do you mind if I shower now?” SAHMs, working moms, all types of moms asking that same question. And the husbands don’t ask – they just take a damn shower!

    I don’t declare, I send invites on his calendar. I think it’s important to show that I am considerate of his schedule too. After all, he does work all day too. Yes, it’s time without screaming kids, but it’s stressful all the same.

    Does the Prof get out without you guys aside from work?

  3. September 11, 2014

    Hallelujah,she’s seen the light! I am so so glad your taking time for yourself. It’s so much healthier for you and for Sabine in the long run. We are not super human and taking a breath before going back into the trenches of parenthood is vital. I am however jealous you have the energy for gym and yoga though,no wonder your looking so great.

  4. mylifeisaboutthejourney #
    September 11, 2014

    I am just getting caught up on all of your posts from the past few days, so pardon that this response is generally geared towards all 3 of them! Reading about how your daughter interacts with you makes me feel like I am reading about my son. There are a ton of similarities so I can seriously relate to what you are going through right now. When B is home with me, he is fussy, clingy, whiny, wants my constant attention, won’t let me pee in peace, cries to eat but throws his food to the animals, asks to nurse 10 times but then gets distracted after 30 seconds, does the SAME EXACT thing with the books, etc., etc. It is so frustrating. I pick him up from daycare and they tell me that he is the perfect angel child. Doesn’t cry, fuss, or whine for them. He sits and reads and plays nicely with the other kids. Others in my family say the same thing…perfect child. When I tell them he has a difficult personality when he is home with me, they think I am nuts or un-rightfully complaining. It is so frustrating. I love him to pieces, but I can’t imagine having to be home to deal with the whining all day (because I am sure that is what would happen). I seriously think that I would go certifiably insane! I am glad that you have decided to leave the house for some quality time with yourself. I know that when I am feeling frustrated with things, going out alone for a bit really does help. I wish I had more advice for you (frankly, I am looking to others comments on your posts to gather advice for myself!), but just know that you are not alone, my friend.

  5. September 11, 2014


    I had a friend ask me the same thing — why was I asking permission to go to the gym, to have a drink with my friends, etc. My husband never asks for permission – he just informs. So now I do too. And we are all happier for it. 🙂 Good for you for carving out that time for yourself!

  6. September 11, 2014

    Good Lord!! This just opened my eyes, why the hell do I ask my husband permission to shower when my son is up!!! I have been showering at 5:30 am because once the lil monster is up, I dont get any time for basic human rights. And my son is only 7 months old. 14 months scares me. 🙂

  7. September 12, 2014

    I do a bit of both, but reading this made me realize I still do a bit more asking than telling. As with all things, you have to do what works for you and your family. And it sounds like you are finding what works! 🙂

  8. jak #
    September 15, 2014


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