Even though I noted in my last post that I didn’t want this to be just a “mommy blog,” it would be difficult for me to write about my life at the moment without discussing parenthood. I don’t think I can quite put into words what the first month or so of being a mother is like because it is such a haze of sleeplessness and emotion (because you have a baby and because your hormones are going insane). I’m convinced that most of the time and energy people spend on planning their “birth experience” would be better spent learning about what comes immediately after. Because the labor and delivery come and go, but the baby is here to stay.
I’ll talk a little about the reality of day-to-day life now that my maternity leave is over and Dan is back at work after taking six weeks off to bridge the gap between my leave and the start of daycare. The first week of daycare was rough on everyone. Margaret had developed major stranger anxiety to the point that even people who she was happy with before could no longer hold her. So leaving her there that first day was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. However, just two weeks into daycare, she is already much better about letting other people hold her and play with her. I’m pretty confident that she needed the socialization she’s getting there because she was getting so used to only seeing mom and dad on a daily basis. Also, even though I miss Margaret when I’m at work, I feel more like myself now that I actually leave the house every day and talk to other adults. One day, I will feel even more like myself when BabyFab decides to sleep through the night. A long stretch of consecutive sleep to me now is 5 hours. This does not happen very often.
One major change (other than a dramatic reduction in free time) with becoming a working parent is the need to be proactive and organized. I have no choice but to have my lunch, pumping supplies, work clothes, and the baby’s milk ready before I go to bed or we would not make it out of the house in the morning. One thing I’m really trying to work on is not sitting down and farting around aimlessly online after all of this is done. I would prefer reading or knitting to playing online, but it is so easy to just waste this short span of time when you’ve been either working or parenting all day.
I am truly grateful for the strong relationship Dan and I have with each other. I cannot fathom how single parents or parents with partners who don’t pull equal weight survive parenthood. Monday through Wednesday, one of us works in the evening so we get a small taste of single parenting on those days. It is not easy, but it definitely makes me cherish the time that the three of us get to spend together as a family.
The huge upheaval resulting from having a baby has definitely been worth it to me. It is so cool to watch her change and grow every day. I can’t believe how quickly she acquires new skills. And meeting your baby that first day is pretty awesome.