Thursday, July 27, 2006

Stay-at-Home Mom

This is both easier and harder than I thought it would be. I have lots of time to read now. But it's never really my time - I'm ready to jump up at the slightest cry from the nursery, if only to creep to the door and listen, hoping Baby E will drift back off to sleep. I read as I nurse her, which can be anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, but half the time she seems to want me to hold her close to me, which takes both hands.

I have time to cook now, which I love, love, love. That was one of the things I hated about my job - I came home so tired, too tired to cook. Yesterday I made blueberry muffins, and halfway through Baby E started crying. "Ten more minutes is all I need!" I called out to her. She was in her bouncy seat on the kitchen table. I scooped the batter into the muffin tin, turned to look at her. She had fallen asleep. (Dh woke her up 15 minutes later by giving her an "I'm home" kiss. He'll never make that mistake again! Ha ha)

Our house is neater, not necessarily cleaner. Ha ha What can I say? Um...this is only my second week on my own! I'm still getting my footing! Ha. The reality is, having a SUPER clean house is not really high on my priority list, and fortunately it's even lower on Dh's. He's way more thrilled about dinner on the table. I'd much rather peruse Atlantic Monthly or National Review (thanks, public library!) than make sure my entryway is immaculately swept. But I do keep a clean kitchen. That, I am pretty anal about.

I really am on call 24/7. I had kind of figured before she was born that's how it would be, but I couldn't really conceptualize what that meant. There's no, "I'm taking lunch now, see ya in an hour, Baby E." Sometimes lunch doesn't happen for me until 3 pm, and that's just how it is. (Of course it's different on the weekends, because Dh helps me - I'm just talking about weekdays here.) There's no guaranteed break, when I can be absolutely sure of twenty uninterrupted minutes. I get twenty minutes or more all the time, but it's completely erratic. This is why I often find myself counting down until Dh gets home from work, because then I know I can really take some time. Not because I don't enjoy this.

I love being home with the baby. I am so grateful for this opportunity. Every time Baby E smiles at me, ah, I don't even have the words for this. I'm not some skilled writer. I love it. It's a completely overwhelming feeling. She has started trying to talk, started cooing, and it's so freaking adorable, and sweet. My favorite thing right now is when she smiles at me, to get me to smile at her. I'm sitting here grinning like an idiot just thinking about it.

Dh is jealous, he misses her, doesn't get to spend much time with her. He works until 7:30 pm and gets home just in time to put her to bed. She smiles at me so much, and coos, and she doesn't do that so much for him. I'm sad that it's that way, but I am the one at home with her, so I can't say it doesn't make perfect sense. I know he kind of wishes we could keep her up late, so he could see her, but um no! Because I am the one on night duty. Which I have to admit usually goes quite well since she only gets up once a night now. Her longest night stretch is usually 7 hours. God knows that I don't do so well with little sleep, so He took pity on me and sent me an easy baby. :)


Chas said...

I feel like your DH; I'm jealous. I want to stay home SO BADLY! Maybe next year. Be grateful for what you're doing right now :).

Lizzy said...

It's hard work to stay home and hard work to go back to work.
I totally understand what you mean about the 20 minutes here or there, but the inconsistency is what makes me a little batty.
When The Mistah goes back to teaching in the fall, I know I'll be joining you in the clockwatching. The 3:30 "TAKE THE BABY I NEED A BREAK" handoff is imminent.

Rebecca said...

It sounds like things are going so well for you guys! I'm a little jealous. My baby is such a fussy-pants. There are no smiles here yet; and instead of cooing he grunts. Oh well. He's so freaking cute that its all worth it! REALLY enjoy your easy baby.

alfredsmom said...

I am sitting here, INSANELY JEALOUS, that not only do you have a regular time at night that you put your baby to bed, but that she actually sleeps at night. My night time is from 6am to 1pm with at least two nursing breaks.

Isabel said...

It sounds like you guys are all happy and doing well. I love to hear that.

girl from florida said...

We are both so lucky! I feel bad anytime I write a super positive post about how well Amelia sleeps, but God did truly bless us. Of course, she has her off nights as well, but it's never too bad. I watch the clock for H to get home... but unfort. he's gone for several days at a time and that's so tough!!