This blog and I have been on a break for a while. Back in April or May we had a ‘its not you, its me’ moment when I decided at eight months pregnant that sitting on the couch, watching Netflix and stuffing my face with salt and vinegar potato chips was far more preferable to hammering out a blog post every week. On top of that, I am not a gushing baby mamma. Although I secretly love reading everyone else’s facebook posts about nursery paint, pregnancy glow, and baby poo, that’s just not me. Sometimes, even now that she’s here looking at me with her big gray-blue eyes and screaming because I decided to try and take a bite of toast before changing her diaper,I still wonder how I became a mother. Oh wait…I remember. They really should require a license for that sort of thing. The fact that I am 100% responsible for another (little) person’s life is the scariest reality I have ever faced. But in many, many other ways it is the biggest and most fulfilling joy I have ever experienced.
She likes trying to sit up and is so proud when we help her do her ‘crunches’.
In the past few weeks I’ve been reading a lot of nifty blogs and have grown a bit nostalgic for the good old days when I actually, you know, wrote. I’ve been stalling because I haven’t been sure what to write about. I don’t go on many trips at the moment, although I did just go on our awesome annual Quad plus buddies camping trip last weekend, which I will have to write about in another post. I don’t go to cool bars anymore. I’m not meeting groovy new people or doing funky off-beat things. I go to work, I come home and make dinner, I put Ella to bed. Rinse. Repeat. If I’m lucky on the weekends Michael and I will hang out at a friends house or go visit grandparents. Hopefully that will change as Ella gets older. We want to take her all kinds of cool places! For now, its been pleasant enjoying the little things and, for once in my life, establishing some kind of routine.
I thought it would be easy, going back to work and raising a kid and in a lot of ways it is. I’m not torn about my decision to go back like some moms are. I love my family and I love to work. When I was pregnant I had so many people tell me, “oh no, you’ll feel entirely differently when you have her.” and really I was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn’t. It was a little empowering, knowing that I was okay with being a mom and having not just a job, but a working toward career. I’m still set on that path, but I ran into something this weekend that made me realize that the choice wasn’t so easy. Still firmly decided, but not so easy.
Ella is only two months old, but last week was a rough one for her. She was babysat Monday, had shots on Wednesday, went to my mom’s house on Thursday and back to my mom’s house on Friday. By Friday evening when I put her in her carseat she was done. She screamed all the way home and clung to me like a starfish Friday evening and all Saturday. On Sunday morning when I tried putting her in her carseat to take her to church she started desperately crying again like I was about to abandon her at a firehouse. That’s when it really hit me. She had missed me. She didn’t want to go anywhere, she wanted to spend all day with me and play ‘smile at the inanimate object’ with me and spit up all over me and fall asleep on my chest. She actually missed being around me. Oh dear. In my mind I had planned the whole life with kids strategy around the fact that I wasn’t stricken with the missing-my-baby-while-I-was-at-work disease. I hadn’t even thought that my baby would actually miss me while I was gone. Gasp, my baby is actually a person and she’s attached to me because, oh lordy, I’m her mother. Geez, I had to rethink this.
I’m still set in my decision. I’m probably not going to be the most at-home mom ever. I’m still planning on developing a career that allows for some travel and I still want to go on cool trips and find quirky bars and do off-beat things. But a new priority has inserted itself into my schedule. First and foremost, at least at the moment, my weekends need to belong to a little girl who misses me Monday through Friday. And, in some ways, that’s a new kind of awesome.