It is 8:53pm. The kids are both asleep in their respective beds, and the husband is (somewhat reluctantly) in the garage “playing” (he could tell I was “grumpy” – AKA needing alone time). I have the flu, so I’m feeling pretty BLAH anyway, but at least I’m able to convince myself to sit down for one evening and just reflect… Those nights are so rare.
I had an “aha” moment today that has really got my head spinning – the realization that I don’t need to get OUT of the house more; no, I need to stay IN more. By myself. With no kids. And no husband. And no friends (sorry, friends).
I only recently (in the last few years) discovered myself to be a serious introvert. Back when I was career gal, I worked in sales and marketing positions that required me to be social all the time. I loved it, but I did notice I needed some “down time” as soon as about 6pm rolled around and I was comfortably nestled onto my couch. No conversations with friends or the spouse, no phone calls from parents, nothing. I just needed to zone out.
So now, as a stay-at-home mom, there is no place or time to really get away. There is an hour here or there, but with the little guy nursing, the most I can be away (even with pumping) is a few hours. Sometimes, I run such an alone-time deficit that I need more than that.
I know that most stay-at-home moms complain about the OPPOSITE problem: they need more adult interaction. Meh. Not me. I need more solitude. More quiet. More time to do whatever the hell I want without judgment. That’s what I need.
But my days are more like this:
Wake up around 4am to upset baby. Bring baby into bed with me. Nurse baby on side. Realize I am going to have a super bad crick in my neck the next day. Stress about the crick in my neck. Cram a binky into baby’s mouth so I can roll over and (hopefully) go back to sleep. Remember that I didn’t wash Harper’s jeans she needs for school. Stress about that. Play with my iPhone a bit. It’s 7am by now. Harper’s up. “MOMMY! MOMMY! DADDY! DADDY! I poopooed!” I get up. I wake up Scott so he can take care of Harper. She starts the incessant whining that comes along with getting a 2-year-old ready for school in the morning. She argues with Scott over what to eat for breakfast. Ezra wakes up. He’s hungry too. I nurse him. Why the hell does my neck hurt so damn bad? Oh yeah. He’s done nursing. I get up to see Harper is wearing a terrible outfit (because I didn’t wash her jeans), but I say the heck with it and proceed to load the kids into the car. My hair’s in a messy bun. A scrunchie is involved. (You don’t want to know what I’m wearing). Getting Harper into the van is a massive fail because she HAS TO DO EVERYTHING BY HERSELF. Okay. I’m in the driver’s seat now. “I wanna hear ABC! I wanna hear ABC! Not THAT ABC! Nother one!! Different one!” I cycle through all the ABC songs on the CD in the van. Finally, everyone is quiet. Ahhhh….
I drop Harper off to school and take Ezra back home, and I get a bit of solitude. But soon, he’s awake again – needing to be nursed, changed, bathed, clothed, etc. He wants me to hold him (and who doesn’t love holding a baby?!), but you know? It gets very tiring.
Then there are the other four days of the week when I usually have the primary responsibility for both kids. Scott has been taking Harper to the Canyons on Saturday mornings to give me a little break, but you know, there’s still that other little organism attached to my bosom. I can’t catch a break. (PS THANKS HUBBY)
AND for those of you who are thinking about how lucky I am to be a stay-at-home mom and also have my toddler go to preschool three days a week: Yeah, I know. I am very lucky. If we didn’t do it this way, bad things would happen. Because this.
So of course 5pm rolls around and I am picking up Harper and grabbing some groceries and going home to cook dinner and talking to the husband and listening to ALL. THE. WHINING. and giving baths and putting on night-nights and blah blah blah, and it is 9pm. Everyone is asleep. Ahhhh… I want quiet. But husband wants to talk. And he proceeds to tell me I need to get out more and hang out with people and find some “non-internet” friends.
Well. Ahem. I think not. But I am too tired to argue. So I agree to go to knitting night or to set up a playdate for Harper.
But I’ve just realized: That’s not what I need. I don’t need to be around people MORE; no, I need to be around MYSELF, and ONLY myself on a regular basis. People drain me (yes, even my kids), and I feel so depleted right now it physically hurts. I have been hesitant to pump breastmilk because…I don’t really know why…but I am going to start building up a stash so I can run away from it all when I need to (not to a foreign country, just to Joann or something). I need to be able to go out (or stay in) without constantly worrying if Ezra is hungry or if I need to get back to do the laundry or prepare Harper’s dinner. I need to enable Scott to take over for me for longer periods of time so I can fill my alone-time tank.
Pumping milk. Organizing Harper’s closet. Organizing the kitchen snacks. Putting all the baby supplies in order and keeping them stocked. Occasionally letting Scott take over night duties. And occasionally taking more than 1-2 hours to myself to go out (or disappear into the basement to sew). Those are my new goals.
Anyone with me?