8 weeks goes by so quickly, when you have an infant, doesn’t it? One minute you’re swaddling them and wondering when they are going to open their eyes to interact with you, then suddenly they’ve gained a few fat rolls, are doing the cutest shit you’ve ever seen, and you wonder when they’re going to shut their eyes. Gummy is going through a period where she doesn’t want to go to sleep. Once she is finally asleep, it’s all good, but it is getting her to shut her eyes that is the hard part. Everything is just so effing awesome in this world, she needs to take it all in and not miss a damn thing. Plus, those animals hanging from her mobile will get really lonely if she doesn’t babble at them endlessly, you know? So why sleep?
I’ve been at home for just over 2 months now. I’m no stranger to staying at home to take care of a child, but after years of being a working mom to older kids, there are a few things about being a stay-at-home mom that I sort of forgot about (or chose to block out all together).
1. Babies really will sleep through just about anything. Including, but not limited to: their dad’s thunderous snoring, their mother knocking over an entire shelf of board games onto her head just a few feet away, the string of four letter words that accompanied the falling board games, children slamming the front door while going in or out of the house, children screaming at the top of their lungs while they play some sort of dress up game where they are all Islamic (I don’t know. Don’t ask.), and mommy straightening her hair with a hair dryer for about 30 min.
2. Babies will not sleep: when mommy and daddy want to make out or have sex, when mommy leaves the house and daddy is in charge, when mommy wants to take a shower without a child staring at her from a bouncy seat, when mommy has to go to the bathroom, when mommy has an idea for a blog, when they are overtired or overstimulated, and basically any other time that they should sleep or you need/want them to sleep.
3. Showering and grooming in general are overrated. I am a shower-once-a-day kind of gal. In fact, if I could shower or be in a bathtub several times a day I wouldn’t complain. Lately, the days run together and I don’t remember when I showered last, when I changed my outfit last, or the last time I actually brushed my hair. I do make sure I brush my teeth everyday. And I try to remember deodorant. It was a sad day when I went to Target and realized I was wearing a stained tank top and looked like I had just rolled out of
a tractor-trailer filled with pigs bed. I’m getting a little too used to the “dirty hippie that just got back from yoga” look.
4. “Sleep when the baby sleeps” is bullshit if you have other children. That little adage is a complete lifesaver when you are at home with your first child. Sometimes it can keep the craziness away. Sometimes. You have to throw that whole concept out when there are other children in the house that also have to be taken care of. My body has gotten so used to sleeping in short increments that I actually feel groggy and useless when I get more. Or maybe I’m just so hopped up on caffeine I just don’t know what I’m talking about. Luckily, Gummy knows the difference between night and day, so I’m not totally without sleep.
5. I’m a complete controlling A-hole. I hate asking for help and I like to do things myself, my way. When there is an infant that came out of my vagina involved, you can multiply that times 1000. Toning it down is a process and I’m still working on it.
6. Being active fights the blues. Make the bed every morning and do not sit in it. It is not the weekend or lazy Sunday. Do a little picking up around the house. Go for a short walk. Do something. Although I love routine, too much of the same thing over and over makes me depressed (I’m an anomaly, what can I say?). I can’t let myself get lazy, but I also can’t let myself get into too much of a rut in the house. I will always convince myself there is something to clean, laundry to do, something “pressing” that must be done. I must go out and do other things. When I was working and busy all the time, I loved my time at home. Now, I love my time at home, but I need a hobby or something to make me leave it.
7. I don’t “work”. Holy hell, I forgot about all the people who think moms don’t actually put in work during the day because we don’t leave the house or because we don’t go to the office. This is my job and I treat it as such. In fact, I probably treat this job better than I did my paying one. I already feel guilty for not bringing in an income all on my own, but I would rather feel guilty for that than feel guilty for going back to work, thank you very much. Oh, and go fuck yourself.
On the other hand, one thing I did not know and did not allow myself to experience until recently…
Older siblings make great helpers. Especially Mini-Me. The Gummy Bear is now hanging out in her bouncy seat being entertained by her brothers and sisters and Wizards of Waverly Place. I can hear her babbling at them and it’s adorable. It’s allowing me to finish this blog. I know that as soon as she gets fussy it’s my turn to take over, but that’s ok. Maybe I should have listened to the people who said that I should be having them change the diapers, too. I don’t listen well, though. See #5.
- The Days, They Run Together (southernfriedinvegas.com)