On this, the 12th week of Tay’s life, I have come to the conclusion that I will never and could never be a full time SAHM.
Barring strange, unforeseen circumstances that would leave me no other choice than to be home all day with my child(ren) on a year round basis.
It’s not that Tay is a particularly difficult baby. Usually as long as he’s fed, clean and rested he’ll happily listen to me sing or show him books or leave him to lie on his play mat. I could have a dream baby who never cried, ate in completely regular increments and took 3 solid naps a day and I still wouldn’t want to permanently have the “tethered” feeling I have right now when I’m home alone all day with the baby. Unless he’s having a particularly fantastic day, I rarely have time to do more than one tiny chore every few hours: a load of diapers here (yes, after some false starts we began cloth diapering), a bit of dishwashing there and I’ve been managing to cook dinner most days although our dinner time falls right around when Tay tends to get hungry or sleepy, so half the time I’m trying to throw a meal together to the tune of cranky baby wails.
I’m not saying that I’m Donna Reed when I’m home all day, but I like to have the option to knock out several chores if I get the urge.
With the baby to care for I simply can’t.
You’ve also probably noticed that my posting has been scarce these past 12 weeks.
And the sad thing is, I’m on the computer more than I’m doing chores since the computer is right next to Tay’s room and the household chore things are mostly 2 floors down. I just don’t have the chunks of time I need to be able to sit and put a decent blog post together.
I greatly admire people who can manage to blog almost every day with a baby at home, but it seems I just can’t.
I’m an easily frustrated person.
My son’s cries upset me, especially when I’m not quite sure what’s bothering him.
I sometimes expect a lot of my husband and when he can’t read my mind and know what I want without me telling him, that frustrates me too.
When I do something stupid or forgetful because I’m tired or distracted, that probably frustrates me most of all.
And all of these things are happening more since Tay came into our lives (especially the crying part…we didn’t have that before, obviously).
To top it off, I like plenty of alone time.
Not to say I don’t also enjoy companionship and company, but I’m perfectly happy being by myself for large portions of the day.
While I realized, in theory, that having a child meant very little alone time for the next 16 years or so, I wasn’t prepared for how desperately I would be craving enough time to read more than 3 pages in a book, or post to my blog, or go have a coffee and write in my notebook.
Don’t get me wrong.
I completely adore my son.
I love singing to him and doing some little finger plays. I love holding him and rocking him to sleep. I love spending time with him and I look forward to teaching him and reading to him and taking him to the park and swimming and the science center and museums.
I admire a person, male or female, who is able to spend the entire day home caring for their baby. I just can’t picture doing it for the next year or two. I’m very pleased that I’ve got to spend the first few months at home getting to know my son. And as it is, as long as I’m on leave, he’ll only be spending a few hours at the daycare each day.
Enough for me to get some shopping done without juggling a diaper bag and a heavy stroller and trying to time the whole thing so Tay doesn’t wake up starving and screaming in the middle of grocery shopping.
Enough for me to have the time to start preparing healthy meals for myself during the day, rather than living off of lunch meat, sugary drinks and cereal bars.
Enough for me to do a few things independently from my child and thus ease the stress I feel building up from time to time when Tay has a hard day and I feel like I’m on an autopilot circuit of feed, nap, diaper, repeat.
I never want to end up being a parent who drops their child off at the daycare at 7 in the morning and picks them up at 6 in the evening. I will always go out of my way to be sure that I remain a full time parent.
Just not one that stays at home.