Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Hard Days

Nerdstar's been having a hard time understanding my hard days, understanding that even a dream job has bad days. I've had three kinda melt-down days, due to being overly tired and pms. Then there's been the days when Noah's had really fussy afternoons and I've been out of energy. Nerdstar comes home to a fussy mom and baby.

So, yes, I am thankful beyond measure I get to stay at home with Noah. I love watching him change and grow. I love how he smiles when he sees me, how he wakes up happy. I love taking him to the store with me and asking what he thinks of it all. I don't love the screaming when he's hungry, or the times he's bored and nothing works. And honestly, I don't love the housework - never have, never will. The dishes and laundry and vacuuming, the litter box and the trash.

I explained that I feel like taking care of Noah is a job equal to her going to work. Therefore, all the housework is extra stuff for both of us, except, in reality, I do have a lot more time to get it done, in no small part because of the stupid time she spends commuting. We can only dream how much better it would be if she got home from her 9-5 at 5:30 like normal people instead of an average of 6:30.

I explained that staying home with Noah all the time is a little like the time she spent on Mosul. There was always, always a chance that a mortar would come crashing in at anytime. In fact, she came within minutes of being blown up once, and her poor laundry drying on the line was blown up. Now, it's not that Noah is deadly, but it's that same sort of constant underlying stress. You never know when the next screaming/crying will start or stop, or that you'll know what to do about it, or anything really.

Therefore, I just need a little break sometimes. Monday was one of the bad days, and I spent Tuesday and a little bit of Wednesday thinking about getting away today. But, I don't really want to spend the day away from them. I like watching her get to spend time with him, seeing him smile at her. But even if I say she's 100% in charge of him, she's not really, she has the comfort of a backup here.

I think she gets it a little better, but until it's really just the two of them for twelve or more hours, well, she won't fully know.

That said, I am also extremely grateful that she tries to understand, and that she gladly takes over of Noah duty, and helps with the dishes and bottles, and goes to work so we can all eat well. If I had a spouse that didn't - I think I'd kill them in their sleep.


Anonymous said...

You have my total respect, staying home with a baby. PB would love to be a stay-at-home mom if we could afford it, but I'm honest enough about myself to know that it would drive me totally out of my mind. Don't get me wrong, I know I will love our kids, and I want to be an active parent, but I don't think I could spend all day everyday (or at least every weekday) with a baby and no backup.

I was just wondering, though, if you get any time to yourself? I know that my mother stayed home with my brother and I when we were younger, but she always had at least one evening a week where she got to get out of the house by herself. She played (and still plays) volleyball, although I would probably incline more towards a class or something like that. But whatever works. I know my mom loved being with us, but I think getting some time to herself let her continue to enjoy our time together more than she would have if she didn't have that outlet.

Anyway, something like that may or may not sound appealing to you, but I know my mom found it helpful, and I think if I were in your place, it would help me a lot too. Good luck!

Beth said...

The other part of this post I haven't written yet (and not sure I will) is the lack of support - i.e. friends and family - and how that makes hard days harder. I joined one moms group, but everything is a thirty or forty minute drive. The groups that are closer don't seem that good.

When we lived in Austin and Ching was in Iraq, I would go out and do stuff all the time, so I don't mind doing things alone. There's just not that much to do around here surprisingly enough.

And, honestly, I don't want to spend time away from him yet! He's such a good baby. It helped a lot to be able to hand most of the responsibility off to Ching this weekend. I'm sure that will change over time. And I'll work harder on playgroups once he's mobile.