I freaked out this morning. As in, whirlwind of tears, mad hair, and near-vomiting. You'll recall from some of my previous posts, the stay at home mom gig is so not me. I have really been struggling with it lately - shouting at The Dude for trying to hug me, crying as I get out of bed in the mornings, and crying at night thinking of the long day which lurks on the other side of sleep.
I just don't know what to do with myself during the day. P is a charming, happy baby who only cries when denied a newspaper to chew on, so my complaint does not lay with her. I have a habit of getting bored very quickly with the status quo, and if being a SAHM is about anything, it's the status quo.
I get up with P every morning, anywhere from 5.45am-7am, generally on the earlier side of the spectrum. I give her breakfast, she plays for awhile, then naps. After her nap, we play a bit more before lunch. After lunch, we sometimes go out shopping or for a walk. We return, bide our time in some dull manner, and she has her 3pm bottle. Post-bottle she sometimes naps, and if not, I spend most of this time counting down the minutes until The Dude comes home at 4.15pm. Once The Dude gets home, I cook a dinner for us, and one for P if I don't have anything in the freezer. We bathe, put P to bed, then catch up on taped TV shows that we have missed. All the days are interchangeable, with the only variant being the type of food we eat.
I go back to work full-time on 6 September. The easy solution would of course be to go back earlier, but not only am I discontent, I'm also fickle. I have a feeling that if I were to go back now, I would soon regret it and wonder why I lamented having all that time off. After all, who likes to work?
It all makes me wonder if I'll ever be happy. I always assumed that infertility was the singular barrier to my happiness. I believed that once I had a baby it was that hurdle conquered, leading to my immediate and assured optimism that life would be just great from now on. That hasn't happened, much as I love being a mother to P. I know all I need is a little time away in the form of work, but the other concern which emerges is that once I'm working again, I'll just go back to times as they were - tired of the drudgery of full-time employment. Now it will have the added bonus of parental responsibility at the end of a soul-sucking workday.
I suppose it is a matter of changing my frame of mind. We all have to work, and if we have children, we have to parent. It just is. Do I stop focusing on what happiness means and just get on with it? Maybe I will find happiness in that, I don't know. Perhaps if I spent less time worrying that I don't have enough in my life to make me happy, then I would be a bit happier.
Rereading what I've written thus far makes me look like I'm just aching from intervention from Dr Phil. God help me. Well, Dr Phil, things may change shortly, it's just getting to that point which is the struggle. P is going to go to 2 half-day nursery (daycare in Yankspeak) sessions for 6 weeks in early June in preparation for her full time attendance from September. Monday mornings I will be able to sleep in, and Friday afternoons I can read/watch DVDs/IM with my Cheese Wife. It's a fragmented version of the month's maternity leave I was supposed to have sans baby when P decided to show up 2 days after the bloody thing started. In July we're going to the States for 5 weeks, which eases quite gracefully into my working life starting again in September.
I hope P's nursery sessions make me realise that the discontent I'm feeling at the moment can be alleviated. I know I'm lucky. I have a (let's be frank) fucking adorable baby that was a long time in the making, and that's something that could just have easily not happened. I live in a country whose maternity & annual leave guidelines mean that I get the first 14 months of my child's life off. I have a husband who is a fantastic father, even if he does have to consult me each time he feeds her.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go do one of the things I do know brings me happiness, however temporary - dancing with P to Styx's "Come Sail Away". There goes my street cred...