"Little Miss is bored. Bring us the car at lunch?" I texted Sweet Husband one day last week. He complied within the hour, and when he walked in the door he commented, "You must be bored, you made a sourdough starter."
I would have led with the fact that Little Miss and I were dressed to the nines to go to Target on a weekday afternoon, but...well, boys.
And, in the main, he was right. I was bored to pieces. The first six weeks of my maternity leave were about recovering from childbirth, but--if I only had me to think of--I would have been back to work a month ago. These last few weeks are purely my gift to Little Miss.
It's complicated. Obviously, I love them--both of my children--so much. Leaving the Kid at daycare when he was a wee one was one of the hardest things I've ever done. But it would have been harder to stay home with him. This is something that I know is going to be difficult to remember over the next few weeks--as I head back to work and Sweet Husband takes over the home front for awhile--so I'm writing it down for myself.
I'm just not made to be a stay-at-home mom. The same way I'm not made to be a doctor or a pilot, I can't seem to get the equilibrium of "stay-at-home mom" mastered. On the decent days, I'm scrambling to feed myself and plopping a hat on my unwashed hair when it's time to pick up the Kid from school. And the bad days...well, the bad days are the ones where I seemingly have it all together.
Take that day last week. By 11:50 a.m. I had showered, eaten, worked for a few hours, started laundry, played on the internet, and cycled through several eat-and-cat-naps with Little Miss. We were both dressed. We'd spent at least half an hour cooing and singing to each other. Oh yes, and we made a sourdough starter.
In short, we'd done everything we reasonably needed to do for the day and we still had, at minimum, four hours and ten minutes left until it was time to pick up the Kid.
We took some cute pictures, and then....I was stuck. It was too cold to go for a walk, so I texted Sweet Husband to bring home the car so we could wander the aisles of Target.
By stopping to read books in the book aisle and getting a latte, Target took us to 3 p.m. A trip to the nursery for potting soil and to the bakery for bread went to 3:30. And, finally, driving around to find an open car wash got us to 4.
I've never been so happy to see the Kid's spaghetti stained face and talk with him while I started dinner. There is nothing worse for me than seeing those empty hours looming and not having any idea what to do with them. It's not that I get bored with her so much as it's that I get bored with me. And then the walls of my house start to close in like a too-crowded elevator that I can't get off of and I feel like I need to shove people out of the way, just to breathe....
Am I going to miss my baby like crazy when I go back to work next week? Absolutely. Could I make a different choice and still be a good, sane mama? Probably not.
Whatever else that may say, there's at least something comforting about understanding it. There's something good about knowing your gifts and planning your life accordingly.