Staying at home with my kids means I’m there through everything. Every smile, every hug, every “first.” That also means I witness every tantrum, every skipped nap, the monotony, and I can’t forget the body fluids. Oh, the body fluids. We may live on a university campus, but I think even our neighbors would be shocked by the amount of body fluids going on in here every day. I’m sure any parent who stays at home would agree that parenting in the trenches 24/7 can get really hard sometimes.
When I found out I was going to be a mother, I had just moved to a new state with Hubster for our graduate programs. I had a five-year plan and having a baby wasn’t on the list. The shock was immediate, quickly followed by hyperemesis which required me to drop out of grad school. There I was – extremely ill, jobless, a grad school dropout, about to become a mother at the age of 23.
When Hubster left for work yesterday, he said he wouldn’t be home until 8:30pm. After the door closed behind him, I panicked. There was *SO* much time in the day!
I put out a plea for creative indoor activities (it was raining here yesterday) on Facebook, and my lovely friend Andrea, of Postpartum and Pigtails, gave me some awesome ideas. One of them was to build a fort. I immediately got flashbacks of building forts as a kid and knew I had to try that!
There are some days that I really wouldn’t mind going back to work outside of the home. I do miss working in higher education sometimes, and when I have a particularly challenging day with C, the thought of going back seems very attractive.
Then I have moments with him when he’s very cuddly or he sees me from across the room and runs up to me saying, “Mama!” I love when he says a new word or his eyes dance when I read him a story. It makes me laugh when his favorite song comes on and he starts bobbing his head and dancing. When he sees a dog on TV, he says “woof woof!”
So yesterday was one of THOSE days. You know, the ones that make you want to run for the hills.
Or in this case, it made me want to run back to one of those cushy office jobs that I used to have. Where I spoke with ADULTS all day and didn’t have to constantly pull a climbing toddler off of the furniture.
I usually take the path less traveled, and my journey to motherhood was no different. If you’re not familiar with my story, I’ll give you the abridged version. In July 2010, I was told I had PCOS (polycystic ovaries) and it would be difficult for me to conceive children. In August, I started graduate school and a graduate assistantship only to find out a week later that – surprise! – I was pregnant. I ended up with hyperemesis and was so ill that I could hardly leave our apartment. In early October, I was forced to withdraw from graduate school, thereby losing my job as well. I spent the majority of April 2011 experiencing false labor, and then after 2.5 hours of pushing I ended up with an emergency c-section on April 29. A long, slow spiral into postpartum depression ensued, but wasn’t diagnosed until December 2011.