And so I am finally here, the mother of two children, and, just as I predicted, so much mental and emotional space has been freed. Even though I still feel vaguely in survival mode (why, yesterday alone, I violated #13 on my list. Well, I didn’t not do those things, but I didn’t get dressed until just before my husband brought our older son home from school and I didn’t brush my teeth until just before dinner. And, I paid the price for it by feeling kinda gross all day). To quote En Vogue, “free your mind, and the rest will follow”. I find myself conjuring what is next for my life.
I wish I were wired to be completely satisfied as a stay at home mom (if we could swing it financially which we really can’t, long term), but I’m not. Maybe it would be different if I had good friends that were also SAHMs who had an infant where we could actually make plans to do things. Stimulating things. Like host play dates, go to the park, the indoor playground, the library for story time, or one of a number of local museums. I know I could join my local Mom’s Club, but, I’ve been there, done that, and just don’t have the desire this time around.
I’ve been musing about what I will do to make a living again. This week, I attended a dinner hosted by PVED and by my RE for local PVED members. There were about 20 women there, mothers through egg donation, a few of which I knew well from the PVED forums. I find communing with other women affirming and invigorating. I also approached my RE to let him know that I believed my calling was to work in infertility, perhaps a role in patient advocacy or as a patient liaison or concierge of sorts. He hired a Practice Director, who was also at the dinner, that I’ve met before and spent an hour with discussing some of the customer service flaws with the clinic so that she could work on improving them. He suggested I have lunch with her as he envisions making some future hires that I may be good for. I get the impression that he may be going out on his own eventually. So, I reached out to her to coordinate lunch. Still waiting to hear back…not a good indicator of her follow through/up.
I know that I could easily return to the staffing industry that I hail from. It is where I would command the highest salary. But, it is no longer just about that for me, nor do I want to climb another ladder or be an executive working the daily grind. And, I spent my career at one company. I could likely return there, if I wanted, which I don’t. But the idea of working for a competitor is completely unappealing. It is doubtful that my future career lies with my past.
In May it will be three years since I last worked outside the home (although I did do some recruiting for my former employer so that counts for something). I’ve never been unemployed for this long in my adult life, nor did I think I would be. Who knew the twists and turns completing our family would take.
Oh to have been born with something other than a Type A personality.
Baby and parenting follow, feel free to skip:
Because of my hypothyroid condition, Kaiser pays the monthly rental fee for the breast pump. Very awesome! I am now pumping 2-3 oz per session and breast feeding a couple of feeds/day. He still hates latching on the left breast, a problem we have had since day 1 which makes me gravitate to pumping because it is such a battle with him and we usually abandon that breast in favor of the right (which means I have a blocked duct in the left now). It could be that I exclusively pump for the remainder of my breast feeding days. It is such a chore, pumping. Efficient, but, ugh. There is constant cleaning of pump parts (which is no fun at 3 AM) and the monotony of actually pumping. It is the thing I struggle with, knowing how good breast milk is for him, having the gift of a free breast pump, having a decent supply and, yet, hating doing it.
Baby boy has a bad case of baby acne. My older son had it, too, but not nearly as bad. He’s on day 4 of it so I hope it begins to clear soon. When he cries, all the little pimples (and there are hundreds of them) grow beet red and he looks inflamed. It doesn’t bother him, but it is painful to look at.
He weighed 11#5oz when I weighed him this afternoon. Probably not a true representation as it was after he’d eaten, but he’s over 11# for sure. Gone are the newborn clothes and he is wearing 3 month and 6-9 month onesies. He seems chubbier than he is. When I see him in my husband’s arms, he looks like a newborn. He’s solid.
I am struggling in my relationship with my older son. I am so focused on baby and when I will get sleep again and the myriad chores I need to eventually work in, that I’m having a hard time enjoying being with him. And, it is a constant battle to get him to turn down his volume. He is always chatting or whistling or humming or stomping his feet or slamming doors or drawers or screaming in frustration at his Lego build. I am not trying to create silence, but those intermittent loud noises invariably wake the baby I’ve been trying for 30 minutes to put down. He didn’t go down for a proper nap this afternoon until 4:45. I’ve tried negotiating with him, allowing him to define the rules, allowing him to pick his consequences, etc. and it always ends up badly. He is just so used to having the run of the house on his terms. Almost 6 is a loud age.
My parents still have not met the baby. They have both been sick with myriad illnesses since he was born. It has actually worked out well in that I haven’t had to engage them. Well, that ended today (I had a feeling the run was coming to an end as my uncle said that my mom was really wanting to see the baby). She called this morning, twice. Her tone was as if we haven’t been estranged for 13 months and that of course she’d be welcome to see the baby at the moment of her choosing (which was right now because she and my dad were going to be out running errands and just wanted to pop by). That just wasn’t going to happen as I need time to mentally prepare. And, I’d rather not be home alone; my husband and older son will be welcome distractions. I eventually called her back, told her tomorrow was bad but maybe over the weekend. I haven’t quite figured out how I’m going to let this pan out. It will likely be a one-off as I tell myself nothing will have fundamentally changed. I am not looking forward to it but feel, like a band-aid, best to just rip it off.
“You can’t do anything about the length of your life,
but you can do something about its width and depth.”