More catching up

I realized last night why I’ve felt overly stressed the past few weeks…  All my regular babysitters went home for Christmas break.  Meaning, I’ve had Nora 24/7.  I know what you’re thinking, you don’t even work…  And you’re right there.  But for some reason it’s still quite taxing on me, feeling like the sole caretaker for Nora, being Eric’s hours are crazy.  Even when he does get home early, which is not often, he usually heads directly to the basement to dictate notes, update charts, call back patients…  So him being home does not equal him caring for Nora.  Yes, he makes time to change a few diapers, read her some books, but ultimately her care is on me.  And I’m not complaining.  There is just something about caring for her 24/7 and not having a lot else in my life right now that gets me down from time to time.  Is this normal?

So being it’s a new year I’m trying to make a few changes.  I know the day goes smoother if I get up and shower before Nora wakes, but that means way less sleep for me.  Last night I got 5h 22m of sleep according to my beddit, but 50m of that was restless.  Overall, not nearly enough!  (If you’re not familiar with beddit, check it out, it’s quite insightful!)  So tonight, I will attempt to go to bed earlier.  Nora usually is sleeping by 7:30, so that should still give me some time at night to clean the house, do laundry, and whatever else it is moms do after their kids go to bed.

Mondays and Fridays are still Kona’s days for daycare at Happy Dogs.  We’re still doing half days which annoys me, as I’m pretty sure we are paying for full days, and the dropping off and picking up across town for only 4 hours, with Nora, is a hassle.  But it’s good for Kona, so for now we will continue it.  So this morning I dragged myself out of bed around 6:30, showered, dried my hair, attempted foundation, but no other make-up, dressed in workout clothes, but who are we kidding, I won’t be working out, and had to wake Nora at 8 to feed her to get out the door by 8:20 to get Kona to Happy Dogs by 8:35ish.  After we dropped Kona off, Nora and I filled the green tank (my vehicle, which eats gas) with fuel, stopped at Starbucks, and dropped a return to Amazon at the UPS Store.  Starbucks is no longer exciting for me as I’m limiting myself to fun drinks on Fridays only.  Today being Monday I was forced to order a Venti Skinny Vanilla Latte.  It takes like coffee, and we all know I don’t actually like coffee.

I manged to get Nora down for a nap around 10am, but darn it, my cell phone rang with some recorded message about winning a cruise and now she is awake already, at only 10:41.  From the looks of the video monitor, she appears to be playing in her crib…  Leave her there?  Amber would normally be here from 1-5pm to watch Nora on Mondays, but that schedule won’t resume until next week.  Which reminds me, I need to contact the other sitters and see if their class schedules have changed much.  Ideally I would like one full day with a sitter so I could perhaps go out-of-town each week, I assume to Iowa City or Cedar Rapids, to see old friends, lunches perhaps, but I’m not sure any of my sitters have any full days free.  We shall see…  I miss my old friends dearly though, so perhaps taking Nora with me out-of-town each week one day could be a possibility.  Just seems like a lot for me.  I actually have a hair appointment in Cedar Rapids tomorrow at noon and I meant to see if anyone wanted to meet up after, but of course I didn’t get around to actually contacting anyone.  The story of my life!  Maybe there is still time…

Did I mention I’m completely done pumping for Nora??  It’s so amazing to have more time in my days.  And nights.  But there was something sad about packing up my pump.  It was the one thing that went everywhere with me for 9 months.  As much as I hated pumping, it kept me busy in the NICU all those days.  There was something comforting and familiar about it.  Hard to explain…  I find that each new stage in this story of motherhood gets harder, and looking back on the past stages makes me feel comforted.  Like when Nora was in the NICU I was so, so worried about her health and if/when she’d be released for home.  My days consisted of going to the NICU, pumping, meeting coworkers for lunch or coffee, and then back to the NICU to pump more all afternoon.  It’s like I had a purpose I guess, is the best way I can explain it.  I’m not sure my purpose now.  I mean obviously to care for Nora, but it’s not as clear-cut.  I don’t have a schedule each day, I don’t even always feel like I’ve accomplished something each day.  Some days I find myself longing for nap time so I can nap myself, or clean, or switch out the laundry.  But then I feel an incredible sense of guilt, that I’m wishing my time with Nora away.  I certainly don’t want her to grow up so fast, everyone tells me to cherish these times.  But how I sometimes wonder…

14 thoughts on “More catching up

  1. We are very, very similar. My black lab Koa goes to doggie daycare for half days 1-2 days per week and it’s all the way across town–but they have a taxi service, so I take him & they bring gim home (when BG was tiny I would taxi him both ways).
    Whenever I’m out and about I drive thru starbucks and I am regularly going to the post office or UPS to mail amazon returns.
    I usually wear workout clothes but lately I hardly work out because of BG’s nap/eating schedule and the fact that it gets dark really early now (I have a jogging stroller).
    I’m *always* caring for BG 24/7 even when Mr. MLACS is home, and it’s tiresome. I haven’t had the courage to leave her with anyone, but I’m finally starting to warm up to the idea. There’s nothing wrong with needing time for yourself, but *a mother’s guilt* reflex is strong. Hopefully Eric encourages you that you are doing a great job and that he’s glad Nora has you for a mom (men can be dense though). You are doing a great job! Nora is obviously thriving. Congrats on finishing pumping 🙂 XOXO


  2. I can relate soo much. I’m on a one year mat leave (typical here in Canada) and I’m often desperate for my husband to come home after watching her all day! I feel like it should be easy to be home all day with baby but its hard. And as she gets older, I look back at old stages and can’t believe that I thought THAT was hard compared to now. I also struggle with trying to cherish these days + looking forward to some aspects of when she’ll be older.


  3. What I mean is that I’m sad for how fast she’s growing but also excited for when she’ll be more independent. Yet I know that I’ll miss my baby terribly when she runs away from me! Ha.

    P.S. I adore your blog photo of Nora! That is an incredible photo.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think what you’re feeling is totally normal. I’m lucky enouh to have a husband on parental leave and I’m still tired most of the time. In your situation I’d be exhausted. Babies are non-stop. I also (happy as I am to have a baby after 3+ years and IVF) stress about finding time for other things in my life. Some how even with two of us home getting to the gym a couple of times a week (and getting the dishes done) feels like a big accompishment. And counting down til nap time doesn’t mean you’re wishing away your time with Nora. It just means you need a more than 5 hours of sleep in a night (like other humans)


  5. I just started to read through your blog. This particular post resonates very well with me. I love my baby, and I stayed home with her for almost three months, but I was very happy to go back to work. I knew from forever that I want to be a mom, but not stay home mom.

    I realize that your situation is different. And you do what works for your family. In my case, even if we could afford it, I wouldn’t stay home precisely because I wouldn’t want to take care of baby 24/7. I have two sister in laws who stay home with kids and they love it. Not for me. The only way I can see this work if I stay home on part time basis with set schedule for nannies or a daycare.

    Taking care of a baby is exausting!


    1. You are so right, taking care of a baby is exhausting. I never really understood this until now! Hopefully at come point Nora’s immune system will take over and I’ll be able to return to work. For now, I’m trying to enjoy all the sweet moments we have together!


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