This past week has been the first (and only) week I’ve been in the house with RR alone, from 8am-5:30pm, while my wife has been at work. I know, right? For two months, I’ve either been in the hospital, been with my wife, or had a mother/mother in law visiting. I had a couple of days here and there where my wife either worked from home (downstairs) or went to work for a random day, but five consecutive days here is now my record for being a stay-at-home-mom, and daycare on Monday can’t come soon enough.
What? Yes, you read right. I’m apparently that one percent of moms who doesn’t want to quit her job and be a SAHM (which always makes me think of dooce referring to that acronym as “Shit Ass Ho Motherfucker.”) Maybe I’m scarred by all of the visitors, and potential more visitors, and ohmygodpeoplestopvisiting. I just want to go to work, people. I want to go to work, sit at my desk, eat a rushed lunch while checking my voicemails, chat about fantasy football with my coworkers, and walk to get coffee with my wife to break up the afternoon. Is that so difficult to believe?
I love my daughter. I do. She is delightful, yes, and especially so when she smiles. She doesn’t sob uncontrollably like some infants we know who can only be soothed by the continuous sound of a hairdryer. I’m not constantly taking her on walks or car rides because that’s the only place she’ll sleep. So no, she definitely could be worse. But she needs entertaining. Jazz hands!! There’s eating, rocking, napping (on me, in the crib), song-singing, tummy time, and her in her bouncy chair while I play her every song I know on the guitar. Yes, that last one is her favorite. So for hours a day, she sits in her chair on the floor in a sunbeam and bounces her legs and flails her arms while I crank out the tunes. As torturous as this sometimes is, this alone time with her is probably what I’ll miss the most. Never before have I been a human baby jukebox. That said, she really likes up-tempo songs in major keys. Think “Closer to Fine,” but with a lot less Emily (psst – wife, that’s the one with the blonde hair).
There’s also the fact that she usually takes a GIANT DUMP while I’m playing, too. Like, nine times out of ten. I’m not quite sure what to think of that.
Anyhow, so Monday she starts daycare, although I’m not back to work full time until the next week. This will allow me to regain some sense of sanity, and perhaps log more than four hours a day working from home so that maybe we could all have enough money and leave to go visit our other relatives who live on the continental divide. That, and it gives us a week to work out my emotional kinks of leaving her with someone else for longer than a few hours for the first time in 11 months. That’s right – I’m less worried about her and more worried about me.
I don’t know if I’d feel differently about being a SAHM if it were really ever an option. Thanks to our conservative state, neither myself nor RR can be on my wife’s insurance, which means that if we want either of us to be insured, I have to work. This doesn’t negate the argument that I actually like being at work, if only for the social interactions with the folks with whom I work. I don’t think social interactions with other moms really would satisfy my needs since… well, I don’t know a ton of moms who want to talk about fantasy football and the best fall brews. I mean, maybe? But unlikely.
So as of this afternoon, my brief time as a SAHM will come to an end. And that’s OK. One week of scurrying about the house doing laundry, changing blow-outs, chasing the dog with the pacifier in his mouth, timing feedings/naps, rescuing RR from wherever she is crying like she’s being stung by bees, trying to remember to eat lunch, or breakfast, or take something out for dinner, is really enough. You folks who do this (with one or more kids, even) by choice are commendable. Insane, glutton for punishment, but commendable. Me? I’m just looking forward to eating a meal that does not need to be inhaled within a minute like some kind of game show. Or typing on my computer with both hands. Call me crazy.