Monday, May 5, 2008

Girl's Day

Sometimes I joke that I am a bad mother because I don't make macaroni and cheese from scratch or because Zoey knows the D, D, D, D, Dora theme song better than the alphabet. But them's just jokes, folks! The real reason I think I am a bad mother is because, okay my fingers stopped typing at the because and I don't even know how to say it. I can hardly even think it in a complete sentence let alone admit it to the www.

Because sometimes when I am faced with a full day with just me and the Zo' I feel a sense of unending blankness. Of hours stretched ahead filled with stacking blocks then knocking them down, with picture books that tell simplistic stories and me pretending to wear a sippy cup as a hat. And before it has already begun the day has bored me. Do you know how hard it is to admit that? To come perilously close to admitting that your own daughter might--no. I can't even say it. But picture an hour spent going up and down a staircase and maybe you will understand.
Up until now I have planned my weekends carefully. Trips to Target and the park with friends. The beach. Always busy busy busy! When she was a newborn more experienced mothers told me to nap when she naps and although I am fairly certain that advice is not intended for the mother of a toddler still I take it to heart. I take 2 hour naps on the dog days of my daughter. She plum tuckers me out with the constant repetition of more and no and again and more and then more again no! hand outstretched as if I am crimping her style.
And so it is with nervous trepidation that I have cut back on Zoey's time at daycare. With me not working it felt silly and costly her going full-time; it felt bad. So tomorrow is my first day with her, just me and the Zo.' I think it will be good for us, for me really. I think I need to learn how to slow down and enjoy the slow drip of the day. I need to enjoy my daughter. I need to learn to take the stairs, even if they don't go anywhere at all. More? Again?--No.
In the meantime, please tell me I'm not the only one who sometimes feels bored by--don't make me say it. Just tell me I'm not the only one. That Kraft Mac 'n Cheese is okay every once in a while and that the sippy cup on top of my head really isn't that funny, especially for the jigabillionth time.


Anonymous said...

I can so relate. I too nap with my litte boy when I can. I think you just have to change your frame of reference. You are so lucky to be with your daughter...enjoy your lazy days.

Anonymous said...

I am a 36 year-old dermatologist presently on maternity leave, and also have a two-year-old son. I had a choice to leave him with his caregiver, or have him with me during the maternity leave, and I chose to have him with me. All day. Every day. At first I was thinking I had pregnancy brain at the time I made that decision. At first I was still thinking of patients, their medical problems, the office. And I missed work. But as the weeks have passed all I care about are my two sons. Your last job won't be your last. Live it up with your daughter. During these six weeks I have learned about Wonder Pets, taught him empty and full, he learned about circles 'round and 'round, triangles with three sides, and learned to ride his trike. I will never forget this time I had with my older son, and will never get it back. We don't go out a lot because I have the newborn, so yes I get absolutely bored, and I have absolutely no problem saying that. My son bosses me around and tells me to get up, draw a circle 'round and 'round, that he wants to "show me something". He learned how to say thank you and welcome. Do the absolute best with everything you have, and you will never have regret.

I made a list for you:
-Watch the Wonder Pets. It is so campy, written for adults and 2 year-olds, too.
-Do you have a yard? If so, plant a baby tree or some perennials. You can look at it as it grows and remember that you and your daughter did that together.
-Look up vintage Sesame Street clips on YouTube (pinball number count, typewriter guy, Fiest [okay not vintage]).
-Play dress up. Better yet, start putting together a dress up box.
-Work on photography together.
-Work on dance moves.
-Celebrate St. Paddy's Day wearing green.

The possibilities are endless. Live it up.

Anonymous said...

so, obviously this post is almost two years old. originally, i was looking for a new hair style to salvage this $12 one i got at an in-and-out salon. so i scrolled and skimmed to the part where google told me audrey tatou would be. (by the way, she is also on my "if i switched teams.." list.) i'm supposed to be taking my son to the park right now, so i'm just killing time while he "cleans".. by the sounds of it he is just making a bigger mess. but hey, if he doesn't get the living room picked up, then no park. i dont think you are a bad mother, i think we are real mothers. we love our kids, we are ridiculously biased and know that are our kids are secretely the most genetically asethetically pleasing snot nosed kids around. my son loves to play on his own, and because i dont get on the floor and entertain him every hour of every day, he feels very independent and proud of what he does. yea, it can be fun to knock down a tower of blocks, but isn't it more fun to watch your child do it by himself, and stand there waiting, face brimming with pride and anticipation of your ooh and awwes? and when you really cant handle it, playdo and cookie cutters are a great babysitter.

Anonymous said...

I just came across this post while traveling the deep recesses of the internet in an attempt to pass some time. I am on maternity leave and I am feeling this way exactly. I went to the park yesterday, just to get out of the house and saw all the parents/nannies playing with their children and felt despair. All my life I dreamed about being a stay at home mom, making that sacrifice to be there for my children and spending idyllic days watching them grow, teaching them, and loving them and generally being a happy little family. Now that I am almost two weeks into the life of my first child, it doesn't feel like that at all. It feels lonely. I miss the job I hated. I miss having a reason to get up and take a shower in the morning. I don't think I am suffering from depression-- I do feel a bond with my baby, I find him adorable and enjoy caring for him, but it's just not what I thought it would be, and that troubles me. I am hoping maybe as he grows (and I grow) we will figure out a way to make adjustments and find the joy in our days together that I expected. It gets better right? Maybe I will read forward through your blog and find out!