Sunday, September 18, 2011

Week One as a SAHM

One week down, a lifetime to go (hopefully . . . haha, just kidding honey, if you're reading this). Life as a Stay at Home Mom (SAHM) is as hard as any job I've had. Actually, just being a parent is, whether you work or not, I believe. Keith and I were saying that having Liam is harder and more wonderful than we were warned. It is hard in the sense that we get much less sleep than before (and the hours we do sleep are broken into small increments -- even when I get to sleep for 5 hours in a row because Keith is giving him a bottle, I still wake up every couple hours and think about how they're doing and if Keith needs anything and if Liam is sleeping . . .  the curses of mommyhood . . . I digress). But the benefits package that comes with this job is amazing (more on that below).

So staying at home this week while Keith went back to work has been tough at moments, and completely rewarding at others. I was lucky enough that my awesome hubby was able to take four weeks off to spend with us, and realize what a huge and unusual blessing that is. In a lot of ways it made that first day alone easier, and in some ways harder. I was so used to having Keith around, but I also had learned enough about Liam and our routines to not feel completely lost.

Liam's happiest times are in the mornings (aren't all babies like that?), and we have fun playing on his playmat, listening to music, and talking to each other. Here's a clip of him playing and making all sorts of noise . . .

video



More play time
Houdini got out of his Not-So-Miracle Blanket
in less than five minutes

"Mom! Turn on Friends!"
(Because any child of mine will
learn to love Friends)
Liam turned 1 month this week --
this is him with his sleep giraffe and wearing
a 6-month onesie that I planned to picture him
in each month -- but by the looks of it I probably
should have gone with the 12 month!
Monday and Tuesday went really well, though of course we were excited when I got to tell Liam, "Dad's home!" Wednesday and Thursday were a little tougher all around I believe. Keith was exhausted from being back at work, yet is still helping with a night time feeding around 11 pm, and I was beat and overwhelmed from, well, taking care of him for hours on end, day and night, with only a few hours break. There were two days I practically threw Liam at Keith when he got home and said, "I've GOT to take a shower!" Some days I don't pee until noon, eat lunch until 3, or even get around to brushing my teeth. Don't judge. It's gross, I know. It's just that the hours of day and night blend into each other and I slowly but surely turn into a hot mess by day's end.

Thursday night I cried about all of it -- for me, it seems to have a lot to do with a lack of control (stop. the. presses. Jessica likes to be in control??). But it's never Liam I am frustrated with, but rather looking around the house and seeing a dishwasher that needs to be unloaded, or laundry that needs to be done, or the stranger I see in the occasional mirror when I make it into a bathroom. I know this will all get better with time, but that doesn't make it less hard now. I know you moms out there totally understand.

And then he started smiling at us.

And I forgot all about he didn't let me sleep last night.

video


So Friday was fantastic. Not only was I able to get a nap in during Liam's morning nap, but I even awoke early enough to finish getting ready for our first outing together. I'm sure Liam looked at me that morning like, "Who are you, woman with long hair and makeup, and what have you done with my unstyled, hot mess of a mother??" So I fed him, gave him a bath, and let him play in his crib (i.e.: stare at his mobile and coo) while I packed the diaper bag, put Murphy up, and got everything ready to go.

I had plans to go to the monthly lunch at La Place with the ladies of the North American Women's Club (NAWC), but was nervous, to say the least, about my first time out alone with Liam. This meant that I had to handle the carseat, stroller, parking deck, lunch, etc. all by myself, in addition to feeding Liam while at La Place . . . I said my prayers and we were on our way (even able to leave early! Prayer #1 answered!). By the time we got to La Place, Liam was sleeping and slept all the way up to his feeding time, even a little past it, and woke up happy (and quiet -- my fear of a hungry, screaming baby laid to rest . . . Prayer #2 answered). We went to a corner so I could feed him, and then he stayed awake for a little while and let my friend Megan hold him.

We made it to lunch on our own!
Everyone was really excited to see him because I've been going to events with the NAWC since we got here and I was 8 months preggo. They are all so kind to me and it was good to get out of the house and see everyone. I especially love hanging with this crowd because I learn something new every time! They're always sharing great info on the NL -- this time I learned about some great steaks we could get at the AH, and about this incredible spa-like shopping experience that you must have a membership to go to (I hope to see that one day!). Everyone tells stories about mishaps and adventures while living here, and we laugh and sympathize and learn from one another. It's great.

I told Liam on the way home that although I know all our outings won't go this smoothly, I sure am glad the first one did. I was busting at the seams by the time Keith got home and couldn't wait to tell him how well everything went.

Yummy dessert at Queen Bee
Now that the weekend is coming to a close, I came to the realization that there are no more "weekends" for the time being. Yes, of course it's nice to have Keith home all day, but we don't get a break from being parents. No more sleeping in on Saturdays, or running to the store or . . . well, anywhere for that matter (because it's definitely a time balancing act when you're feeding every three hours). And yet despite having all our time wrapped around this little boy's belly, we did manage to do a couple nice things this weekend. Saturday we decided to get out of the house (aka: I needed to get out of the house) and headed down to Queen Bee mid-afternoon for some dessert and wine, then did some major grocery shopping together. That night Keith made a delicious meal and we were actually able to watch an entire movie together. That. was. HUGE. And much needed. I felt like a real human.

Sunday was spent hanging around the house, getting a couple things done (like picture organizing and blogging), and relaxing. It's hard to believe Keith will go back to work tomorrow. But now that I've done it for one week, I know I can do it for two, and three, and fifty, and two hundred ; ) But any advice about being a Mommy is totally welcome -- I love to hear from others how it went for them, and what tips and tricks worked for their little one.

Ok, time to eat and hit the sack -- we've got a busy week ahead of us!

~ Jessi

4 comments:

  1. Hi Jessica,
    I can SO relate to the out of control feeling of being home with a newborn. I remember thinking that as much as I disliked my "real" job before I left, that at least it was predictable and I couldn't believe that I had signed up for this insanity on purpose!!! It gets so much better, I promise! You eventually learn that you can take time for a shower, if they cry for a bit it is okay (althought it took me until baby #2 to accept that - poor Jackson!). Just know that Liam loves you no matter what and you would have to work really hard to mess up. Mistakes can be made and you learn from them and move on. One day you will be the mom with the screaming kid and everyone staring at you (I was that mom at Kohl's after church today), but you learn something new from each experience to make it better for the next time (actually there is no next time for my kids, they are NEVER going back to the store with me!!). I hope you get some well-deserved rest and have a wonderful day tomorrow!

    Julia

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  2. Oh, what a great writer you are! You expressed perfectly all the frustrations and tears of being a Mom! Every month will get a little bit better.....I like every single phase even more than the last one. You are so right, there are no "weekends" any more, it never ends! But it is worth every second!

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  3. So glad you made it out of the house and to an event here! Awesome! It will get better and you will get into a routine, although just as it happens it will change again and you'll adapt. He is a lucky little boy to have you guys as parents. God bless and keep the faith. Hugs to you!

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  4. Love it Jessi! I couldn't have said it better! How is it that raising kids is harder than any other job we've done, but it's so true! It is the hardest job there is, but it does get so much easier, and even more rewarding than right now. And as soon as you think you have it figured out, no doubt, everything changes! Keep your positive attitude and enjoy the ride!

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