Peaceful time with new baby is frequently interrupted by chaos
Having spent the last month at home with our new baby has really put things in perspective for me.
I thought I would have a carefree, stress-free time at home with a newborn and house duties. The idea of returning back to work was the last thing on my mind. But now with a full week left on my maternity leave, I can honestly say that I will be at The Herald’s front door ready to return to my desk.
It’s not that I didn’t enjoy my time at home over the last few weeks. There is something special about spending an entire day with your new baby, getting to know her and spoil her.
Things really change right after my husband Jason and our son James leave for the day. The house is totally still, and our new baby Elsie spends a few minutes just looking around. It means a lot to me to hold my baby girl in my arms as she twists her mouth to make noises or scans her big baby-blues across the room in exploration.
I even enjoy our times in the bath tub. I find myself laughing as I count her little “fat rolls.” Getting her dressed afterwards is also a fun moment with baby powder and lotion scents overpowering her bedroom.
And during her nap times, I find myself just watching her as she jerks and moans into a deep sleep.
But it’s the ups and downs that I thought I could handle with ease that send my stress level through the roof. With Elsie being our second child, I thought I would have the Mommy-thing totally figured out. I have so much more patience than before now that I know what to expect.
But there are some days that have me begging for work again. The idea of questioning a hot issue with a city official, tracking down the latest drug dealer story or covering an intense court moment is a walk in the park compared to some of the events that have unfolded at home.
For example, I try to cook home meals since I am at home all day. It brings me a nice feeling to have a hot, fresh plate of comfort food for my family when they return home from their day.
But why do I tend to try the most complex recipes? The idea of whisking butter, eggs, milk and flour for ten minutes constantly to make that special cheese sauce for my Greek lasagna should have sent red flags my way.
I was ready to throw the whole dish in the yard after whisking for five minutes. During my whisking, Elsie was screaming with intense gas pains. James was also screaming, demanding to be picked up like a baby. I stepped on James’ toy airplane that somehow ended up near the stove. The drainer fell from the cabinet, right next to my head sending the glass bottles around my window crashing next to me. And Jason frantically asking where the baby’s gas medicine was while he held a screaming newborn in his arms. And of course, James behind in tow.
Next time, I will just crank up the slow cooker.
And why do I try to look nice every morning? After wearing elastic band pants and flats for nine months, I was more than ready to dress nicer, wear heels and even makeup.
But it’s hard to put all that together when you have a baby under you, demanding her pacifier for the ninth time.
I was so embarrassed when we drove to town last week to pick up some vegetables, and I noticed that I still had my fuzzy, sheep-shaped house shoes on. We had to turn right back around to the house for me to get my shoes.
So, although I have enjoyed my time at home, I am ready to return to work where I can be free from stress. For some reason, I can get dressed properly and get supper on the table a lot easier after a day at work.
I just hope I leave the sheep slippers at home. But in case you see me at a city board meeting with them on, please don’t ask.