I'm both apparently. I'm up during Ellie's waking hours, and working while she sleeps at night.
Am I tired? Yes. Is it unbearable? No.
Every nightshift is "on call" and I am able to sleep when I'm not called out to see patients. But hoo boy does it catch up with me sometimes. Sometimes what I wouldn't give for just one solid, sleep through the night sleep, because even on the days that I don't work, Ellie still struggles with getting through the night.
I have to ask myself is all this worth it? I mean I get quality time with Ellie now. We are very close, and I'm so very in tune with her. I love this. I think every day how lucky I am to have this situation, that I still get to work (nearly) full time and stay at home with my daughter. But sometimes I wonder if I am depriving her of something valuable by keeping her here at home with me. Am I keeping this child sheltered from the socialization that her little peer babies have? I mean I have no knowledge of child development, and when she changes into a new stage, well it's a new one for me, too.
Beyond that I feel like most of my friends have taken the day care/nanny plunge. And though I don't mean to be a sheep "baa...if they do it I have to do it, too", I miss my friends that are now back to work. I feel I used to have this stalwart network of at home mommies and now it's just me and Ellie, braving our day together. (I'm mainly facing the effects of one particular mommy who has been a touchstone for me, lives in close proximity, and who has recently re-entered the work force.) But now I feel like a lone soldier. My days are spent with Ellie and our little ventures into the world. I am very happy for my friends that are rediscovering themselves outside of being a mommy. That's really important work, and maybe I'm a little jealous. Because for me, though I'm constantly companioned by a little one year old, life suddenly became very lonely.
I'm not in the habit of writing sad posts, and I wouldn't really call this "sad". Just reflective. I feel really blessed that I even have the option of being home with Ellie. I adore my baby. And truthfully I want to be home with her. She's going to spend the majority of her days away from home soon enough, and I just want to soak up every minute and opportunity that I can with her. I don't want a daycare provider seeing her first steps, or her first words to be shaped and witnessed by a nanny. I want that. I'm her mom and I want to be there for her, as her mom, as much as I possibly can. This involves a great deal of sacrifice, and I'm okay with that. It is worth it, to me.
Bottom line is, and this is wierd to write, but I need more mama friends. I can do this job of staying home with my child, but I needthe support of other moms. And Ellie needs the support of other babies, whether she realizes this or not. I don't want to feel like a lone soldier as I raise my child, and I don't want to feel like a lone-ly soldier. This is tough work being a mom. I am only one wo-man. And I am no island.
Today is rainy and cold. We just went to our local major playground and there wasn't another soul there. It was eery, and kind of lonely. The world seems to be indoors today. Today feels brown all over.
We finally got our Kelty hiking backpack that we (well, I) have so lustfully longed for. And yesterday (aw sweet mother's day) I tested that bad boy out on one of the Flatirons in Boulder. My final hypothesis is this: Ellie was sweet and comfortable, and I'm going to have a rock solid
BUTT if I keep up this sort of workout. Two minutes in and I thought I was a goner. But I settled into my pace and ended up summitting, getting a fair share of wise cracks from hikers we passed about "me" carrying the baby, and not Mike. He kept yelling "hey I offered" and I was a tad annoyed that someone should expect Mike to carry the precious cargo, since he's a M-A-N and all. Truth be told, I'm happiest when I'm carrying her. I just love her so much.
Mike and I have a historical love of hiking 14'ers. But last year, with the baby being so new and all, we couldn't/didn't, doctor's orders. This year we have been given permission from the doc and little Ellie G can make her first ascent to 14,000plus feet above sea level. And we can lug the extra 25-30 pounds of love up the mountain. But this year oh how it will burn. It will burn burn burn because my haulin ass up a mountain days have been fewer than ever. And 14'ers are no easy mountains to climb.
But this is the joy of life! Finding a challenge and conquering it. Finding a goal and reaching it. I remember my sophomore year of college when I had never hiked a thing, and I was 30 pounds heavier and oh so sad. But I sucked it up. I felt the burn burn burn and hauled my ass up lots of mountains. And pushed my body to lots of challenges. It didn't take long till I absolutely loved it. And my 20s and 30s I have had pretty decent fitness, and that's not a brag, that's an acknoweldgement of my personal feats. And I have been so happy setting these goals and meeting them.
This year has been more challenging. Now with a little one I can't just get up and go whenever I feel like it. I've struggled with finding the time. But slowly but surely my familiar determination is finding some ground.
Two summers ago this was us.....
This summer it will be us, plus Ellie.
Happiness is a wonderful thing. And I truly believe it is in these reachable goals and adventures that it is tantamount.
Because Mother's Day is officially my new favorite "holiday". I have had the most amazing day thanks to two very special people: Mike and Eleanor. Thanks to my wonderful husband who let me sleep in (!), made me breakfast, let me pick out the hike, and did a really swell job of making today special. I'm so sad it has to end.
(Thanks for the lilacs and yummy drinks Sarah)
(Chatauqua...such a lovely day)
(I am so lucky)
(We went up the pointy peak behind us)
Being a mom is the best experience I've ever known. And not just because of this one measly day. Happy Mother's Day to all of you mothers out there. It's a special job, and I'm honored to be in the club.
planting the vegetable garden, clothes on the line, hiking in Boulder, quaint italian eatery, Ellie loving penne, napping, party planning, chai lattes, knitting a sweater, strolling through town, baby wearing for hours, perusing book stores, house chianti, freshly mopped floors, peppermint tea