My mother, who normally watches Sage throughout the day, is out of town. I know this is good for me. It allows me to experience the reality of stay-at-home-parenting, which, I admit, isn’t easy. I never wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom, and I still don’t really consider myself one because I am still working, just on my own terms. I love working for myself – I don’t need permission to stop what I’m doing to tend to my fussy baby or spend a little extra time getting her dressed in the morning, just because I can. However, there are some days, when I really, really wish I had an office outside of my home that I could go to to work, without distraction.
I haven’t ‘mastered’ the balancing act that is being at home with baby while continuing to work. There are days where I scold myself for losing my temper because “I can’t get anything done”. I’m ashamed to admit this, but I’m working on being more honest with myself – I have screamed at my daughter before, “What is the matter with you?!” My sweet, flawless baby girl who has only been on this Earth for a few months – this tiny human who has made me love more than I thought I ever could. Just typing that makes my heart hurt.
It’s important for me to put that out there as a reminder that I’m not perfect. My daughter doesn’t expect me to be perfect and it occurred to me that in those moments of weakness where I feel frustrated and ‘lose my cool’, it’s because I am expecting her to be perfect, and she’s not. How incredibly unfair is that?
It’s a reminder that she is a baby – completely dependent on others to survive; still learning about the world. It’s a reminder that it’s my job to teach her about patience and to teach her that doing your best doesn’t always mean doing things perfectly; that we are a work-in-progress. I am a work-in-progress. At the beginning of 2016 I started writing in a Five Minute Journal. It has become one of the things I look forward to every morning, along with my coffee. I write that “I am grateful for the fresh start of a new day”. My affirmations often read, “I am patient and in control of my emotions.” It’s something I focus on regularly, because I know that I can improve and become a better version of myself. Every day I understand my emotions a little better and that allows me to be proactive in controlling them.
I’ve found baby-wearing amazingly helpful on the days where I start feeling overwhelmed about not being productive if she’s fussy or struggling to nap. Baby-wearing allows me to get things accomplished, whether it’s taking care of laundry, tackling some design projects on the computer or preparing a meal. As Sage has gotten bigger, I’ve opted for the Ergo over the Baby K’tan – I strap her against me and while it may take a little while for her to settled in, eventually it’s like she’s back in the womb. I’ll feel her body relax, her breathing slow and most of the time, her eyes flutter shut and she becomes so peaceful. Then, I’ll spend a little extra time just studying her features and smelling her and kissing her head. It’s so rare these days that she is still or that she even lets me cuddle her – she’s too busy trying to reach that next milestone. I’ve found myself opting to wear her for a nap more often these days because it seems to work for both of us – I’m able to feel more accomplished with my work, she gets some rest and we get to be connected this way. It is another reminder that we don’t have to be perfect individuals, because we are perfect for each other.