Workin’ 9-5

I used to think I had a better sense of humor.

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Then my husband went to work for 12 hour days and I struggled to find things to do and people to visit. I live in a rural area, the nearest town small, minimal options for activities. Need some action? Go to the tiny overpriced grocery store, tiny, deserted post office, or…gas station. We’re low on action, that’s for sure, and somehow I can rarely find friends who aren’t busy when I’m desperate for another grown up to talk to.

I spend a lot of time talking to Pepper….and admittedly myself, in a cookie monster voice. I sing the Sesame Street theme song eight hundred times a day and bake way too much. And then eat baked goods.

How did I used to keep myself entertained?

It’s getting quite cold, now, so our several walks a day are being whittled away into one very bundled up and short trek down the driveway and back, often pulling the stroller behind me less Pepper gasps in the wind.

I attended a Parent’s group a few weeks ago in an effort to connect with other parents perhaps feeling the sting of loneliness. Don’t get me wrong, Pepper’s a gem and I do enjoy the wacky singing, snugli-time and her giggles and babbles, but sometimes a gal’s gotta talk to a grown up.

When I arrived, my first instinct was that I wanted to take a lysol wipe to every surface in the place. There was only one other parent and child, and the mom in question was missing more teeth than Pepper. Her child had about fifteen x’s in his name, and I suspected right away that we weren’t going to be fast friends.

I find myself getting a little squirrely, and am having trouble coming up with things to do with the often high maintenance little lady who demands to be entertained! It makes me a little frustrated and I find by the day’s end, as bedtime nears, I’m itching to put her down and slink off to bed, even at 8 pm……..when do new parents start to feel safe staying up?

I’ve never been good when things change last minute, but it’s begun to make me feel anxious when the husband finds out he’s got to work all day at the last minute. I feel like I might go crazy if I don’t have plans to go out and visit or have someone over at least once in a day. I feel like this is maybe a little excessive. Do other new parents feel this crazy sometimes? I manage to stay sane if we can keep busy, but when I’m just trying to kill time between naps and feedings, it feels like every little squawk and complaint lasts for ages….

My go-to activities at home:
1. Go for a walk (time is running out for this as Northern winters are cruel bitches).
2. tummy time (short lived happiness, usually, but the conversation is at it’s best)
3. Dishes. Yep, the kid likes running water, and playing with every plastic item in the kitchen.
4. Exersaucer time. This usually frees up fifteen minutes for laundry, supper or shower.
5. Snugli laps. Once it’s too dark or cold to be out, I often find myself with Pepper strapped in the carrier, doing laps around the house while I sing like a maniac.
6. Feed the cat. Somehow, this elicits many a smile and a mood change, though often temporary.

Does a time come when I feel like it’s ok to read a book while Pepper entertains herself? Even when she’s happy, I feel guilty if I’m not participating, or at least doing something else that might be necessary.

You can see how I might drive myself crazy with too much time to think.

I’d be thrilled to have a 9-5 husband. Home for dinner, spending the evening with us. A little adult conversation.

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