22 November 2008

Why I stay at home...

I believe this is the longest post I've ever written for you people so go get a piece of pie or something because if you plan on reading the whole thing it's going to take a while.

Man was I ever cranky on Thursday.

It all started when I balanced the checkbook/credit cards first thing in the morning. What a terrible idea. Actually, it is ALWAYS a bad idea for me to balance any of our money at any time of day but guess what, it's my job so I do it...but in the morning? Come on. Upon balancing our finances (no, not balancing, there's still $84 floating around out there somewhere that I can't seem to find no matter how much I swear) I realize that our attempt to sacrifice and save money while I'm not working and N8tr0n is finishing school have actually backfired and we're spiraling down a spending spree of death. (That means we spent more money than I thought we did.) I immediately declare a personal spending freeze on everything but food and baby (and the hair appointment I already had scheduled--my hair is not affected by recession) partially to punish myself but mostly because it was the right thing to do (oh yeah and COMPLETELY NECESSARY). After this declaration, I made myself busy by stomping around the house feeling like a martyr and fully responsible for our impractical spending. Nate was working from home that day which made the stomping and drawer slamming all the more satisfying.

And of course, if I have decided to have a bad day, Z-cakes decides to play her 9-month old card and cry/whine if I'm not walking slow enough for her to hold onto my leg and cruise around with me making it impossible to accomplish anything without the lovely ear piercing sound of her screech.

Okay but this is totally not fair to Z-cakes. Typically, she is such a good baby. I mean a really, REALLY good baby. So don't go thinking she cries all the time because I don't want to be the one responsible for ruining her public image. But I digress.

It is on days like these that I cannot, for the life of me, figure out what is wrong with Z-cakes. What? What do you want? I pick you up, you're fine. I put you down, you're screaming. What? You're changed, you've nursed, you just got up from a nap...what what WHAT? N8t0n removes the child from my sight which is probably a better idea than he realizes. I begin making dinner free of the baby cakes and hope that cooking will have the cathartic affect on me that it often does. About 15 minutes into cooking I realize I haven't heard a peep out of Z-cakes. What is going on? Did N8tr0n figure out what was wrong? Where is she? And that's when I see it.

While N8tr0n is playing a video game, Z-cakes is sitting next to him on the couch, quietly playing with her toys.

Mom = FAIL

What was the illusive, oh-so-impossible to figure out thing that was wrong with Z-cakes? She wanted to BE NEAR ME.

Six months ago I left my job as an early intervention speech pathologist to stay home with my baby. While at that job, I worked with parents whose children were developmentally delayed, teaching them how to interact with their kids in a way that set them up for developmental success. I focussed on the family and found ways that they could play together without feeling overwhelmed. I realized on Thursday that I would hate to have myself as a client...because I haven't been listening to any of my own advice.

Of course I talk to Z-cakes all the time...mark her milestones...read a few books...make homemade baby food...I'm not saying I'm a bad mom. I just think I've forgotten for a minute why I'm home all day. Ever since I quit my job I've thought about different ways to make money and watched in awe as my acquaintances become "mom-preneurs" (okay that is SUCH a stupid word, I take it back) start up businesses and put pressure on myself to do the same. I've forgotten that I quit my job because we decided we could make it without me working and that the whole point of staying home is to raise our daughter and celebrate the moments of our lives and what not.

I watch Z-cakes with such awe because she doesn't need me to teach her all of the things that my clients needed. She just figures things out by herself. She didn't need me to show her how to yell into a cup to hear the echo, she didn't need me to teach her how to go from stand to sit, or to tall kneel. (Oh my gosh except the girl won't clap. I swear she's going to go to college not being able to clap and it's going to be all my fault) Maybe that's why I've gotten lazy when it comes to playing with her. She can do so much on her own, and can entertain herself for so long sometimes, that I get all up on my important box and tell myself I don't have time to deal with her when she's fussy. For shame.

So now for the solution. Are you ready for it? I'm going to try to be better. That's all I can think of doing for right now. I'm going to try to do more of the things I suggested as a therapist, not because my baby needs help, but because they're good ideas that I worked hard to think up and paid a lot of money to have a degree to back them up for crap's sake. And because that's why I stay at home. I'll let you know how it goes.



Serin said...

Oh m, do I have those days. Times four! So, for those of us that haven't been your clients before - what kinds of things would you suggest we do with our kids when we really just want them to GET OUT OF OUR HAIR??

p.s. I really want pie now

karisa said...

You echo my sentiments exactly. I think too many of us stay at home mom's are trying to do everything EXCEPT what we are really home for. Too many days my to-do lists are too long. That's why I've decided just to get rid of them. Enjoy your little Z-cakes and forget about everything else. . .especially balancing the checkbook ;)

April said...

That is all you can do. Be a little better tomorrow. Try a little harder to spend more quality time with your kids. Then it all goes down hill again and the cycle starts all over again. Good luck! BTW, I think you are a great mom.

Anonymous said...

Good for you! Enjoy that baby! And don't be too hard on yourself, we all have those days when we're trying to get too much done and feel overwhelmed by everything. Love ya tons! Miss ya tons!

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