Right now I’m sitting in the coffee shop with an decaf iced latte made with almond milk, some books, and a pile of knitting. I’m flighty, distracted, and trying to soak up this wee bit of introvert time before I go back home to cook dinner, nurse babies, tidy the house, bathe children, etc… This is my first time being away from Persy Jane since her birth. Well, if you count last week when I was feverish with strep fever and sitting in the doctor’s office and a half-hour trip to the Dollar General last weekend then I suppose I have been baby-free a few times before today.
Today is different. It feels selfish, but I know it isn’t. Of course the real reason I’m out and about today is that I go back to work in four weeks and Persy will be in daycare. Sam is going to give her a bottle of mommy milk today to make sure she takes it and he’ll comfort her if she cries. This is to help her and help me get used to being apart before we spend several hours at a stretch apart on a daily basis. Feelings of selfishness happen because I’ve sorely wished for just a wee bit of free time. I hold, wear, and nurse Persy constantly and if I’m not caring for Persy then I’m either holding, playing, or nursing Atticus or cooking dinner or doing laundry or engaged in some other domestic task. I’m enjoying have both arms free and both boobs in my bra. I don’t have any boogers smeared down my arm. Spit up isn’t drying on my back. Reckless and free and enjoying spring. I just don’t know how to act if I’m not being a mom.
Being a mother has truly altered my perception of time. Everything feels slow and quick all at once; the days are long, but time is speeding past. I was trying to explain to Sam the other day that sometimes it can be annoying to never be alone with my husband, or to have a raging tot banging on the bathroom door every time I shower, or to spend an entire evening nursing with no end. But one day the kids won’t need me as much and then I will have all the time in the world. And having such a full life means that I appreciate the quiet alone time more than usual. When Sam and I were dating I don’t think we treasured an evening on the couch watching movies as much as we do now. I didn’t cherish quiet time with my books. There was plenty of time stretching out before us and so what did it matter if I did something now or at 3am or next week? Now I find myself aware of all my time: most of it goes to the kids, but I seek, anticipate, and thrive on those minutes or hours I can find to spend with my husband or by myself.
I suppose what I’m saying in my rambling and disconnected way is that having children has enriched my life in ways I never anticipated. Everything feels more … NOW… more alive … more important. Thanks, kids!
Now to tackle some knitting.