Taking advantage of people, in the good way.

My in-laws are visiting right now — they arrived yesterday for a week-long stay. I’m actually pretty excited about their visit because it means I can leave the baby with them and take some time for myself. It started last night, when Mr. D. and I went to pick up dinner and left the baby with his parents — and that was the first time we’d left her with anyone, for any length of time. I tried to get weepy about it, but was so excited to be out of the house with my husband and know that the baby was well taken care of at home…I guess I’m not as sentimental as I thought I was. I think I’m just too excited about the stuff I’ve got planned for the next several days. Like, today, I’m getting a massage and going to see our daycare provider to pick up some paperwork; tomorrow (if the weather cooperates) I’m hoping to go on a run; and Saturday night, Mr. D. and I are going out on a real, live date.

The flip side to having my in-laws here is that while I’m home (which, honestly, will be most of the time — it’s hard to leave an exclusively breastfed baby for any length of time), I will be spending a fair amount of time one-one-one (or one-on-two) with them. This is new. It’s really the first time I’ve spent any extended time with them without Mr. D. I like my in-laws (I really, really do), but I often struggle to find topics of conversation with them. The baby does make that easier — we can always talk about the baby! — but given that there are suddenly two adults in my house that I can talk to, I’d love to take advantage of their presence and talk about something (anything!) besides the baby. Alas, nothing seems to stick. My mother-in-law brought me a book that I expressed interest in (that she’s already read), so maybe I can read some of it and we can talk about that once I’ve gotten into it, but otherwise? I think we’re stuck talking about the baby. Not that I don’t love talking about my baby, but this goes back to what I said in my last post — it’s nice to talk to people about other things, if for no other reason than to remind myself that I am a whole person and not just a mom.

Still, we’re only on Day 1-1/2 of their visit, so I’ve got lots of opportunities to have real adult conversations over the next 4-1/2 days. We’ll see how well I can take advantage of that; and if I can’t, I’ve still got the time out of the house to look forward to.

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Two months down, two to go

Clara turned two months old this week, which I find somewhat hard to believe — she’s only been with us for two months? How can that be? Our lives have adjusted and molded to her presence so much so that I have a hard time remembering what our day-to-day lives were like before she was here.

It helps that things have settled into something of a routine at this point. (I know, I know, that routine will get completely shaken up, probably several times, over the next few weeks/months/years. But for now, we have a routine.) At the risk of having things thrown at me, I’ll admit that she sleeps through the night beautifully, waking up just once to eat between 8 pm and 8 am, so Mr. D. and I are actually pretty well rested. She doesn’t nap well during the day, but that’s OK — it just means she spends a lot of time playing on the activity mat, and in the stroller for walks in the neighborhood with the dog (thank God for a mild winter), and in the swing with its funny little mobile. I manage to eke out small chunks of time to check my email and read the news and (most days) shower.

Never fear, though — things are not all sunshine and roses.  First, she is a fussy eater, so I’m never sure that she’s getting enough to eat, and I can’t even rely on her output to judge her input, as she only poops once a week or so. Her weight gain has slowed down, which I guess is normal, but it stresses me out nonetheless. Her pediatrician isn’t worried — she’s not falling off of her growth curve or anything — but I, the mama, am stressed out about it.

Second, I’m halfway through my maternity leave, and I’m starting to get a little stir crazy. I go to a new mom’s group once or twice a week, and I try to get out of the house on the other days to run errands or go to the grocery store, but we still spend a lot of time at home, and a lot of that time, the baby wants to be held.  The bulk of my adult interactions on a day-to-day basis revolve around baby stuff. We stopped by my office this week for a happy hour, and I realized just how much I miss being around my colleagues, how much I miss talking about stuff that isn’t the baby. Which isn’t to say I didn’t talk about the baby a lot at happy hour but I also got to talk about them and what’s going on their lives and how work is going. It was really, really nice. I am sure that, once I’m back at work, I will long for these lazy, relaxing days at home with my baby. But for right now, I’m longing for a little time for myself — to go for a run, to read a book, to focus on something (anything!) for more than 45 minutes at a stretch.

Anyway, short version: Things are mostly good. Clara sleeps well at night but not during the day, but eats and poops only OK. She’s gaining enough weight, even if I wish she were gaining more. And I’m halfway through maternity leave and feeling guilty because I think I won’t enjoy the next two months as much as I should.