Thursday, October 15, 2009

Single-mom'ing it

That's pretty much what I've been up to since we got back from North Dakota.

I love my husband, but I hate his job. I've complained about this before, long ago, but I think it's time for another round. I used to dread him leaving even before we had Caroline, but now that she is here, it's a whole different ballgame.

He's been away for most of the time we've been back... usually internationally, so I can't even call him. I'm so tired and lonely. I start to forget what it was like to do anything other than take care of Caroline, because that is literally all I do. I wonder all the time how single or military parents do it-- I cannot even imagine doing this as a permanent thing!

That said, I am grateful for two things...

  1. The internet. My mom friends are always here to keep me company! And I actually relate far better to these people who I've (mostly) never met than I do to my old friends, who have no idea what my life is like now and who are too busy for me anyway.
  2. That I've been able to stay home with Caroline all this time-- it allowed us to go to North Dakota with Tyler so that we wouldn't be here alone all summer, and it's probably saved my sanity... because if I had to go to school all day and then come home and single-mom it, I might die.
I feel badly for Tyler because I know it's hard on him not to see Caroline that much, but it's hard on me too. When we got married, we decided not to have kids until he would be able to spend more time at home, but... that didn't go as planned. I knew he would be traveling a lot these next few years. It was one of the reasons I was so worked up about being pregnant-- not just because I didn't feel ready for the experience, but because I knew I would be going it alone for a lot of the time.

But, hey, life goes on. I feel really competent and confident when it comes to taking care of her now, because I've done it alone so much. (Tyler, on the other hand, I would worry about-- he has literally never been alone with her for more than an hour or two at a time!) And now that my return to school is rapidly approaching, I try to remind myself every day to just soak up the time with her. That is usually enough to snap me out of my self-pity.

New topic: Caroline is 36 weeks old today-- so she has been alive outside me for as long as she was alive inside me. So strange... it went by so quickly, but it seems like I have known her forever. I went through her closet today, which is always an experience that brings out the crazy in me: "this is probably too small, I should put it away. Oh my God... I remember when she wore this and we did X. I can't believe she's never going to wear this again. She's growing up so fast. Too fast. I can't believe she used to be this small AHHHH MY BABY IS GOING TO LEEEEAVE ME!!!" Annnd, repeat. With every single article of clothing. I told you I was crazy. I used to be afraid that I had no maternal instincts, but it turns out I do have them, and they are on crack.

Don't get me wrong, though, I don't really miss the newborn stages. I don't miss her seeming so breakable and sick... and she is so much more interactive now. I think I have more and more fun with her every day, and I am so excited for all the milestones ahead (she still isn't mobile)! And now that she is over 17 pounds and has continued to gain well, the GI says we are officially out of the woods as far as her reflux goes. We're down to one medication and we don't have to go back until she is one year old! It's all good news-- but I'm still allowed to be a little sad about my baby growing up, right? ;)

(Photo courtesy of the lovely eris1995, with whom we had a wonderful get-together last week! Her son Mason is adorable.)


Erin & Jack said...

I love that you said your maternal insticts are on crack. That was truly awesome :)

We don't have kids yet, only our dog, Jack. But when I found his first sweater (we live in Ohio, his first few weeks with us it was FREEZING, so I bought him a sweater...) anyway, each time I come across the itty bitty sweater, I sniffle a little. I couldn't imagine how difficult it is with your little girl- but, to the best of my understanding, I "get it".

Hang in there :)

MJS said...

Hey Julia, I just want to say (again) that I adore your blog. Very best wishes, as always! :)MJS

A said...

If you're up to a meetup with a random mom from the internet who lives nearby, let me know!

CHAO said...

she is adorable! and you are not the only one whose husband works WAY TOO MUCH.

KMc said...

I get frustrated with my hubby's time consuming job too. I can relate to this post, a lot. You're also not alone on the closet thing, I do the same thing...hahaha. I'm planning to save a couple of things for memories. ;-)

Sugar and spice said...

Came across your blog and wanted to say hi! Your little girl is adorable! :)