The truth is dawning on me: I blog to escape and/or analyze my life. Slow afternoon at work, but I need to stay on the computer and be available? Read some blogs. Something is itching at me mentally? Blog about it in order to process it. Feeling restless and wanting to skip to the end of whatever phase of life is passing by? Troll the internet so I feel like I'm going somewhere.
Well, now that all the family is gone and we have December with just the three of us, I don't have any of the above 'needs'. Somehow, being Brex's mother has stilled the restlessness in me. If I try to jump ahead to the 'next' phase, I'll miss the one he's in now, and I don't want to do that.
Each day feels like a gift to have him and have the chance to be on this side of the Mom line. In terms of crossing that line, I'd mostly given up (most of the time). My thread of hope was tattered and I didn't let myself picture what it would be like to be a Mom. In contrast to when I was younger and just assumed I'd spend most of my life mothering, I'd shifted to avoiding the kids' sections of stores, not cooing (too much) over baby shoes or hats, and tending towards friends who didn't have children.
It's strange and good now to be going to the '2011 playgroup' (went yesterday for the first time. Collection of very nice alpha Moms and fun kids.), to find out about the nursery at church, to gush over fat little baby feet and edible baby cheeks. I have a bone deep contentment that I'm finding surprising and very welcome.
Which leads to my current dilemma: daycare! Ugh.
I'm supposed to start work January 3rd. I haven't found an option that really works. There's one near the house that feels like a baby warehouse to me. Nothing terrible about it, but it didn't feel happy either. The workers looked like they were putting in time at a job. In the building next to Jrex's at UT, there's a daycare that felt a LOT happier, but that's a 20-minute drive. I hate the idea that if I'm doing the pickup/dropoff, I'll waste an hour and a half a day in driving. If Jrex takes him, I hate the idea that I wouldn't see Brex from 7 AM until 7 PM. That's unacceptable to me. There is a daycare at UT that only does admissions in August. That one is amazing, but we may or may not get in, and we need a solution in the meantime. My hope would be that by August, Jrex could come home a little earlier in the evenings and that I could do the morning drop off. I'm following up on one lead for a home-based daycare right down the street. I'll visit on Monday and see if it's a fit. She makes organic food for the kids and only takes 6 at a time. The review said that she's a great middle-ground between a nanny and a traditional day care.
I've reached out to a cool stay-at-home mom a block away and will see if that pans out. I would love to have someone like that bring my kid into her fold (I'd pay what I would to a daycare, but feel MUCH better about it). Obviously, I don't have much time yet, so I'm freaking out a little about that.
Of course the bigger question is whether I should jump on the mommy-track. The problem with being a designer and doing that, my computer skills would become obsolete VERY quickly. It seems a bit short-sighted to throw away years of amassing skills when it's unlikely I'd be able to get back into the job force as a 50-something graphic designer.
There's a teaching position I may apply for, but it's at a school that's a 50-minute drive from here. The position calls for teaching four classes on a tenure-track. As much as teaching sounds like a great fit with parenting, I'm not sure that particular job would be the right pick. I'll likely go through the application process just to get my portfolio up to speed, plus it will give me an idea if I'm at all competitive in the academic arena.
Other tidbits from the long silence:
- OTRbro and OTRdad came for Thanksgiving and cranked out a bunch of home projects. OTRbro found out that he actually liked the blob phase (or at least Brex's version of it).
- I've already ruined Brex. Due to his sleeping position, his head has flattened out on the right back side. Sigh. Now I have to wedge him with rolled up towels to make him sleep on his side (something a daycare is unlikely to do!) Those baby helmets cost thousands of dollars and aren't covered by most insurers. Ugh.
- After the 2-month pediatrician visit, I became the mommy torture queen. Not only did I stop swaddling him to sleep, I had to do the towel bit AND give him lots of 'tummy time' (a.k.a. "baby-scream-his-lungs-out time"). All to try to give him a lifetime with a head he can shave without shame. Poor Mom K worked her butt off to keep Brex happy and content so he'll develop a good personality, only to have me come along and trash it all!