The mindset I have today as a SAHM versus the mindset I had a couple weeks ago as full-time, working parent is vastly different.
When I was working I was always kinda freaking out in my head. Oh no, the baby woke up again, I'll never get enough sleep and they'll fire me. Or Oh no, he had a bad day at daycare, I'm such a bad mother. I felt like I sucked at work and parenting and I'm pretty sure that I was doing a good job at both, all things considered.
But from the moment Michael was born there was this feeling I had that I had to get him doing things so that he/I would be prepared for my return to work. I feel like I missed enjoying my maternity leave because I was focused getting him to nap in his crib (instead of on me) or something else like that.
But now it's like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I can breathe again.
He woke up at 4:30 the other morning and I enjoyed sleeping in the chair with him all morning rather than praying that he would let me put him back in his crib so that I could catch a few minutes of sleep before having to get up at 5:30.
Middle of the night waking? Ok, still not always enjoyed, but at least I don't have to get up in a couple of hours and get ready for work.
I had been having a lot of issues with thoughts on weaning lately. With Michael turning a year I figure that my work would not be so open minded about me continuing to pump. And honestly, I would have loved to be done pumping but Michael is no where ready to wean. I'm also a big fan of extended breastfeeding and I was hoping to keep it up for quite a while longer. I'm really glad that's not running around in the back of my mind causing more anxiety any longer. And now I get to breastfeed and I don't have to pump which my breasts greatly appreciate. I really don't know how exclusive pumpers do it.
And Michael has got a bit of a cough and it's a little nasty sounding. I will be keeping him home tomorrow. If I were working DH and I would be discussing our work schedules for tomorrow and playing ro sham bo to determine who has to stay home with him. I, of course, would be wanting to stay home with him but feeling this nasty pressure from work to come no matter how much Michael needs me. Did you know that every time I took off to take care of Michael my manager would question me about it? He would act like he was concerned, but it was always creepy the way he asked and it really seemed to be more for him to judge whether the reason I was taking off was 'worthy' or not. That was some bullshit. Now I can stay home and enjoy spoiling him a little extra without wondering what my creepy boss would think.
And I have time to create again. I was so pressed for time before I was just bursting with this desire to make things but never anytime to do it which was very frustrating. And now I'm busy at it getting ready for his party. I'm probably going to be a little burnt out after the party is over, but I'm really enjoying it right now. Now I can let my desire to create grow rather than trying to kill it all the time. I made some simple appliquéd shirts (my first go at appliqué ever) tonight for his birthday party. I will always have those to remember that day. Before I would have just wished that I had something sentimental like that.
And this is going to sound weird, but I really held back when I played with Michael. I just didn't do a lot of things with him because I (a) didn't really spend that much time with him so I didn't have to try that hard and (b) I was sometimes afraid of really getting into play with him. Like I wouldn't rough house with Michael because I was worried that he might puke at night and that might upset his night and cause him to wake more (causing me to wake) and I just didn't want to risk it. I know it sounds weird/bad, but it was a practical concern. Now I'm teaching him to do flips and I've be hoisting him up on my legs for fun. Small things, but something I wouldn't let us enjoy before.
These are just some of the good changes so far. I'm sure more will come.