I used to be able to spend hours painting or crafting. I would devour books by the dozens. I could take off on a whim and have fun weeding through the racks at Goodwill. I could come home from work and take a nap if I had a migraine. Weekend afternoons were spent on long, rambling six mile walks.
Forget about a manicure or going to a chick flick, now it seems like a treat just to be able to poop alone. Instead of listening to NPR as I shower, we listen to Elmo’s greatest hits. I watch through the shower curtain to make sure Abby is not doing something to hurt herself- Hey, quit leaning over the side of your chair! I will pick up your unicorn when I get out; play with the toys that are in your lap.
Time alone is a valuable commodity these days. It seems that we bargain time- If you watch her while I run to the gym I’ll take her shopping so you can do whatever you want. Sometimes it works, sometimes it seems not quite fair.
Yesterday the “quick” shower I promised my husband as he played with Abby turned into a not so quick shower. The delicious hot water felt so good on my tense back and neck muscles that I couldn’t tear myself away. Frustratingly, most of my only time alone is the five minute long drive between work and the babysitter’s house or spent pumping breastmilk at work.
Don’t get me wrong, I love all of the time spent with my kid. I love nursing, playing with her, reading to her, snuggling her. I love holding her hands as she is learning to walk. I love that she wants to be close to me. I knew this new phase of my life would bring changes, less me time being one of them. Sometimes Mom just needs a break, you know?
I think most of my desire for more alone time lately is due to the fact that the baby will not sleep alone right now, and will not let my husband put her to sleep. I admit that I am more than a little jealous of the time he has at night to be able to leisurely browse Reddit, watch Netflix, assemble a model, or just do whatever.
I don’t mean to come off as whiny; I hope I haven’t. I feel selfish for feeling this way. I know it will get better. I’m sure as she gets older spending time with Mom won’t be as fun, she’ll want to be with her friends, and eventually move away. Then I will be wishing for the days when I could cuddle with her all night long.