no, i am not sick of my baby

You know that thing where you write up a post that you think is a nice light humorous way to show that you miss civilization, but then a few people read your words and infer that you are tired of your baby and you want him to grow up fast and get out of this stage, so then you obsess at every night feeding over the fact that now you are pretty sure the entire interwebs thinks you’re a terrible mom who wants to run away from your baby, and you know that is not true, but the interwebs thinks it, so you can’t sleep even when you do get the baby down and now it’s 4:30 in the morning and you have been up for over four hours and the baby won’t sleep and you are crying because you’re so tired and you committed to going to the critter barn with your other son’s daycare while also taking your nephew in the afternoon, and you are going to be a mess because you haven’t slept?

Yeah.

That happened to me.

Yesterday my words here failed to convey what I was trying to say.

I wrote that I am in a rut and that I am bored.

What some people read was that I am sick of my baby.

But what I realized I meant was that I miss social interaction.

I love this time with Charlie.  I soak in each second with him because I missed so much with Eddie.

When Charlie is awake I am staring at him.

When he eats, I stare into his eyes and slip my pinky into his little fist.

I kiss his droopy cheeks relentlessly.

I drift off to sleep with my nose stuck to his head trying to smell his baby-ness in my dreams.

When he is wide awake after a bottle, I put him on a blanket and lie next to him to listen to his coos and snorts.

I tell him stories of his Great Grandparents and Papa who are in Heaven.  I sing him songs.  I trace the lines of his little face with my finger.

But when he is napping, well, he is napping.

It could be for 30 minutes or maybe 2 hours.

It’s in that time…after the shower has been taken and the bottles washed and the dishes done and the house picked up…that I look around and miss something.

I guess it’s not that I am bored.  It’s different than that.

I am used to getting up and going to work every day.  I’m used to 100+ students asking me 100000000+ questions.  I’m used to adult interaction about things other than my household or my children. I’m used to staff meetings and curriculum discussions and parent meetings and piles of grading and lesson planning.

I’m not used to being idle in the middle of the day.

In the mornings I sip my coffee, watch the Today Show, and check the twitters and the blogs until he needs some cuddles.  Then we nap together on the couch.

But in the afternoons…when I don’t need a nap, but he does…well…I am left wandering.

There were a few moms who said it best yesterday:  I am lonely.

Yesterday, while people were misreading my words, I packed Charlie up and headed to my brother’s house to watch the Detroit Tigers’ home opener with both brothers and my parents.

It was lovely to be amongst adults out of my house and talk about things like baseball, iphones vs non-iphones, the time my brother got lost in his sleeping bag, and other non-baby things.

Today I packed up Charlie again and we headed over to go along on a field trip with Eddie’s daycare to The Critter Barn.  They have baby goats and lambs, you know.

It’s the “getting ready and seeing and interacting with adults” that I miss from my life.

It has nothing to do with how much I love being quiet and alone with Charlie.

I am in LOVE with that in a way I never was with Eddie.

But the days are long and lonely at the same time.

I think the key is planning something that gets us “ready” and “out” each day.

I don’t want the time to go faster.  No, no, NO!  I want to keep my boys just how they are.

But I do need to not go crazy from the lack of interaction with the “real world” too.

Does this make sense?

What do you do to keep your sanity?  What “trips” do you take to keep yourself involved in civilization?

Eddie and his BFF, Brooke, at the Critter Barn. Cue melting mommy heart.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. I haven’t yet read yesterday’s post, but I get it and I hate when that happens or it feels like that happens. Bah. Either way, I think you’re entitled to wanting *life* outside of just waiting for him to wake up from a nap, which is so hard to break out of and feel normal and all that fun stuff again so soon. So I hope I’m not out of line saying take it as it comes and come up with more that means more for you when the quiet moments are there. As a SAHM who doesn’t drive, I get it more than my own words could convey right now. That’s how I got into online volunteering. And that’s something I still do. Maybe you can look into it and see if there is a virtual opportunity during that window for you? (hugs) and bite those cheeks for me. Uh, yeah – sorry – out of line to say to someone I’ve never met IRL? Maybe. But CUTE kid!!! ;>

  2. Oooh, Katie…I hope my post on your blog didn’t read to you that I thought you were bored of the baby…If it was me? I apologize, as that isn’t what I meant. I’m just so envious of your time right now, as it’s been almost 18 years since I experienced that. 🙂

    I LOVED my interaction with grownups when Tim was brand new, but we had just moved from one base housing neighborhood to another in order to get a larger house, since there were more children than just the two, so I didn’t have any friends in the new neighborhood and would have LOVED to tear my hair out. (Hence the counted cross stitch projects, LOL…)

    Hang in there, Katie…you’re gonna be great!

  3. OK, first of all, I am gonna be a wee bit bossy and tell you to channel your inner duck and try to let some of that stuff roll off of you. Those of us who know and love you (and who are thoughtful enough to think around a corner) know and understand that it is entirely possible to feel more than one way at a time. I love/hate/love being a stay-at-home mom. I love/hate/love quite a few things, in fact. People who criticize me for “hating” my life, my kids, whatever, just don’t have the thinking skills to understand that the way I feel is just that – a feeling, in that moment, and it’s always more complex than any given snapshot can convey.

    Ummm…I may be a little bit sensitive to this since in the past couple of years, caught hard and fast in my grief over Jacob and Abbie, people came to me and chastised me for my feelings, saying I was too negative, depressing, whatever. (Part of the reason I’ve written so few blog posts since summer 2010; I felt like writing was akin to signing up to be scolded.)

    So. A new baby is a huge transition. Going from WOHM to SAHM is a huge transition. It’s OK that you have lots of different feelings about that.

    So saith I.

    Oh, also, playgroups saved my butt when my kids were very small. A girlfriend and I created our own and it was wildly successful for years.

  4. i can’t believe that anyone who has actually HAD a baby didn’t know exactly what you were talking about. of course you’re not bored WITH your baby, but being at home all day by yourself talking baby talk can be, well, kind of boring. you are a wonderful mother and i think i speak for the majority of your readers when i say i know exactly how you feel.

  5. Dude. Babies are wonderful, but anyone (who is honest) should be able to admit that hours on end of spending time alone with a baby is mind-numbing. Of course you need interaction! I love you, girl. Hang in there.

  6. I am a full time sahm with a 7 year old, 3 year old, 2 year old and I’m due with #4 in May. I cloth diaper, breastfeed, babywear and whatever else that ties you physically, spiritually and mentally to a child. We are a 1 car family and we live several miles into the country. I have no real neighbors or real friends. I struggle every day with the love that comes with this roll and also the guilt that comes with it too. If I consider going out on a date I feel that I’m letting my children down and just sending them off to burden somebody else. I wouldn’t trade my life with a millionaire who could afford the very best of everything including nannies. But I ache for real adult interactions. It’s almost painful at times because I feel so alone. I am a submissive wife (by choice) so I try to not burden my husband with my worries. Although he is such a great partner to sit, listen and understand when I do breakdown.
    You are not alone and as a parent (and for anybody that truely takes care of their child) you are justified in your need. We were created to support each other. Even if it’s in real life, our blogs, Twitter, or wherever we find ourselves.

  7. Lynette says:

    That part about planning something that get’s you up and ready each day is exactly what I had to do as well. After number 3 I kinda fell into a rut of staying inside in our pajamas each day but knew that I was missing interaction as well and since then (aside from a few days here and there) we do get up, get dressed and ready to go wherever the day may lead. There may be nothing planned, but sometimes a trip to Target just becomes necessary!

  8. You do NOT have to explain yourself to anyone! I totally got what you meant and could totally relate to you. I AM one of those moms who hated the baby stages (note – I did NOT hate my babies) and couldnt wait for my kids to grow up. Don’t apologize for any of your feelings. You are an awesome mom!

  9. I belong to a group called Mom to Mom, which meets every other week. It’s like a Bible study, but I used to belong to MOPS, which is another mom group that’s mostly based on socializing. Also got me out of the house, both for meetings and for Mommy & Me and Mom’s Night Out activities. The tricky thing with that group is that some of the women ONLY talk about kids—it’s not always grown-up talk, which can be tiring and unfulfilling when you’re trying to get AWAY from kid stuff. I try to make play dates for the zoo or the children’s museum—or just hanging out with someone. I also belong to the drama ministry and the sermon planning team at church, so that gets me out of the house for straight-up adult conversation.

    I guess the tough thing is balancing things to do during the day and things to do in the evening. I don’t like to lose more time at home with my husband than I have to, but most of my non-kid meetings are in the evenings. Maybe join a book club or a Meetup.com group (or start one!). Or just set up a weekly date with one of your stay-at-home friends so you get SOME alone time.

    I hope you figure out something. 🙂 I know how it feels to be home with a little human who mostly just chews on you and sleeps. lol

  10. #2 was hard for me because I couldn’t sleep when she slept because I need to pick up the other one from daycare or get something ready for dinner or shower or pump or wash bottles because there was just more things to do as a family of four.
    For me though, I was better the days I had something to do no matter how tired I was. It did not matter if it was a solo trip to Target, a stroller walk with a friend, a phone call, or date for lunch with someone. I just needed a reason to get moving…even if it was crazy trying to make sure we were both fed, clean and ready to leave. It was worth it.
    The first six months are the months I love the most and the months I hate the most. I love the baby snuggles but the first six months were the hard because just like you I crave interaction. I crave a coo, a smile, something to let me know we are interacting and it is just not there!
    PS- I don’t hate my babies either!

  11. I totally understood where you were coming from yesterday. . .

    When my (now nine year old) daughter was a baby, I remember feeling like you did. I went from working 40+ hours a week to being a SAHM. It drove me nuts. I missed getting out of the house and interacting with other adults. . . Looking back now? I am almost positive that I had PPD but did nothing about it.

    Keep planning your daily adventures.

    Don’t let those negative Nelly’s get you down, Mama. They are nothing but ignorant.

  12. OMG, your post did NOT sound like you did not like your baby. Hearing that annoys me so much. It sounded like you were bored and lonely and perhaps a little depressed, and now you have small-minded, judgmental comments to deal with on top of that? Golly, sometimes women are the real enemy of other women. OK, I just want you to know that you are not alone and that it is safe to talk about how you feel and you should keep being honest. There is nothing unusual about feeling more than one emotion after you have just had a baby. There is something wrong with folks getting on your case when you are real about your feelings.
    Sigh. Take good care.

  13. I didn’t misunderstand your post… I totally understood. And since I spent 18 months at home with Pea idle during the quiet moments with no friends nearby and no car, I totally get it. You love your child beyond words, but oh to be around another grown up and talk about anything beyond spit up & poop & diapers.

  14. Though its been years, I FULLY understand how you are feeling. The Today show and naps only get you so far. Dont let others hound you; ignore THEIR ignorance of YOUR situation. There is a lot to be said for adult, live action, human contact<3

  15. I think, to most of us there is no need to explain why you feel the way you do. We have been there done that and I just don’t understand why some people have to be such haters. Don’t let it get you down… just soak in those quiet times and enjoy it. I like the Skype idea to talk to your friends and have a nice coffee chat!!! Maybe you should give it a try. 🙂

  16. An adventure a day is a lovely idea. I do so much better when we are OUT than when I am surrounded by all that is required to keep this house running (or, rather, simply not falling down).

  17. I feel you sister!! We ALL go through “mummy-land” in a semi-guilty phase of loving our mummy time, and missing chugging tequila back in the days when we damn well could. I’m sorry that judgmental idiots made you feel bad! I wanted to put a pillow on my own head just last night as my baby girl just wouldn’t sleep and decided to tell us all very loudly that she wasn’t having it! Instead I sang the little cow to sleep, and kissed her a lot. Must be love huh?

  18. I can so relate to this post and the earlier one. I craved adult interaction two, especially when the triplets were babies and leaving the house wasn’t always an option.

    Twitter saved me.

    It was a way for me to interact with people while being stuck at home.

    And when it was time… I RAN back to work. I love my kids but man, it’s good to get back into society.

  19. Of course you’re not sick of your baby. I remember the early days of having a newborn… it’s tough. Some days more than others, but try to enjoy this time. It goes by so fast (I know you need no reminders of that). Sending love and understanding. xoxo