baby rut

When Cort came home for lunch yesterday I admitted that I hit my stay at home wall…

Less than three weeks into this gig.

I am bored.

Ok, not really bored.

It’s not like there aren’t things to do.

And it’s not like there aren’t other things I would like to be doing.

But either the things I can do are boring and take two minutes and I do them every day and oh-mah-gawd how many times can I wash bottles in one day? or the the things I want to do, I can’t because I am not allowed to exercise or do “excessive lifting” or whatever just yet.

Currently I am living life in three hour increments which go kind of like this:

baby wakes up and cries.
change baby.
feed baby.
baby is awake and happy.  the world stops and I stare and talk to baby.
baby gets fussy since he is not wrapped up and held.
wrap baby up and snuggle.
and snuggle.
baby falls asleep.
put baby down.
baby wakes up because he knows the swing/bouncey/crib/bassinet/couch is not snuggling him.
snuggle baby.
baby falls asleep for the long haul (which means for whatever is left of this three hours).

So I guess you could say I’m not bored because clearly I have something happening constantly.

I am in a rut.

My “free time” each day…aka “when the baby is sleeping”…is anywhere from 2 hour blocks to 30 minute blocks.

I use that time to shower, wash bottles, and empty and refill the dishwasher.

Those are my three goals each day other than “keep the baby alive”.

If I have extra time, I try to nap, but I can’t always make that happen, even when I am dog-ass tired.  For some reason napping, which I could do pretty much anytime, anywhere while pregnant, is eluding me now.

In those “free” minutes where I am not holding or staring at this sweet new life I have, I play Words With Friends (by the way, you all are a bunch of cheaters.  I am convinced of this), watch crappy daytime television, read a book, or screw around on the computer.

I try to write, but I have nothing to say.  At least not here. (I guess I could just post pictures of Charlie every day…but I already over-saturate twitter and facebook with my instagrams of him).

Because I am in a rut.

I miss civilization.

I am actually looking forward to Easter Sunday because I will get to get up, shower and do my hair, and wear nice clothes.  In public.  With my family.

I need a purpose for each day other than feeding a tiny human.

I want to reorganize the basement, exercise, paint the bathroom, clean Eddie’s room, purge the closets, ship stuff off to Goodwill, start a baby book for Charlie, work on Eddie’s little boy book, oh this list goes on and on.

Many of these things have to wait until Charlie is napping more regularly and/or I can push up my sleeves and do some sweaty manual labor.

So for now, when I’ve played all my opponents in WWF and I just can’t focus on my book or another episode of Friends, and when the words aren’t coming for this blog…I guess I will just keep staring out the front window…wishing I could wear pants with a zipper.

And then I will go back to staring and snapping pictures of this:

 I’m taking suggestions on what to do with my “quiet time” for the next couple weeks.  Anyone?

 Also, I am aware that now that I just posted this, Charlie will do everything in his power to keep me busy and away from anything else except the TV from this point on.  Yup, I just did that to myself.

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.


  1. I can soooo relate to you. I always have to do something, but I want it to be something meaningful, something that I have planned and that makes me feel like I accomplished “things”.
    Since you just jinxed yourself I don’t really have any advice for you 😉 but I can tell you this – just being in the moment can feel pretty good as well – and everything is ever-changing, so it won’t be long until you can tackle those projects. Until then, there’s always lots of pictures of Charlie, how is adorable!

  2. You’re jinxed so this is all moot anyway. But, should that sweet baby not read your blog and know that you need more entertaining, how about you start his baby book now? Or Eddie’s book? List out projects that you CAN do right now and get started on one. Since we’re having gorgeous weather, sit outside for fresh air and read or just sit and shut your eyes. That’s all I’ve got! If all else fails, just continue with the pic posting :).

  3. Hmmm.

    How about reading a book during your quiet time? (Sorry, that’s all I’ve got to offer)

  4. Scrapbook the shot of all those photos you clog up in my Facebook feed…haaha…I kid…I love seeing those faces. Really. But scrapbooking rocks. Yes I’m a dork.
    What about trips to the park? Too soon?
    Maybe you need a change of atmosphere.
    I only have one and during those down times I was going crazy literally so I don’t know what to tell you Mama 🙁
    But I love you.
    Hey you can look up hamburger recipes for me on pinterest! Cuz imma be eatin all them cows up when this gallbladder is gone! Boom

    • I do think I am going to start Charlie’s baby book (aka baby scrapbook) since it’s something I can do without straining myself and it’s quiet.

  5. Aw Katie. It does get better. I promise. I felt bored and lonely when my kids were young and I didn’t have much at all in common with the mothers in my neighborhood. Go figure, right? If I had to do it all over again, I would spend time, as you do now, blogging and reaching out to the online community. And I would write about my real feelings. A lot. Wait–I did that! Oh, and I would view my quiet, alone time as sacrosanct. Take care my friend. xo.

    • this is what it is…I need to get out of the house. Even with the baby. We just need to go into civilization.

  6. First, I promise I’m not cheating. I’ve just gotten really lucky with some of our games.

    Second? I recommend How I Met Your Mother as an alternative to Friends.

    I hated washing bottles. I made sure the last time to buy enough for a day or two of feedings & relied on the dishwasher to clean them. Yes, I’m lazy.

    • I so second How I Met Your Mother as an alternative to Friends. I love that show! Even if he hasn’t met the mother yet…

  7. He is beautiful so I can totally understand that need for pictures. I also understand that rut. Instead of showers try hot baths . or listening to music while enjoying a cup of coffee or something. Take baby for a walk, weather permitting.

  8. Sweetie, all I can say is that I am so jealous of you right now. I would KILL to go back in time to when my 19 y/o was 2 and my 17 y/o was a newborn.

    I had the cleanest house! And I knocked out tons of counted cross stitch projects, too. And I watched a LOT of movies while I cross stitched. Daytime TV was a lot better, too, back then. Springer wasn’t a circus, and Ricki Lake was awesome, LOL! But I digress…

    Revisit an old hobby, or take up a new one. You’ll be all healed up and able to work out soon enough. Enjoy this “down” time. You’ll miss it when it’s gone. 🙂

    • YES! it’s WONDERFUL to have a little newborn in the house. But I am just not used to being home all day, ya know? I work full time and to suddenly have downtime is…well, lonely.

      I think we just need to find an “adventure” each day. Something to get us out of the house.

      • With the weather starting to get warmer, you could absolutely take the boys out…for a nature walk, or just an introducing a new life TO nature. 🙂 Since you aren’t used to being a SAHM (and I remember those days, and they WERE fun!), maybe see if you can join a Mommy group for new moms, especially since you won’t go back to work until the fall. 🙂 I just know you are going to be great!!!

        PS, I am LOVING all the instagram images of that sweet face! He is GORGEOUS, Katie! I wish you lived closer! I would love to take you to lunch. 🙂

  9. With both of my pregnancies I had grand expectations for my maternity leave…but basically they ended up being exactly like you’re describing.

    I found that the days I got out of the house I was much less “bored.” Even a walk to the park or a trip to Target.

    Also, Draw Something is loads of fun 🙂

    • YES! yesterday and today we got out and it made WORLDS of difference. You hit the nail on the head, I believe!

  10. I say try to enjoy this time. It’s fleeting.

    Soak it up.




    Gaze at your precious gift.

    • I am VERY much enjoying this time. It’s just a major culture shock after being busy working every day. It’s a lot slower, which is good about 85% of the time. but the other 15%? It’s like I am not sure what I am supposed to be doing.

      I think I figured it out that we just need to get out of the house each day. I need civilization and it gives him a change of scenery too 🙂

  11. Soak it up, momma. Because it is over WAY too soon. There is nothing more important than the job you have RIGHT NOW which is feeding and loving that precious gift. The way I am reading this, is that you are bored with Charlie and that there are better things you could do. That makes me sad, because you are almost wishing away time that you will never, ever get back. As you know, motherhood isn’t always fun, exciting, and riveting. But it’s important. And right now, only YOU can do it for him. No one else can.

    • no, I am not bored with Charlie. The time when he and I interact are wonderful…so much different than how it was with Eddie (who was a colicky mess and hard to like)…it’s the couple hours a day when he is sleeping and there is nothing to do but let him sleep.

      I really think it’s more of a culture shock of going from working mom to being home all day every day. We (I) need to get out of the house and into civilization a bit each day.

  12. I know the lacking naps . . . even if I’m truly tired, if I lie down, and it’s quiet, I just can’t nap — I’m convinced that there is something that I need to be doing, somewhere, and that keeps me from getting any rest. Gah.

    As far as what you should be doing . . . it sounds like heading out is what you’re craving . . . use an early nap for a shower, get the kid ready, head out to a park, or a museum, or for breakfast . . . it doesn’t need to be anything special or anything to cost money — just, well, some place where you can make contact with people & smile.

    I devise trips to Starbucks & Target (even if the only thing I buy at Target is a carton of milk) when I’m alone with the kids, just for that reason. Well, and I like to show off how cute my kids are.

    • you are EXACTLY right. You get me, friend.

      I need to blow this Popsicle stand once a day. See that civilization is still out there. And that I can be part of it.

  13. i remember those times fondly, however, we tend to forget how difficult they actually were. hang in there, i hope you find something fun to occupy your time.

  14. I’m gonna go with the whole reading books during your naptime. And don’t read literature. Read some straight up garbage. Like perhaps, “The Sweet Potato Queens Book of Love.” Just anything that doesn’t require you to think too much.

    Or you could just sit and stare at your beautiful baby. Whatevs.

    • I do like to stare at him. But that gets weird after a few hours.

      no, it really does.

      I think we need an adventure each day.

  15. You have the most important job in the world right now, keeping a little human alive and comfortable. It may not be the most exciting, it certainly doesn’t come with many (if any) accolades or performance reviews but it is worth it.

    It seems like you spent so long wishing for exactly what you have and now you’re wishing it would go by quicker. I know everyone is different but saying you’re bored with what you wanted so sounds strange to me.

    Try leaving the house more. In short little spurts. Go places where you can hang out, baby stores with rocking chairs and the drugstore to look at all the weird crap they have. It doesn’t have to be much, it just has to be something.

    • I have to agree with the comment by moosh in indy.
      Saying you are bored because you have a newborn seems strange. Yes there are days when they seem to go on forever, but my gosh you have a baby. Do you know how many people would kill to be in your shoes? I could name a handful of my friends right now.
      You give up a lot when you have a baby. That is part of motherhood. Suck it up and soak in these days. Soon you will be back to work and complaining that you want to be home with your baby.

      • please read my post today.

        I am not sick of my baby.

        also? don’t tell me about the people who would kill to be in my shoes. I have another child. I know that being a mom isn’t always rainbows and unicorns and kittens. I had PPD, PPA, and PTSS. I know a thing or two about it being “hard” to be a mom.

        Telling me to “suck it up”? Is rude.

        • Katie, We are all entitled to not love every aspect of our lives. I’m sorry you got some comments on this post that aren’t kind. If we aren’t allowed to vent, what is the point of blogging? Blowing off steam online is way better than the way I handled myself today with my own kids. I am now upstairs, hiding in my room, on a gorgeous Saturday, after having yelled and screamed like a banshee. I am not proud. But it doesn’t mean that I don’t love my life.

    • I don’t think I am sick of my baby.

      I am sick of being stuck at home away from the world. It would be the same if there was a baby or not.

      I went from working all day, every day to being secluded in my house for 2+ weeks. It’s starting to drain on me.

      I think what Charlie and I need is a daily adventure.

      And for the record? I am in love with my time with Charlie. My experience with Eddie was so different…and dare I say BAD…that this is just so very beautiful.

      I just also need to talk to adults.

  16. R is five months and I still feel this way at times. But each month that goes by it gets better…and easier. (IMO)
    One thing that has helped me immensely this time around is getting dressed and doing make up every single day. I feel better about myself. … And when I look cute I’m motivated to get out of the house so people see me and I don’t waste that make up I just applied 🙂
    Anyone stuck inside everyday all day will get into a rut…
    Also? Gosh darn it Charlie is cute!

    • Yes, yes, yes, Grace!!!! You nailed it!

      And when you go OUT of the house and get to walking with that cute baby, then you are going to start dropping some of the baby pounds and feeling better all the way across the board. (Says the Mary Kay Lady, LOL…) I ALWAYS feel better when I get my face on, even if I’m not going anywhere but the store or the mail box, LOL…

  17. Law Momma says

    I so remember that feeling… Missing the world…. Missing being a part if something other that spit up. It’s not that you’re bored with the baby… You just want to be able to be YOU again. You know, you with a new baby.

    Does that make sense?

    Anyhow I get this. I remember this. Staying home with a baby when you’re used to being out and about feels…. Dare I say it? No… Better not. But you know I feel you. 🙂

    • This is it EXACTLY.

      I wonder if it’s a working mom thing? Not the need to get out, but the culture shock part.

      You are used to being SO in the world and then you are completely removed. And in my case due to the C-section, isolated because I can’t drive or anything for 2 weeks.

      It’s rough.

      I think we just need to go out in the world more. That would probably help.

  18. I remember those days…of feeling like I could be dead for 3 days before anyone found me.

    Sorry for the visual, but that’s what I felt.

    I know what it’s like. People forget how hard it is is in the beginning…people romanticize things and they leave out the work involved.

    Looking back, yes now we see precious times. But when you’re in them..I know I didn’t. I felt swallowed up and at the same time invisible during those times.

    Take care, mama..getting out takes a HUGE leap in how I used to feel.

    • yes. these first few moments are hard.

      it’s hard to know where baby stops and I begin.

  19. Is Eddie still going to childcare? Keep at him home with you and I promise the day will fly by! I bet he would love the extra time with you and also enjoy getting more comfortable having Charlie around.

    My days blur by (mostly in a good way, sometimes in an overwhelming way) but I know that “right now” is a time and place in my life, and my kids need me present in their life more than they ever will again.

    No doubt about it, parenting the baby/toddler/preschool crowd is hard. So hard.

    I pray often. I pray for contentment, wisdom, and peace that passes all understanding. Know that today temporary. Which is both sad and awesome, all at the same time.

    • I actually love the quiet time with Charlie since it wasn’t like this with Eddie.

      I think what I found out is that Charlie and I just need to go out into the world. Today we did a field trip with Eddie’s daycare. It was just what we needed.

      I don’t want the days to go by faster. Goodness, no. I need to keep my littles little. I just need to figure out a way to combat the culture shock of being a full time working mom to being at home so much. I need to find my way out into the world again.

  20. I believe you may have just described my near future (4 1/2 weeks, thereabouts) but I will have the toddler around so there might be a slight variation – keep baby alive and keep toddler from stomping on baby or similar. Or keep baby alive and keep toddler entertained. Or keep baby alive, toddler entertained and myself sane.

    I’m hoping to be able to write in my spare time. Or play Draw Something. Or watch some terrible reality TV (Hoarders ALWAYS make me feel better). Or nap. Or find yummy food I will have no energy or time to cook on Pinterest. Or take a lot of pictures of the baby, alone and with the toddler (if toddler doesn’t, well, stomp on the baby).

    I hope you get out of the rut soon, Katie. Happy Easter!!

    • I think it’s about getting out of the house.

      After thinking it over and over and over these last 24 hours, I realized that I went from working 60+ hours a week and being in the world every day, to completed alone and isolated with a baby for 3 weeks.

      I need to find a balance between being part of the world and getting the quiet snuggle time I love with Charlie.

      And YAY to less than five weeks until BABY!!!!

  21. You complained when you only had one kid and now your complaining about taking care of two. The other day you were tweeting about how you could possibly take care of both kids yourself while your husband was at work. And then complaining about how you couldn’t put your oldest to bed?? Maybe if YOU had done it more often and not put it off on your husband then the kid would actually want you. And if your staying at home anyway, why not keep him with you? You’ll be less bored. Oh wait, I forgot you cant possibly deal with them both.

    And saying that your oldest was hard to like??????? I hope so much that this poor kid doesn’t read all this crap one day.

    Geez, you’re a mess.

    • so you’re perfect? congratulations. you win the internet.

    • While reading your comment, I couldn’t help but think that maybe if you concentrated your energies on more positive endeavors, you would know that the form of “your” that you used repeatedly is incorrect. Please, if YOU’RE (see what I did there?) going to spread such negativity and unkindness, at least spellcheck.

      What’s more is that if you were a mother (a good one, with any sort of compassion and understanding) you would know that every child is hard to like sometimes and sometimes a baby or toddler will only go to bed for one parent.

      What do you have to gain by trying to push someone else down? Have you had a bad week? This is the kind of bullying that leaves deep hurts and causes stress and makes people question who they are. Why do you think that that is okay to do? I guess I’ll just leave you with this one bit of motherly advice: If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

      • Thank you, Laura. That was something that I totally wanted to say. I wanted to start with the incorrect use of the word “YOUR” and then I wanted to ask why it was so important to attempt to knock Katie down and go on the attack. And to do it anonymously is even worse, in my opinion.

        I think that there are ways to question and to disagree with what she is experiencing or saying here without attacking. No need for it at all.

        And Kate, as for you, my friend, you already know where I stand. I hope you find the things that get you through and I wish you loads of methods of grown up communication. 😉 And I’m on Draw Something and WWF and Scramble WF, too. [Double wink!]

    • Wow. I never understand mean comments. At all. If you disagree with something or don’t like it, just leave. Why would you keep coming back?

    • Everyone else has been very reflective and polite in their censure of you, Katie-with-a-capital-K. I want to put this in words I know you will understand.
      You suck. You suck at everything, from basic empathy to basic communication. Spend less time reading blogs which annoy you to the point of broadcasting your abominable interpersonal skills. Do something to broaden your horrifically narrow mind.

  22. I’m truly not trying to be judgmental, and of course posting that first will probably means that I am being (for which I apologize), but if you have a list of things to do, why aren’t you doing them in your down time.

    I have a four month old and would love to have a semi-regimented schedule. She sleeps whenever, eats every two hours, if not more.

    Maybe it’s coming from a place of envy because I’m lucky if I can manage to get a load of laundry washed and folded within the same day.

    Have you tried moms clubs or any local meetups to be with other women? That’s helped me a lot.

    • so far a lot of why things haven’t gotten done are because of my surgery and to get to the things I want to do (even the quiet ones), requires strenuous lifting and moving stuff. which I can’t do. which drives me nuts.

      and really, I don’t have a TON of down time. I am just used to being at work, so if I am given more than an hour in a day, I don’t really know how to sit and relax and heal.

      And yes, now that I can drive, we went out yesterday and today just to do some small things, and it helps a lot. I really think I just need some interaction with the rest of the world, ya know?

      • Ah, makes sense. Just know that it’s for a season. And when you look back it’ll be gone in a flash. My 8 year old is really helpful and he’s involved in playing with his sister so I can sneak in a shower. My husband works long hours so it’s just us a lot.

        I couldn’t wait to get out into the world – church, park, playdates, whatever. Thankfully, there’s a local hangout spot that I go to regularly and I don’t need to “meet” someone there. There’s always someone nice to talk to. Good luck with trying to live in the moment as someone else mentioned. It’s really the best thing to do if you can.

        And although I’ve been accused of it, once you learn certain high scoring words, it’s hard not to use them when playing, like “QI”. And I play WWF, SWF, HWF and recently Family Feud.

  23. Kate,
    I am so sorry that some people feel like they can judge you and have no idea how much you LOVE your kids! Unless you know this beautiful lady and what she has gone through (and I’m not talking about what she puts out on this blog or others) then I suggest you keep your rude comments to yourselves. Didn’t your mothers teach you if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.
    Remember Kate that your friends LOVE you and support you through this time!

    • I love you, Tammi. So much. Thank you for reminding me that I have all of you right here with me.

      Also? Come visit the baby! Even your MOM has met him!

  24. I totally get how it is wayyyy easier to try dealing with just a new born and not a toddler too. I had my second in May and both me and my husband taught so toddler kept going to daycare and it was just me and the little one. I recommend going to Target as often as possible and also sleeping and watching crap tv. It doesn’t happen nearly enough with two at home 😉

  25. Screw the critics..this is YOUR blog… say what you want… I totally get how you feel and Im a stay at home mom of a 6 year old… there are days when I want to pull my hair out.. if I had a baby home? I’d be f-ing crazy.
    Get a sitter, and get out of the house.. go see some adults… get away from your kid.. you will both be better for it.. I’m a way better mom when my daughter and I have some apart time.
    Or, jut go out and go on adventures… go for a drive with the babe..I don’t know… but good luck… and seriously.. I SO get it…
    Love to you 🙂

  26. Wow, judgmental much, ladies? So frustrating to read this thread and see people tearing apart your grammar, misinterpreting your post, and jumping to conclusions.
    Hey, I totally get what you are going through. We all get stuck in ruts and have parenting moments and days where things just down right suck. I also found sitting down with a book during those quiet afternoons beneficial, or picking up the phone and chatting with family/friends. But, what really did it was getting outside and going for a walk. Everyone LOVES babies, and yours is pretty cute, which totally attracts interaction/chatting 😉
    Hang in there – you’re doing a wonderful job!

  27. Your blog is honest and refreshing. I wish I could vent it out like you do. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone when I get overwhelmed or bored with life. Babies are awesome, miraculous even, but even the best mom is only human. It is a tough job. You keep going, and don’t listen to the negative comments.

  28. Oh, I totally get it. And it’s not “wrong” that you’re feeling like it’s a rut. And it’s not that you’re not a good mom, or doing all the right things. You work in a job where you interact with people all the time. There is a lot of discussion, creative and critical thinking, and just adult interaction in your every day life. And when you go from that to enjoying and interacting with your little ones, it’s hard. So- DO IT! Go out, even if just to grab a Starbucks. Pop in at the teacher’s lounge and visit for a bit. Head to the library to find a new book. Just getting out and about, even if it’s not to interact with friends much, will help you to feel less… I’m going to use the word trapped, even though it’s a bit of an overstatement. Maybe restricted is a better word.

    You’re a multi-tasker, used to having a ton of energy, and plenty of stuff to use it up on. In these first few weeks after baby, it’s physically hard to use that energy up, but it doesn’t mean your mind isn’t still buzzing with stuff. I’m glad you did the field trip today – I did the exact same thing when my second was born, and it was great. Keep finding little opportunities to head out and enjoy being both a new mom again AND an active, engaged adult!

  29. I feel this way a lot, even now. The sense of being busy but completely intellectually disengaged. It’s hard. And getting out does help a lot. But it’s still hard, so I’m sending you hugs.

  30. all i gotta say is some people r damn judgmental. and its usually the ones who try making themselves out to be the ones who have it all together/perfect. big hugs katie u deserve them

  31. I totally get you! I am a stay at home mom and have been. My kids are 15 and 12. I love it, but there are times I hate it as well. It’s a rut. You will get over it. Everyone goes through it, even if they refuse to admit it!
    As for finding your 1st child hard to like- I understand that too. I always say that it’s God’s grace my son is here. Most people wouldn’t want a second child after caring for my first. She cried all the time. She had reflux, her flap in her throat wasn’t developed all the way and she projectile vomited. Everything. I physically couldn’t breast feed and the poor girl was allergic to every formula on the market. Except one. And that one made me want to vomit when I fed her. She was on medications and was always in pain. She slept in her swing or her infant cars eat. She cried if you held her. She cried if she wasn’t being held. It was a first time mother’s nightmare. But, we survived 🙂 My son was a piece of cake. I was able to breast feed him. He never cried. And he slept through the night from the first night he was born. Easy-peasy!
    So, I guess what I’m trying to say is- you are not alone. And to heck with the people who judge you. They really don’t matter in the long run!

  32. So, I agree with Grace. Getting dressed and putting on makeup helped me too. But I get it, I do. (And I think those who are too rude should just be quiet.) My problem was that I had a whole huge list of things to do but just didn’t have the drive to do them. And then I felt worthless or overwhelmed because I wasn’t getting anything accomplished — other than keeping the girls alive. Which, by the way, I think we should give ourselves more credit for, yes? But I get it. I needed that other adult contact too, even though I LOVE my babies more than anything. So, I hope you feel better soon. It did help me to meet other moms who were home with their kids…

  33. Kate! I’ve got one word for you: starbucks. Yes, everyday. You know you want to.

  34. I have actually just read through the comments made and was shocked by the nastiness of the few! What cows! I do not do Mummy groups or that kind of thing but do try to get out everyday…does wonders for the head space! People are especially kind to mummy’s and new babies…I have found here in Australia…lots of attention, smiles and general kindness. Walk in the park and sit near others with babies? Conversation always follows. Stand tall, lady! 🙂