I’ve entered a different space-time continuum. I constantly need to be reminded what day it is and every other day I shake my head like an 80-year-old woman, exclaiming “Where does the time go?”
I’ve also discovered that I don’t much care for the term ‘stay-at-home mom.’ While technically I guess it’s true, ‘stay-at-home’ has these alternate connotations of leisure and prison and neither of those apply to me. Even though I don’t go to an office every morning, I work just as hard and often I keep hours much longer than I ever did as a receptionist or yoga instructor.
Sure, part of my job description includes lying in bed and nursing my baby, but I’m on call 24 hours a day. I’m also in charge of Mental Development For The Child, which involves very important things like learning to match your diaper to your outfit and which bow gives that perfect finishing touch without going overboard, all while making it look effortless.
And yes, the importance of a schedule in my daughter’s life means my days don’t usually look different from one day to the next. But we’re doing big things – we’re laying the foundation for her future. She’s learning trust and security which will aid her in learning independence down the line. I’m with her every step of the way to encourage exploration and to guide her growth. So while I may not be mourning the end of my maternity leave I have definitely not stopped working.
I wouldn’t dream of getting into the battle of ‘whose work is more important’ because we all know what a minefield that is. There is no use looking over the fence to check on the neighbor's grass because all that matters is where you are and what you’re doing in this present moment. I repeat that to myself anytime I feel like I should be teaching my daughter long division rather than making faces to hear her laugh. It’s what I tell myself when I’m doing the millionth load of laundry and I’m wondering why I bothered to go to college. Sometimes my days are a blur of feeding, changing and cleaning and I don’t know if I’m coming or going. Sometimes I miss the workplace interaction that I no longer get, but I stop, breathe and remind myself that I’m exactly where I need to be.