One year ago I was 20 weeks pregnant, had just learned the sex of our baby, and decided on a name. I was busy in a whole different way with Master’s classes and working as the school librarian. I still had time to read, think coherent thoughts, and hold intelligible conversations. Today, I sound more like a cave woman – Baby hungry. Mommy tired. Food good. I picked up a non-baby, actual fictional book the other day and was shell-shocked by the intelligent writing, wit, and expansive vocabulary of the characters, and it’s (I admit sort of sheepishly) YA fiction. I can recite books like Goodnight Moon and Moo Baa La La La word for word. Last year, every room in my house was clean. Now, only the areas that come into contact with my daughter get attention. A year ago, I would have freaked seeing dirty dishes sitting out. Last week, I came home to my half-eaten breakfast and Ellis’s oatmeal mess left on the kitchen table from rushing to get out the door, and it just made me smile.
I have the most adorable tiny overlord who rules over me day and night, and I am known to lose my sh*t when she doesn’t sleep. I started a prescription of Zoloft at the beginning of December, but it only made me gain weight, eat more, and break out (er, or that could have been the fault of the holidays). Either way, I didn’t feel it was making much of an improvement with my overall mentality, so I’ve been weaning myself off of it. Instead of blaming PPD, I’ve decided to embrace my new role as a stay at home mom.
I really fought my new lifestyle for a long time, but slowly the old Bethany faded away, and the new one began to settle in. I’m still me, but I have a baby who is my only priority right now. Most people (and my self from a year ago) will read that and think, “Oh, but you shouldn’t revolve your life entirely around your baby. Get a hobby!” I have hobbies, and hopefully I’ll get back to them eventually, but once I succumbed to the fact that life is all about my daughter right now, I’ve been a much happier and less resentful lady. I think anyone deciding to be a stay at home mom should prepare herself for that choice. Working outside the home means that the baby is someone else’s number one priority for 8 hours of the day, but if you’re at home, baby is your priority 24 hours of every day. Sure, I have help from my husband, and we use a sitter on occasion, but my little breaks still revolve around what’s best for baby, as in, for the health of our relationship, we need time apart.
I’m embracing my new, unglamorous life, and I just am so thankful that my daughter is freaking adorable because it makes it so much easier. So, bring on the laundry and the home-cooked meals, not taking care of my personal hygiene until baby’s down for her first nap, endless conversations revolving around poop, Goodnight Moon for the eleventy-millionth time, and a wardrobe made up entirely of V-necks for easy boob access. This is my life now. There will be plenty of time in the future to return to some of my other passions, including teaching, fitness, and … - blanking on things I used to enjoy doing - , I welcome and cherish this fleeting time with my love bug, and Gasp!, can’t wait to do it again a time or two more!