The worst thing about being a stay-at-home parent is definitely the isolation. It gets really tough when the most meaningful conversation you have during the day is trying to explain the concept of a bank to a 2 year old. Today is one of those days.
When I first quit my job, that year was really tough. I hadn't really met other moms or my neighbors, so it was largely just Kate and I staring at each other all day. As I started getting some activities scheduled and as Kate got older, things got much better. I'd reached the point where I was pretty "independent" again. Kate didn't nap and was a trooper about running errands, so we could pretty much go where I wanted when I wanted. During the school year, we had activities scheduled 4 days a week (the 5th was grocery shopping). We were busy and it was fun. Now I feel I am starting over.
Knowing Elizabeth was coming in June, I purposefully didn't sign up for summer activities. I figured I would be as physically out-of-it as I was after Kate's birth and it would be more than I could handle. Wrong. I also thought, since it was summer, we could be outside all day long together and it would be idyllic. Wrong again.
Kate is bouncing off the walls the last couple months, not having more stimulation. She's watching more TV than I could ever admit to the internet. We can't be outside that much, because it's too hot for Elizabeth (and I find the heat much tougher to bear with all this extra weight). Elizabeth is a lousy on-the-go sleeper. For her to have a decent nap, she needs to be at home in her crib. Suddenly, I am house-bound again and it is killing me. I am tired from the night wakings and I find myself crabbing at Kate in a way that makes me so sad. I am a shrew of a mom these days.
I spend way too much time on the computer - I think trying to feel connected to something. (Thank God for the computer - I can't even imagine what it was like for my mom - home with 4 little kids with no car, computer, PBS Kids or Nick Jr.) There just isn't anyone to talk to. Everyone I know is either working or busy with their own kids. And I should be busier with mine than I am, but I just can't seem to get engaged without that activity in the morning to get my butt in gear.
I think this post could he written by a lot of stay at home parents, but this self-pity party was inspired by something specific. I had arranged for my niece Maddie to come over and get Kate outside today so I could clean and do laundry. I called my sister this morning and she had totally forgotten and made other plans (my sister's completely insane self-absorbed schedule is a whole 'nother post). I don't know who was more disappointed - me or Kate. I feel just terrible that she is cooped up in the house with me all day. I am so mad at my sister - and I know it's probably not fair - but I had canceled having my other niece Dana come over because Jen had been pushing me to ask Maddie, and then bailed on me. I just felt like that was going to be a bright spot in the week and it fell through because my own sister completely forgot that she had made a commitment to me. Nice.
So I'm scraping through the day. I was going to work out when Maddie was here, but instead I am on the sofa eating Dove chocolate (the 50 lbs. I have to lose are also a whole 'nother post). It's gloomy and muggy outside, and I really can't call my mother yet again, so it's coming out here. I know I'm just being a whiner. I know full well how many parents would love to be able to stay home with their kids. I totally get how lucky I am that this is something we can do.
But right now the thought of back to back meetings and more emails than I could possibly read sounds pretty appealing.