At least there’s a larger purpose. As much as the monotony of staying at home can get to me, I can see the point of doing what I’m doing. It doesn’t make it easier on a day-to-day basis, but in the big picture, putting my family over and above anything else makes sense to me.
Being a stay-at-home parent is a grind, especially in the early going. Right now, my daughter can’t sit up on her own1, hold a toy effectively enough to guide it to her mouth with any sort of consistency, or really, do anything at all. You can put her down for a little bit in one her various Baby Entertainment Devices, but she quickly bores of those and demands your attention.
And I give her plenty of attention. Reading, playing, talking to her, you name it, I do it. But there’s only so much time I can spend entertaining a baby before I start to go a little bugnuts.
I have a hope, naive though it may sound, that as TD gets older and is able to do things like sit up and grab blocks and toys that I’ll be able to have more than five minutes to take care of the things around the house that need taking care of. Though I do have a touch of sympathy for my four-and-a-half-month old daughter. There’s not much she can do, after all, and everything that other people are doing around her must seem fascinating2.
There are fun times. TD is a morning person. She has a ridiculous giant baby smile for us when we take her out of her crib every morning. She is a chatty little baby, squealing and squawking, imitating people around her to the best of her ability3. And she giggles and shrieks with delight when you give her kisses on her cheeks. But those moments make up maybe 20 minutes of a given day, and the rest is just a slog.
Part of it is TD’s nap schedule. I try to keep her to a relatively rigid routine, which has been pretty successful of late4. The problem is her naps come at prime errand-running time, and I focus on getting her to nap in her crib rather than in the car. This structure for her comes at a cost for the rest of the household: Tiny Dictator rules with an iron fist.
I know it’s temporary. I know she will start playing with toys and other children down the line. I know I’m contributing to our family in a significant way. I know it my doing this has a higher purpose than any of the meaningless bullshit I was doing at the job I left nearly a year ago.
But holy shit, is it monotonous.
- Even propped up using couch cushions isn’t very effective. TD inevitably arches her back and slides down or falls over–SPLUT!– like a wino passing out.
- Even the act of bringing a coffee cup up to my mouth seems to fill TD with a sense of awe.
- She still kind of sucks at this, but she tries. She tries.
- Wake up at 6:30am, first nap at 8:30am, second nap at 12:00pm, bedtime at 6:30pm.