Although it has not been so bad, I still hit a wall Thursday. I'm not quite sure what happened, but my overall theory is this: you can only spend so much time with someone, whether they are your own flesh and blood or not. Jon thinks this is amplified by the fact that I still co-sleep with Amelia. I think that's complete crap, as somehow I sleep better at this point with her by my side than when she's upstairs. Either way, by Thursday afternoon, I was texting Jon frantically, begging him to watch Amelia for a bit so I could escape.
Jon replied with a 'What in the hell's your problem, calm down, I'll watch her, you don't have to beg!' response. Which is true-- as Amelia gets older, she does better and better with her daddy and he has no problems watching her. I actually think I have some guilt about asking him to care for her. You are saying "WTF is your problem, Amanda? He's her daddy, there's no reason he can't care for her in the evenings." I think of it this way, though: Jon heads off to work everyday while I'm at home, and he still has several property maintenance things that he has to do on our two acres in the evenings. So, when he comes home and I practically throw the baby at him, I feel like I'm shoving one more thing onto his plate. As a result, I rush back home quickly when it's 'mommy time' and probably don't ask for that time as much as I should.
A second issue is, I always realize that many things that I do during mommy time, I could do when I have the baby in tow, so I often back out of time that I could be spending in solitude. Pondering going to a local coffee shop always makes me wonder, what will I do there that's so different from what I do at home? I can both read and browse the internet while watching Amelia, even if I do feel a tad guilty (you see the running theme here-- mommy guilt) about plopping her in front of the TV so I can partake in some kind of activity that doesn't involve diaper changing or episodes of Sesame Street.
I pushed all those thoughts aside when Jon arrived home that evening, dumped many baby belongings out of my bag, packed up my laptop and books, and left the house, radio blaring. That right there was worth the time out of the house. I've had to change very few of my listening habits since most of the music I like is not vulgar in nature, but I do miss the outrageous volume I indulged in at times while driving my car. Parking my car behind Panera and not having to double check my bag for diapers, wipes, toys, cheerios, and sippy cup, nor having to either carry a car seat which is ever increasing in weight or lugging out the huge stroller was freeing too. Not to mention, it is absolutely delightful to get on facebook without having to bounce a baby on my knee or respond to some kind of insistent fussing.
It would seem that God was trying to show me that more frequent mommy time is a good thing, because starting at that time, a string of unrelated positives started happening. Or, maybe I just noticed the good things because I wasn't frazzled any longer. I found a twenty dollar bill in the bottom of my bag. I got a positive e-mail about a job opening that I REALLY want. We had a terrific afternoon yesterday getting ice cream and going shopping. I got an interview for aforementioned job. We had an awesome time as a family at a high school football last night, and I got to catch up with one of my friends at the game.
It's with this in mind that I'm starting to pencil in mommy time. MOPS group, coffee at Panera, movie with a friend, whatever. My new goal is to start doing this for myself at least once a week. Pushing aside my time because I want to be a good wife and mother was clearly working against me. Giving myself the time to hit the virtual 'refresh' button is not only a gift to myself, but a gift to my family. I came home that Thursday evening with not just coffee breath, but a smile on my face, hugs to give, and patience to pass around. Definitely a lesson learned while on the path of parenthood.