I’m Out of Wine

Look.  Not every title is going to be as brilliant as the last one.  For that I’m sorry.  Kind of.  Ok not really.  I’m kind of caught in a loop as to what I want to write.  I want to talk about my breastfeeding experience and a bunch of other things that have come and gone but I also don’t want to make every post about those beginning times because honestly I’ll run out of things to write about in like 3 weeks.  Then you will all stop coming here and I’ll get lonely.

I oscillated between a few options for today but events that happened while I was at work made me settle on discussing how different things are for me since this baby has come along.  This is in no way meant to be a “pity me, my life is so hard” kind of post.  I actually feel quite the opposite of that.  I’m really just compiling a set of observations about how different things can be once you are responsible for a little human life.  Those of you with kids already know this shit.  Those of you without might be interested, or not.    I CAN’T ALWAYS BE INTERESTING!  Ok I’m done lets move on.

I think the biggest thing that has shifted is that weekends don’t really feel like weekends anymore.  It’s such a little thing but my weekends were always defined by sleeping in just a little extra.  That extra hour each day was like a signal to my brain that I could relax and enjoy something besides work.  That is gone.  Babies do not understand sleeping in.  The consistency of their wakeup times sometimes just baffles me honestly.  Nathan will always be up somewhere between 5:30 and 6:30am.  Always.  There have been no exceptions since he was just a few weeks old and that was mostly because he just slept all the time and it was hard to tell when morning was to him.  It’s hard to feel like the weekend is here when your ass is out of bed at 5:30am.  It’s almost abusive.  The rest of the days on the weekends are mostly filled with leisure and we can all stay in our pajamas so I guess that is a plus.

The other really big difference I’ve noticed is in the way I view my job.  I’ve gotten really attached to Nathan over the last 9 months. I honestly look forward to getting done with work so I can go pick him up.  I start getting antsy like 30 minutes before I get to leave.  The thing is I love my job.  It’s amazing and I’m really lucky to have it.  I still feel that way but now it’s so easy for me to funnel that stuff to the back burner.  I never used to be that way.  I was always ok with staying at work a little late to finish something or traveling for a meeting or taking a call at night.  Now, I’m done when I’m done.  I would rather take work home than stay late and I do anything I can to make sure I don’t have to leave town.  I like my job but I love my son.  This is a really huge shift for me and it just feels weird.

Lastly, the rest of my life has kind of rearranged itself.  Instead of going out for drinks after work with a friend I look forward to putting the baby to bed and reading.  Video games are one of the last things on my mind.  I don’t have the energy for all the exercise I was getting (though I’m getting enough to stay healthy at least).  I feel very on the outside of all my old hobbies and activities.  I can’t seem to get any of those pieces of myself back.  Has my life has changed enough that they don’t fit anymore?  Or instead is it that I don’t know how to make the time for myself anymore?  This is a question I feel like the therapy could really help me with because it’s really not particularly healthy for me to not have any time to myself or hobbies of my own.

All of these differences sort of seem little when they are pulled apart from one another.  A few years of waking up early on weekends isn’t a big deal right?  So you play fewer games now.  Eh no one likes their job.  The thing is when you combine all of this into one package it’s almost like my previous identify was erased and I’m this new person now.  It’s a weird feeling sometimes.  This isn’t to say I don’t love my son or my life just that they feel so detached from what I was before him that I almost don’t remember that time anymore.  Do any of you parents out there feel this way too?  If your kids are older how did you mesh together what your life is about now vs. what it was about before?  How did you get some of the pieces of you back?

I suppose that’s all the rambling thoughts I have for the day.Clearly I need to get more wine because writing without wine is never in my best interests (or your best for that matter).  Monday I’m going to start making the leap into some of my experiences with breastfeeding.  With that comes the fun discussion of going back to work.  Yeah you guys might want to start drinking before those posts too.

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About Elaine

Mom, engineer, writer, gamer, gym rat. Ain't nobody got time for excuses.
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5 Responses to I’m Out of Wine

  1. Lisa says:

    I started my family young. Very young. So, I really didn’t know myself all that well when I had my first kid. I kind of transitioned from kid to mom. It was weird, but probably not as weird as what you’ve gone through.

    I remember in great detail my feelings when I found out I was pregnant with my 4th. It was late spring and my youngest son would be entering kindergarten in a few short months. I was a stay at home mom at the time and I had this huge feeling of relief that I would have some time for myself, finally. That positive pregnancy test absolutely horrified me.

    Obviously, it all worked out ok and that baby turned out to be a girl (omg, what do I do with a girl??), which I so needed to balance out all the fucking testosterone in my house. She’s 7 now and I’m not a stay at home mom anymore and I’ve managed to figure out who I am outside of being a mom here in the last few years (not without a little trauma and drama). It’s nice and I’m learning how to balance it all slowly, but surely.

    You’ll get there. But probably not without a little drama. 😉

  2. barbex says:

    That realization was the hardest for me. Our old life is gone and won’t come back and we have to find a new definition of ourselves. It will take some time but don’t worry too much about it you will come to a point were everything feels right again.

  3. Justin says:

    My wife and I have found that carving out time for “old Justin,” “old Jenny,” and “old Justin and Jenny” is pretty important. For me, that means throwing in a video game on the weekend while the kids nap at the expense of doing some dishes, folding baby clothes, or any of a hundred other things that need doing. For my wife it means letting me watch the kids while she goes to spend time with her horses. And for both of us it means letting something sit until tomorrow while we watch a rerun on Star Trek and talk for a while.

    In regards to game though, I can guarantee that I won’t be beating anywhere near as many as I once did. And that’s probably a good thing – I don’t need to be spending all that money on myself anymore. That old copy of Infamous that I never finished will be just as fun as whatever new game is out and going for $60.

  4. Elaine says:

    This stuff is super helpful. Barbex, how long did it take you to get there? I feel like 9 months of still feeling in a haze where I don’t know who I am anymore is a little too much. This is part of the reason I sought out some help from the therapist.

    Justin, how does your wife do it? I can’t convince myself to leave the house even when I know my husband is perfectly capable of being with the baby. I feel like if I go out what am I going to do all by my lonesome. Don and I do manage some time together though. We watch episodes of Mad Men when the baby crashes at night. This is something we do for us even though it’s essentially sacrificed sleep right now because sweet jesus is the baby teething up a storm.

  5. Justin says:

    I’m not entirely sure what my wife’s thought process is, but I think it helps that her primary hobby (horseback riding) is an outside-of-the-house one. That way she doesn’t have to figure out what to do, just when to do it. It took her a while to be confident leaving me alone with them (which I get, she’s there all day – I’m just the swing shift assistant after all). Our 4 also spent their first 1.5-2 months in the NICU so we came into the whole parenting deal a little bit acclimated to leaving the kids in another person’s care. It was super hard to leave them at night when they were in the hospital (and then to go in shifts as they trickled home one at a time), but it’s easier for me to go to work since that acclimated me and easier for my wife to take off once a month to ride or go to the store for the same reason.

    She also has taken up most of the shopping – not because she doesn’t trust me (she shouldn’t though – I buy more cookies than she does) but because she just need 30-45 minutes out of the house away from the fussiness.

    We also got fairly lucky, I think, in that out kids are _mostly_ well-behaved now. Three out of four can self-pacify pretty reliably, and when I’m alone with them we have enough activities that if anybody gets bored I can just play baby-seat-musical-chairs since we have a saucer, a swing, a gym, and a tummy time mat all in the living room. And if that doesn’t work Gripe Water and a bouncy seat (or crib if they just won’t calm down) are a great last resort for us.

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