She: “Must be hard, looking after Nibbles all on your own with Big Byte out of town”.
Me: “It’s not that bad, you know? In fact, we’re having a blast!”
She: “But c’mon, you must be getting cranky staying at home with the baby all day?”
Me: “Nope. ‘sides, we don’t really stay in all day. We…anyways. Like I said, I enjoy hanging out with Nibbles”
She: “hmmm. Sure. You know it’s easier in India, where one can get a good maid to help with the baby.”
Me: “You could get help here too. Granted it’s more expensive. And I’m scared of hiring help. What would I need a “good maid” for anyway? I want to stay home and take care of Nibbles”
She: “Ya, ya, but you know, with a maid you don’t need to be so hands on”
Wtf! I do want to be hands on. In fact, if I can help it, I don’t want anybody else’s paws on my baby (alert! protectiveness —> possessiveness). I want to feed him all his meals. I want to wash his goo-stained clothes and dishes. I want to nurse him to sleep. I want to read to him. I want to crawl with him and bang steel utensils like a garage band. I want to bathe him. I want to change every dirty diaper.
The only person I accept and encourage help from is Big Byte. And it’s not help – it’s an opportunity to be hands on, to bond. To be completely and utterly present in the moment. These moments, that have already blitzed by so fast that I want to go back. Go back and do it better, commit myself futher and milk those moments for what they’re worth. Let him play with his spoons drenched in goo after he’s finished his meals, even if it means scrubbing the carpets and walls for the nth time. Let him splash around the bathtub, even if my back is begging for mercy. Let him lie on my lap a little longer, after he’s nursed and sound asleep.
I’ve always felt the need to work. Work outside the home, earn an “honest” buck and return to my rented apartment and takeaway dinners. Perhaps it’s not so surprising that my work personality seems to mirror my mommyness closely:
a) Strong need to be hands on: Call it an inability to understand and appreciate the big picture, but I need to dive into the details, get my hands dirty.
b) Obsessed over inadequecy at job and constantly wondering when they’ll rip off my facade
c) Sucker for validation: will work like a slave if a few positive remarks are tossed my way
d) Impatience: which makes proper execution of a) impossible
There’s one thing about work that hasn’t surfaced on the home-front yet:
e) Easily bored and always looking to move on to the next interesting project
Of course, there’s a difference. Mommyhood is not a job, it’s life. And not just mine. Never before have I lived so completely in the present. Smells like happiness to me. (Oh, and happy 8 months Nibbles!)