Today I realized that I haven't been doing much writing on the blog recently which is my sign that I am much happier these days. I tend to write more when I'm stressed and depressed. Me not writing means that life is a lot more boring (in a good way) and that I am a lot more sane after two weeks as a stay-at-home mom than I was as a SAHM working at a toxic job during every nap time. Of course, this also means that I need to start finding ways to self-motivate my writing muscles.
My other sign of happiness is that I'm more patient with Hannah. Her diaper changing acrobatics were getting really frustrating there for a while, and then one day I realized that I cannot control her and that if I was going to keep trying, I was only going to make life miserable for both of us. I could spend the rest of motherhood constantly butting my stubborn head up against hers, but a better use of my energy would be spent trying to keep up with her. Of course, there have to be some boundaries and it will be a challenge figuring out which boundaries I want to impose, and which I'm okay with blurring. Sleep is one I impose, but trying to pin her down while I change her diaper the way Steve Irwin (RIP) used to pin down crocodiles is one I'm good with blurring. Of course it helps that I'm not constantly worrying about how I'm going to get my 20 hours of work in for the week. Yesterday she was more squirmy than usual so I gave up trying and brought her downstairs buck naked to nurse her. Of course she peed all over me soon after nursing, but whatever, it dried. (Don't judge, it's just baby pee which is not even really pee in my head--is this a byproduct of motherhood or does everyone agree??) After that I figured we had some time before the next pee and were safe to hang out but Eric had had enough so he grabbed the diaper and clothes I brought down and wriggled her into them.
Surprisingly, I am the laid back one when it comes to Hannah messes. (Where I'm uptight is when it comes to what she eats and when she sleeps.) Take feeding for instance: in the beginning, Eric was very careful not to make a mess when feeding her, but me, I always let her play in her food and get as messy as she can. (He does that now too.) Those of you who know me and my very anal retentive habits may find this shocking; heck, I'm shocked myself. You know what else? We don't use bibs anymore. She gets so messy, that she would need a full body bib to protect her. We pretty much plan on having to change her outfit after each meal and just don't bother. That and she learned how to pull the bibs off and does so within seconds of having one on. We run out of clothes a lot these days and the floor is constantly covered in a variety of food products, most recently, polenta--she's quite the fan of polenta!
On the food-on-the-floor note, have I mentioned how frustrating it is to hear women with grown children tell you that their best advice is to let the house go because all of them wish they'd worried less about a clean house and more about having fun with their kids? I guess this is the Donna Reed generation who felt obliged to do things like iron their husband's "slacks." (Hey, I put together a healthy breakfast and lunch for my hubby to take to work with him because eating healthy is a priority, but he can iron his own dang pants). I'm pretty sure I've vented about this before so I apologize for the repeat vent, but I just need to revisit it. One woman told me that I have the rest of my life to clean house if that's what I want to do but I should enjoy the my little bitty while she's a little bitty. It's great advice really, not just for moms but for everyone trying to suck the life out of life, and I totally agree, AND my house SHOWS my agreement, but the problem with this advice is twofold: 1) I have a crawler on my hands now. She wants to crawl all over my floor that hasn't been cleaned since before Christmas (and needs to be swept after every meal but maybe gets swept twice a week). 2) We have an ant invasion. They mostly stay around the kitchen counters but I see them on the floor sometimes too crawling in and out of the gaping cracks between the heart of pine planks that have run from the front door to the back for over 100 years. These cracks catch everything (including cat puke) and are impossible to clean. This place is ant heaven.
We also had a huge outbreak in the bathroom last week. I finally discovered that they were after the jellybeans inside the plastic Easter egg that was sitting on the counter because Hannah had been playing with it in the bath. (I taped the egg shut to create a fun shaker toy for Hannah not thinking that some creature would be small enough to crawl in there and enjoy the feast.) I pitched the jelly beans and the egg, laid down traps, and got rid of the bathroom ants, but no matter how clean I keep the kitchen counters, there are always a few snooping around for a stray crumb (and keeping the crumbs cleaned up now that we're making a loaf of bread EVERY DAY to keep up with Hannah's bread eating habits is IMPOSSIBLE). Furthermore, Hannah has found the ant traps on two occasions and had them halfway to her mouth before I could run interception. For all of you would-be advice givers, it's important to remember that the problem with hindsight is that it's so often cloaked in butterflies and jelly beans rather than ant attacks.
I should probably stop blogging and go clean, but I don't really feel like it. I would feel a bigger sense of satisfaction if I continued on with my paperwork so paperwork it is!! Ooooo. WRONG. Nap time is over, back to the baby.