I was fairly apprehensive about the prospect of taking care of two kiddos at home alone once hubby returned to work. Could I handle all the work that entailed...especially on less sleep? How would I deal with a preschooler who was used to demanding all my time and attention while attending to the constant dependency and needs of a new baby?
I have to say, however, that things are going better than I expected. This is why I generally follow the life principle, "Expect the worst and that way, you may be pleasantly surprised!" (I wish I were more of an optimist but unfortunately I'm usually not.) Anyway, although Burrito has had some bouts of jealousy and such, overall she is proving to be an excellent and helpful big sister who says multiple times a day, "Ohhhh, he's just the CUTEST baby!" I have come to greatly appreciate the little things she does all day to help out. She hands me things when I'm nursing and can't reach them. She keeps an eye on her little brother while I clean up after a diaper change. She offers to throw away a dirty diaper. She sings to her crying brother. She really is a blessing.
And taking care of Bean is going better than expected as well. He is a ravenous eater so that has taken some getting used to. I was prepared to feed him every two hours--but not every hour or hour and a half! But he's a pretty good sleeper at night and has been since he was born, for the most part. Even though I am not getting as much sleep as I would like, I am getting way more than I expected, so life is good.
Nevertheless, there are times each day when the walls begin to close in, when I wonder if I will ever again have a life outside of nursing and changing diapers 24/7, when I wonder if there is a world outside my little nest, when I begin to feel that even my body does not belong to myself right now. Although I rarely left the house the first few weeks postpartum, I am learning that there is some real value in making mini "Mommy escapes" once Daddy gets home from work. I am so blessed to live in a town where this is possible. I can venture out for an hour or less and refresh my spirit so many ways in our town.
Sometimes it's just a trip to the grocery store or drug store and a reminder that there are other grown-ups in the world. (I remember when Burrito was a little baby, how I would find reasons to visit our tiny grocery store in North Dakota almost daily.) But my favorite little Mommy escape last week was an hour spent visiting the library and tramping down the street in gorgeous 40 degree temps to visit one of my favorite bakeries in town, Great Northern Foods. I got a great big piece of their amazing chocolate torte, a treat for Burrito, and some wonderful multigrain rolls. Books and good food...my spirits were refreshed when I returned home to a son who was ready to eat...again! (Perhaps he is to be a foodie as well?) I'm so grateful to live in a place where I don't have to drive a hour away to shop or do something fun...just another reason I love living in the Flathead Valley.
What about you? What is your favorite Mommy escape?