Category Archives: Baby tings

Reframing

Back at work and beginning to realized I’m going to need to seriously reframe the way that I look at my home time. Before, I looked at chores not as something that I enjoyed doing, but something that I needed to get done before I could enjoy other things. I couldn’t sit down to read a book unless I’d loaded the dishwasher, moved the laundry, tidied up a bit, things like that.

Last night, I got home from a grad school class that ran extra late around 9:30. I hadn’t pumped since 5pm, so I needed to get that set up. Before seeing myself as “unavailable” and hooked up to a breast pump for 30 minutes, I washed some dishes, started a load of laundry, took out the trash. Mostly because they needed to get done (the laundry was baby girl’s cloth diapers and she was out of clean diaper shells), but also because if I didn’t, the knowledge that I hadn’t was going to dig away at me while I pumped, like an itch I couldn’t reach. I’ve been that way since forever. I can’t sit and read on the weekends without thinking about what I have to do – I’ll typically get them done and then let myself enjoy free time. (Though, unrelatedly, free time is about to vanish)

It’s not the same with a baby. I mean, of course, no shit, right? But something about sitting on the couch, playing with a baby or rocking her in the rock ‘n’ play… in my weird brain, it feels like wasting time. Like I should be accomplishing those household tasks that are yelling at me from the edges of my brain to get accomplished. Go make some burritos for lunch this week, go clean off the counter, go take out the trash, etc… Don’t be present. Don’t make your baby walk on your stomach, don’t sing to her, go do your work.

That’s not OK for me. That not how I want to be with her, that she’s an afterthought, that I get to enjoy once chores are done. And yes, you can plop the baby in the carrier and do some work, but only if the work can be done with T-Rex arms and doesn’t involve reaching across yourself or bending over.┬áThese days are precious and fast, even when they feel tedious and slow. This is even more important now that I’m back at work (ugh). I need to make keep myself present and engaged and remind myself that the things I “need” to do… I just want to get them out of the way, but doing so is prioritizing them over the baby.

And, you know, there’s plenty of time to do the dishes when the baby’s asleep.

Yep

Monster is not impressed.

Monster is not impressed.

I’ve shared this picture on pretty much every social media site I’m on, but I love it so hard. Monster by Cutesy but Not Cutesy, picked up at this year’s Crafty Bastards.

Crafty Bastards always holds a special place in my heart – I sold at the very first one in 2003 with some friends as a way to make money. I was brand new to DC, making $800 a month as an intern at Arena Stage, living with my aunt and crazily, crazily obsessed with knitting. I was (and still am) a gregarious introvert… which means that I talk a lot, but I have no idea how to interact with people offline, so I found a few friends from LiveJournal (remember livejournal?!) who were local and had similar obsessions. They were paying for a booth to sell yarn and some hats and I figured I’d knit some fun fur scarves and make some cash. That was the beginning of a very, very brief craft fair career, which thankfully died a quiet death.

Anyway, this is all completely irrelevant except to say that I still go to Crafty Bastards annually, except when I’m lazy and/or out of state. Someone gifted us the fancy pants baby swing from the registry, so I figured I’d send the giver a picture and I’d pull out the new Monster we got for the baby to chew on once she’s big enough.

I left Monster in the swing and started generally tidying… then I had to pull it out of the dog’s mouth 5 minutes later. Baby is going to have to learn pretty quick that if she doesn’t want the dog to have it, she can’t throw it on the ground.