Here we are on week three of maternity leave, enjoying the SAHMness with a newborn. Yes, we did debate how long/frequently I’d keep Miles home with us, and we decided that a fairly normal school routine works best. Some may have their opinions about that, which is totally fine. What works for you doesn’t work for every parent. Miles stayed home a few days early on, and will stay home with me periodically during my leave. Truthfully, he benefits much more from his regular school days, and when he has stayed home at length, he begins questioning when he’ll see his friends. Toddler energy is tremendous, and it’s way easier to burn it off with his friends than with mom with a newborn strapped to her. Plus, we pay tuition for a reason.
Maternity leave with Miles was different. I was a new mom; so new, in fact, that I’d never in my life changed a diaper until Miles was born (okay, I’d changed my grandmother’s, but that doesn’t prepare you for a newborn AND a circumcision). While I had big plans for that leave, the reality was that survival was at the top of my to-do list. And sometimes a shower, where I just prayed that shampoo + gravity = clean legs and feet.
But this time, I’m a professional. I drink twice as much coffee, shower every day, and even cook real food. I have learned that once you’ve parented a toddler, you can do anything.
Maternity leave with just your newborn is awesome, because I can do things like:
- Eat cookies in open view of Grant, without having to share.
- Leave cleaning supplies unattended without fear of someone spraying the cat with my Seventh Gen disinfectant.
- Unload the dishwasher without someone trying to grab all the objects with pointy ends before I can remove the silverware basket.
- Poop ALONE.
- Paint my toenails without having to also paint Grover’s.
- Eat a lunch consisting of coffee and Bagel Bites.
- Complete household projects like finding all the Tupperware lids (please, I am not making time for Pinterest).
- Binge watch any show I want during toddler waking hours, regardless of nudity, language, violence or zombies. What’s Bob building today? I have no idea, because we’re in the middle of watching all eight seasons of Entourage.
Of course I miss Miles during the day, so we pick him up early most days just to get some extra time together. On the weekends, Miles and I leave Grant with dad and we hit the road for toddler-level shenanigans. But believe me when I say that I just don’t know if I can do a full day alone with a two week old and a two year old yet (cookies and parades to the moms who do it, though). Give me a few more weeks, and a few more solo outings with both kids in tow, and I think I’ll be at parent level Semi-pro Mom of Two, in which I can simultaneously feed Grant and PLAYTRAINSPLAYTRAINSPLAYTRAINS with Miles.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to find out more about this Don Draper guy…