Today is my first day at home with Sam with Stu back at work, and I’ve been thinking about my maternity leave, wondering what my life will look like when I return to work next year. Sam has been home for a month tomorrow and though we have had my parents here for a couple of those weeks, we have adjusted to having this little man in our world quite well.
But today I become the primary care-giver and that is a task I know will require all of my effort, all of my emotions and all of my determination.
Parenting is pretty crazy; you have sex, 9 months pass and then all of a sudden they hand you this little dependent human being, who relies solely on you to thrive and survive. Yes, there are classes you can attend that are meant to help you learn how to do that, but for the most part you’re sort of set adrift into an enormous ocean full of tumultuous storms, beautiful serene moments and everything in between. It requires 100% all of the time, physically and emotionally and it’s just too important to not do right.
As an introvert I wondered how I would go having a little person with me 24/7. I need quiet and alone time to recharge myself at the end of the day and that doesn’t happen quite so easily with a baby and no one home during the day to help. Sam experiences quite painful wind and can be very colicky and require quite a bit of soothing at times. Other times he’s happy to chill by himself on the play mat and whenever he sleeps I try to. But it’s still full on. And it’s up to me. The Primary care-giver.
Thank God I have a secondary care-giver though in my husband. I think about single parents trying to do this alone and with no family support and I admire them immensely. Bringing a child into a marriage comes with its own challenges though. The need for good communication completely doubles in its importance. Tiredness, stress and the general demands of trying to be a parent increase the tension or sharpness in your tone. It’s also important to remember that each of you is learning, and a simple question may feel like an accusation even when it’s not. It’s a steep learning curve that can make or break a marriage. But I am so thankful for the amazing man I married, he is incredible with Sam and is working hard to give us the best future possible.
So my first day of solo dishes, laundry and primary care-giving is here and while it may be daunting, I feel like I’m ready for this. That we as a family are ready for this. I am loving being Sam’s mum, loving the moments of quiet in amongst the tears (most of which will probably be mine!) and being blessed enough to have maternity leave to be able to soak in the first year of Sam’s life; to watch him grow and develop into the little person he is meant to be. And having nowhere else I’d rather be.