A Little Lonely

To say we had a full house last week is a bit of an understatement, though we managed not to get in each other's way too much. (It helped that the weather was gorgeous - 50 degrees and sunny - so we could take lots of walks outside.) But then everyone left on Saturday morning, and while the peace and quiet was welcome, I still had a small feeling of emptiness that I always get after a holiday with visitors. Actually, I got over that pretty quickly when we cleaned up the house and reclaimed the computer room and realized we could go from point A to point B without tripping over someone's suitcase/pillow/coffee mug/laptop.

Now it's cold and wet outside, and it's just Me and The Boy at home all day. I'm trying to figure out how to write about how I feel without getting all whiny (or "whingy," as the Brits say). My recital's done. My prelims are almost done; I have oral exams to go, but because finding a 2-hour block of time that 5 busy professors are all available is nigh impossible, orals won't be happening until finals week in mid-December. I have a lecture recital to think about, but I need a few uninterrupted hours in the library before I can really get started. As hard as it is juggling the "mom" thing and the "graduate student" thing, at least the latter gives me some direction in life and distraction from housework, which I find frankly unstimulating. But like I said, I don't have much going on school-wise at the moment.

It doesn't help that Daniel's naptime consists solely of two or three 30-minute catnaps per day. He should probably be sleeping two or three times that long, but there's nothing to be done about it. People, I've tried. I even talked to his doctor, who very sympathetically told me her son was the same way, and basically said to be patient, eventually he'll take longer naps. I've given up on the fantasy that I'll get an hour or two of naptime, at least for a while. Yesterday I spent the entirety of Daniel's morning nap on hold with the health clinic trying to re-schedule a doctor's appointment. Oh well. At least he goes to bed early.

The worst thing about this full-time mom gig is that I am starting to really miss my friends. The first few months after Daniel was born, I had plenty of visitors. Family came to town to visit and help out, and there were lots of people who wanted to drop by and see the baby. When he was just a blob in the car seat, it was easy to meet friends for lunch or coffee. Daniel took easily to the bottle, so as long as I had enough milk pumped, I occasionally went out in the evenings as well. Around the beginning of summer time, the newness wore off, and people didn't drop by as much, but that was all right, because I could spend time outside. I would plop him down in the shade and work in the garden or hang up laundry, or we'd walk around the neighborhood with him in the sling.

And now? I haven't been out past 7p.m. since I went to a book-signing at the end of September. Daniel's been refusing to take a bottle for several months, and while this is generally fine with me (I loathe pumping with the firey passion of a thousand suns), it means I have to be around at bedtime. It's just as well, since I'm toast by 9:00 and no one calls me anyway, with the single exception of my friend Rob, whom I haven't actually seen in ages, but at least he's good about checking in every couple weeks. Before Daniel was born, I had plenty of friends, mostly on campus, with whom I'd go out for lunch or coffee or music concerts or, occasionally, beers at happy hour (pre-pregnancy, of course!) I'm not particularly outgoing, but I am a fairly social person, so this has been a major adjustment for me. I suppose this is largely because I don't know many other moms around here. Once a grad student has a kid, she might as well drop off the face of the planet, so there goes my social network.

Oh, dear. I think I crossed that line. This post was not meant to turn into a Pity Party for Suze, because I'm genuinely content about most things. While Daniel's nap habits are frustrating, he's a delightful, playful child and I'm grateful that I have the opportunity to stay at home with him rather than sticking him in daycare full-time. (Note: I'm not judging anyone who uses daycare; it's just not right for us at this time.)

Before y'all jump in and once again tell me how I need to find Mother's Day Out (like where? some random church? "Hey, I don't attend here or jive with your mission or anything but could you PLEASE take my kid off my hands for a couple hours so I can have some peace?") or a playgroup ("Hey, I don't know any of you guys, but I would like nothing better than to discuss breastfeeding and baby poop for the next 90 minutes!") or begin some complex sleep-training method that won't work, let me stop you right there. All I needed right now was to unload a little, and I've done that, and now I better attend to the wailing child who woke up twenty minutes after going to sleep.


Animal said…
Okay Suze, no pity. I'm just glad that you're out there writing about this stuff. It's good for me to read. Thanks!
Anonymous said…
Hello Suze. I would love to take your baby off your hands for a while, but I live in New Zealand.

This is my first blog, so I don't really know how these things work.

It is Wednesday here, 9.30am in the morning. I am just about to get ready to go to a class to be taught how to use my overlocker. I did know at one time how to use it, but it was so long ago, I have forgotten.

It is summer here now, although it is rather cold, about 19 I think.

I live in a beautiful place where I overlook the ocean, islands, a park, marina and the city.

I teach English to immigrants and refugees which is quite a challenge. One is a Burmese boy of 14, then a Chinese lady in her 30's and will be tutoring someone else shortly.

I am also studying to get my IT (technician's certificate) which I enjoy. I love anything to do with computers.

I will go now as I have to get ready to go out.

Good luck with the baby. Mine never slept either.
Jenn Hacker said…
I'm not going to tell you what to do, but I am going to "listen" and sympathize, as I have indeed 'been there, done that.' Just repeat the Mamma Mantra - "This too shall pass. This too shall pass!" LOL!

Sending you hugs, girlie!
canadahauntsme said…
Suze, one of the reasons I called today instead of emailing you for that bread recipe is because of this blog entry. Truth be told I've been feeling a bit abandoned lately and figured you wouldn't mind talking to your little brother for a few minutes... pretending to play our cheeks (both sets!) for your son and being otherwise silly and useless.

And the internet can be so very impersonal, don't you agree?
Suze said…
yes, joe, i agree. but since the little monster REFUSED to nap today at all (except for 20 minutes in my lap during knitting group when i would rather have been knitting) i couldn't get laundry folded, much less talk on the phone.

Tooz said…
Hi. For once I can really and truly sympathize, since I have been taking care of Cora Sophia since Sunday. She is currently home from daycare with bronchiolitis and an ear infection. She won't nap very long, either, unless she goes to sleep on my chest. Twice we have both gone to sleep that way. Today she did another one of Daniel's tricks--a poop blowout, up to her waist in both the front and the back. She didn't seem to mind that nearly as much as she does the wet diapers. Being a mama or a granny can really be a drag, but I'm not giving up a minute of this, probably because I know I can leave on Saturday and all the poop and floor walking will once more be on her mama and daddy's hands. I love this baby, and I am treasuring a good many of the moments we are sharing here--the poop diaper? That's another story.

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