Let me be clear, I love being able to spend so much time with my daughter. It is a joy to be able to watch her development, which is happening so fast. However, it’s a difficult transition to make from being a commuting professional to a full time mother; They are both difficult in different ways, but it’s the former that I have been used to for the last decade.
When Sam went back to work after his two weeks of paternity leave, everyone told me to make sure I had help around. But I was never worried about looking after H on my own. Rather I was a little bit jealous of Sam getting to go back to a bit of ‘old normal’; An environment where he could get a hot drink when he wanted, eat lunch with two hands, have a scheduled (albeit busy) day. Of course, on the flip side he gets only a couple of hours with H every weekday evening so there seems to be no happy medium!
The other night, whilst sitting alone feeding H in the middle of the night, I read a blog post about feeling lonely when caring for a young child. It resonated with me because whilst I have people I met with regularly, it’s for lunch, or for a cuppa, or for a walk. Conversation is also often baby-centric. The office I work in is busy and full to the brim with people so I’m used to having people around me all day. There are times now in every day, when my only company is crying or sleeping, that I miss being in that environment and taking about adult things.
What I do instead is talk to H about anything and everything. Now she’s getting older, I occasionally get squeals back. Sometimes I also try singing to her as it seems to calm her down (she doesn’t have a sense of tone yet!). For ease I tend to sing along to the radio, but one afternoon when singing along to Kisstory, it brought to mind a scene from Friends where Ross and Rachel sing ‘inappropriate’ songs to their daughter. Hopefully I have a few more months before I need to be too nervous about H picking up any of the words though..!