1. Full-time, at-home mommydom is a study in complete and total physical exhaustion.
When I was pregnant, everyone told me "sleep now, because you won't be sleeping much when the baby is born," and "get rid of your cats because don't you know they are going to kill your child while she sleeps???!!!??." But nobody, and I mean nobody, told me how physically draining it is to be responsible for hauling your one-year-old out of the fireplace, out from behind the couch, and down off the fifth stair of your staircase 45,000 times a day.
Clearly, I should have been working out since about my 15th birthday to prepare my body for the aches and pains associated with parenting an almost-walking toddler. Because.I.Was.So.Completely.Unprepared.
2. Being a mom is not a good choice for the Type A.
I am tightly wound and completely unashamed to admit this. I like order. I like lists. I like to cross things off lists in a timely fashion. I become slightly-to-moderately unhinged when I have too much to do and not enough time to do it. (See this post for my case and point.) Since becoming a mom and opting to work from home with a full-time job, a part-time freelance job, and starting up a new business with friends all while taking care of Isabella, my very ordered universe has disintegrated. There is much chaos and flying by the seat of one's pants going on in my world right now, and I do not like it.
Of course, much of this situation is of my own doing, but my hope is that this is all about to change, because Melissa runs her life by a kick-ass schedule that I'm making my personal goal in the next month or so to try and replicate. I adhere to a quasi-schedule in my head. But I need to get it down on paper.
3. "Downtime" has taken on an entirely new meaning.
In the pre-Isabella days, I would come home from work, throw on my pajamas, and completely zone out in front of the tv (but I was always watching the National Geographic channel or C-SPAN, and never, ever those mindless and ridiculous reality tv shows all the kids are watching nowadays) before starting (read: microwaving) dinner. The hubs and I would eat dinner, and then commence an evening of...more of the same.
Since becoming a mom, "downtime" happens when Isabella is napping or asleep for the night. My relaxation comes in the form of doing dishes or laundry, scraping dried food out of our hardwood floorboards, and picking up sundry toys, and concludes with a long and luxurious night spent working from my laptop. And yes, these are actually the less-taxing and most relaxing parts of my day.
4. My in-office job was a cake-walk compared to staying at home with a baby all day.
When I worked from my office, my day went a little something like this:
Get up. Get ready. Caffeinate self. Drive to Dunkin Donuts. Buy coffee. Consume coffee (rapidly). Enter office. Turn on computer. Write blog post. Make miscellaneous personal phone calls. Write daily task-list. Take copious coffee breaks. Go for walks with co-workers around the office park. Repeatedly ignore daily task-list. Walk around and visit coworkers. Eat lunch. Go to the bathroom and examine teeth for leftover lunch bits. Check blog. Consume more coffee. Check blog again. Go home.
And of course, for at least three 10-minute increments in my nine-hour day, I was working.
That life of Riley came to a halt almost 13 months ago. Now, my day goes a little something like this:
Get up. Get Isabella up. Start coffee. Prop open eyelids with toothpicks while she bounces off the walls, her toybox, the furniture, and the cats until breakfast. Attempt to feed breakfast. Clean highchair, floors, nearby furniture, self, and baby following mealtime meltdown. Attempt to put sleep-hating baby down for a morning nap. Run on treadmill. Shower. Get baby up from "nap." Flee from confining walls of house in search of adult conversation in playroom of library. Pry Isabella off ceiling of playroom. Drive home. Attempt to feed lunch. Repeat aforementioned post-mealtime cleaning ritual. Dance with glee because it's afternoon naptime! Run to laptop to work while baby sleeps. Get baby up from nap 10 minutes later. Strap thrashing baby into stroller for a walk she has no intention of enjoying. Prepare and "feed" dinner. Repeat breakfast and lunch cleaning ritual. Strip down baby, plunk her in tub, and attempt to wash her while preventing injestion of more than 6 fluid ounces of dirty bathwater. Wrestle baby into pajamas. Kisses! Hugs! Story! Nighty-Night! Collapse in sheer and utter exhaustion.
Goal for year two: Put English degrees to good use and clone self.