I hear some moms look at pictures of their kids or something while they pump but this is the reading material I go for. Getting anything that isn't an audiobook finished is a challenge these days. There are just so many things I want to be doing daily. Freddie and I are all the way up to page 25 in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which I think is impressive. But that's 25 pages over 2 months (my baby is 2 months old...and a whopping 9 pounds!). Somehow the "bath, book, breast, bed" routine has been mostly truncated to "breast, bed."
So often, I feel like I'm just barely scraping by in terms of being active and present with her. So often, I find myself just sitting with her in my lap, zoning out, because by the time my day is done and we're there sitting together at the end of the day, despite the fact that it's the longest amount of time I even get with her, I'm so tired that I can't bring myself to do much with it. Then I beat myself up about it -- 'You only have about two hours of time with her when she's awake per day, and you're wasting it!' I might say to myself reproachfully as I hold her and Internet at the same time (keeping the screen away from her visual range). My mom plays with her a ton during the day and she gets lots of mental stimulation that way -- by the time my day is done, I'm barely there. On Tuesdays I don't get out of work until 9:15PM, and then it's still a 45 minute drive home. I barely see her on Tuesdays at all. Even my normal days are as follows:
5:45-6AM: wake up
6-7AM: feed/pump/shower/get out the door
7-8AM: drive to my mom's house, drop Freddie off
8-9AM: drive to work
5:30-6:15: drive to pick up Freddie (I do this part for 2 weeks while I'm at one library branch, then Patrick does for 2 weeks while I work the farther-away branch, so this at least is ok, although what I wouldn't give to flip-flop the morning shift instead...but doing that makes less sense, alas)
6:15-7:15: pick her up, go home
By the time I get home, I'm dead to the world. I have a generally easy baby, but still.
Someday, we will spend our time together doing things other than zoning out. But these are not those days. At least not during the week.
At least there are weekends. Of course, she zones out a lot then too...but at least I feel like I make up for my lack of weekday presence on Saturdays and Sundays (at least, when I don't work Saturdays, which I do off and on in rotation).
I am trying, sweet little baby. I am trying so hard to be there. It's just hard. The hours slip away.
I'm writing this during a lunch break. It's not the best I could pull together, but the best will have to wait.