DiST uburbia

Suddenly, my child is 8 months old.  Suddenly, I come home from work and she’s standing at the coffee table on her own knocking everything off the flat surface to the floor and laughing hysterically.  Suddenly, she is eating 3 huge meals a day, plus bottles and still needs snacks.  Suddenly, she crawls away only to come immediately back for a hug.  Suddenly, I’m a mom to a baby, not an infant.

Where has the time gone?  I feel like it’s been a whirlwind of maternity leave, going back to work, dieting then not dieting, caring for the baby, feeding baby, making baby food, fighting depression setbacks, visiting family, hiding from family, smelling her neck, co-sleeping, trying not to co-sleep, and trying to find balance that always eludes me.

Did I mention we even moved in the meantime?  We moved to the burbs.  How cliché, I know.  It was a fast move sparked by a shady landlord, a drunk guy smashing beer bottles in our building, and rising costs of living in the city.

I miss that stupid dirty tiny apartment more than I care to admit.  It was where we brought her home, where she was conceived, where my pregnant self cavorted for 10+ months, the shelter we found upon moving back to the city we loved all those years ago when we escaped our hometown.

The night we moved out we met our new (now old) downstairs neighbor. They are artists from Italy and so very sweet.  They helped us move the huge furniture and refused payment.  Our bottom floor neighbor gave us her address so she could come to our kid’s first birthday.  On the flipside, we’ve been in the burbs for over 2 months and no one has said shit to us other than nearly kill us with their SUV.  I feel so outside and alien here.  Not to mention poor white trash.

I know I hate it here internally for selfish reasons.  For kid reasons?  Oh god it can’t be beat.  A spectacular library with all sorts of kids programs, great books and music and DVDs for us, you name it.  Everything we can walk too, safely at night.  We’re taking her to see Santa soon, who will be riding up in a fire truck in the middle of town.  We’re signing her up for swimming classes, little gym, we take her swimming weekly as a family for free…the schools?  Oh dear sweet god I almost can’t wait for her to start school they are that good, and public.

For her, I love it.  I adore it.  For us, I’m bored out of my fucking skull.

The fact that I haven’t even felt creative enough to hang any artwork or decorate, take pictures, something I used to devote whole weekends too, has not escaped me.  I’m adrift in this white walled, way too quiet apartment lately just trying to find my footing.

Sure, my new life lately is 100% taking care of the little lady, so I wouldn’t have time to wipe my ass if it weren’t for the 8 hours I spend at work.

It’s amazing how all of those moms used to smile and nod at me, they knew.  Those bitches.  They knew the second my daughter was pulled from me I would never be the same.  Not in ways I expected though. I thought I’d worry about protecting her or worry about providing for her sure.  I knew I would find happiness in new ways, but I never thought I would need to mourn the old ways a little too.  I would happily put off my personal interests for storytime at the Library.  My new hobbies are bathtimes, stories and snuggles.

And I am so insanely happy and fortunate.  I don’t lose sight of that.  Oh dear god am I so in love with that little girl.  I get surprised at how these new details of our life excite me.  I find myself telling coworkers no to invites for cocktails after work so I can delight in giving her a bath every night.  I hurried and got groceries yesterday so I wouldn’t miss putting on her PJs.  I long for weekends so I can sit in our house and just play on the floor with her.  I smile when I feel her climbing up my legs for me to pick her up.  Hell, this morning I found myself on Google looking up joining a MOM Group that I could take her too on the weekends.  Dear sweet baby Jesus, what has happened to me?

Yet I admit, there are times I feel restless.  So are these the sacrifices we make for our kids then?  Willingly, we give up our dinner parties, our high heels, our shopping, naps, showers, sex…all those vain materialistic things from our 20’s for a new life of Yo Gabba Gabba and finger paints and suburbs full of stuck up white people.  We do it whole-heartedly, but is it okay to daydream about those vain hobbies for a bit while emptying the Diaper Champ without feeling like you are being a bad mom?

Just to secure my place as a huge entitled asshole, I’ll throw this out there: Is being a mom enough?  How come I keep looking back at that stupid apartment and that big overpriced city and wanting both lives still?  Why don’t I just settle into this role and shut the hell up?

She will leave one day.  I don’t want to find myself 20 years from now not knowing my husband or what in the hell to do with myself now that she’s backpacking in Europe.  I refuse to be a shell, not knowing who I am after she’s gone.  I refuse to get lost completely in raising my children, but at the same time I don’t want to take them for granted either.  I want her to know I’m a person, a whole person that loves her no matter what but still makes time to stay me.

Dear Life: I’m patiently awaiting my guidebook for all this.  Please Mr. Postman, note my forwarding address.


Next week’s subject: Nap?  Nap, hell.  You clean when they sleep.


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