Friday, June 17, 2011
Let's pretend you have a nearly-5-month-old baby. Let's also pretend that you have a full-time job that sometimes takes you out of town, a dog, a house, a husband who is gone 55-ish hours a week, and tons of personal commitments. Now let's pretend that your infant has regressed to acting like a newborn in the evenings and at night (you know, the only time you get to see her) more often than not for about 3 1/2 weeks--crying more, screaming sometimes, turning breastfeeding into a nightmare, waking up not once but sometimes 2 and 3 times a night. You love this baby (and husband and house and dog and most of the personal commitments). You miss the baby while she's gone, while you're working. But the screaming baby? The baby who is suddenly high-maintenance? The sleep deprivation of the parent of a newborn? You don't love that so much. You at times want to run away. You probably need to run away. You need free time that doesn't involve your job. Your idea of free time isn't even something terribly exciting. It's more like running errands by yourself. Perhaps talking to a friend on the phone. Marking something off the To Do list. Maybe even washing the new pots and pans you bought 3 weeks ago that are still sitting in their unopened box in the dining room. So if you're pretending all that, how do you leave for that free time? How do you justify spending even less time with your kid?