Co-parenting is hard. I often feel like we are on a tennis court (or what I imagine it’d be like on a tennis court) and Potamus is the ball bouncing back and forth between us. It’s like “thwack, change his diaper,” and then Boof runs to the line and “thwack, now you feed him, it’s your turn,” and back and forth it goes. The game is exhausting. I sit down to write some emails and hand the kid over to Boof, saying “here, take him for a few, I’ve got to reply to my grandma,” and then he’s like, “I’m going to the store, can you watch him now?” Bounce. Bounce. Bounce. Potamus and Monk-Monk. Bounce. Bounce. Bounce. Potamus and Boof.
I can’t imagine how much harder it would be if we were divorced or separated, especially if we hated each others’ guts. And while I’m happy to not have to parent alone, as a single-kind or as a single-in-a-marriage-where-moms-raise-the-kids-alone-because-she-was-born-with-a-uterus, the game of tennis is exhausting. Very rarely do I find us having moments where we are playing on the same team, or parenting together, doing things together, except, on the rare occasion, eating at a restaurant. And I wonder, is it always like this?
I can’t help but then begin to feel resentful and start imaging greener grass and history through rose-colored glasses. Like life was sooooo amazing before (not). Sigh. And when I’m in these crabby, sleep-deprived, resentful rants, I can only see the negative, like asking Boof for help making the house look nice for company (asking specifically for him to vacuum and clean off the table) and find him folding laundry and re-arranging the garage. Grr. Or how my mother-in-law didn’t even try to put Potamus down for a nap today, even though I asked her to, so I had to halt my day-0ff errands to take him home and put him to sleep. I have tunnel vision and it’s focused in on the negative. I want to see the good, but I’m so…stuck.
There’s a job posting at work and I feel conflicted in my gut about applying. It’d be a promotion, full-time (35 hours a week) tenure track faculty counseling with a pay raise and the opportunity to teach extra (like over the summer) if I want. It’s literally my dream job. But I’m exhausted. And I’m tired of applying for new jobs every 7-12 months for the past 3 years. It’s like, I want to settle in and get comfortable and start to make some difference. And yet, if I want another baby (yes? maybe?) then this gives me more security and a good pay-raise and still the benefits of what I’m doing now. But the other part of me just wants to stop constantly moving around (even though it’d be right down the hallway) and really get good at something before I move on. The other part of me thinks that that would just make me stuck and resentful down the line. Sigh. Applications aren’t due until the 28th, so I have some time to get over my negative drama…it’s not like they’ve even offered me the job (I could say no).
I had coffee with a lovely friend of a toddler and 6 week old. It was nice to be in an adult environment with someone who gets it…the complexities of marriage and parenting. Bitching about our husbands and then talking them up all in the same hour long span. Whining about lack of sleep and whiny independent kids who won’t mind, and then misting up over how sweet the babes are when they are sleeping, and how quickly it all does go. Those moments feel real. And we talked about how we are up against a tsunami of expectations as a modern-working-mom, with a house to run and a career to mind and children to raise and love. And how we both wanted to just leave our kids with our spouses and rent a Hilton hotel room and sleep. Don’t those fluffy white down comforters sound nice?
I am convinced that I am a good mom of a baby.
I am convinced that I am not a good mom of a toddler.
I hope this changes (the latter, not the former, that was awesome). I hope that I really buckle down and learn to enjoy this new stage of development. Because this was my fear all along. That I would look at this little person and think ‘dear God, when will they be 8 and can hold on a conversation and sleep in peace and go play with the neighbor kids.” I don’t want to be so frustrated with his lack of communication skills (the whining is CRAZY right now) or irritated at his pain (those poor teething gums). Where I have empathy for other families and clients, I sometimes have less-than-enough empathy for my own little guy. And my husband. And dog.
Boof passed the 3rd section of his CPA exam! I bought him a smiley face balloon in hopes for celebration and to make up for my shitty attitude in the past 24 hours. I think we’re going to get some beer to celebrate with friends tonight!