Friday is my last day of work at the office. Next Thursday, our road trip out to Iowa begins. And I will be a Stay At Home Mom, at least for a while.
I never really imagined myself as a SAHM. I worked all through college; I taught elementary school while I worked toward my graduate degree. I feel like I have been preparing for a professional career my whole life and now, at 26, I will be staying home with my little guy. Giuseppe and I made this decision when he decided to attend the licensing program in Iowa. We looked into the available salaries and cost of childcare and found that it would be best for our family if I stayed home with Paolo and looked for part-time, work-from-home opportunities as opposed to a full-time office job. I will have to be creative with the work-from-home part. I have been looking into online teaching programs, translation opportunities, tutoring, and things of the sort.
While it is hard to imagine my self as a SAHM, in some ways it seems too good to be true. I can raise Paolo without having to hire a nanny or drop him off at daycare, something that makes me quite happy. I know that this will come with its own set of challenges – like keeping my sanity, retaining my ability to carry adult conversations, and, of course, managing a significantly tighter budget – but it is a new chapter in our lives, and I will embrace it. It is, after all, a new adventure for us.
Today I contributed to Butterfly: For Moms Who Want to Spread Their Wings. Check it out here!
Four months old. Exactly four months ago I was huffing and puffing in a Hoag Hospital bed. It is unbelievable that our little man has been with us for four months already. It is a giant cliche’, but the time has gone by so incredibly quickly. Paolo is growing so fast.
He’s huge! Already passing the 18-pound mark! This week we were visiting with some friends who also have a new baby. Their baby girl is six weeks old, and a FRACTION of the size of our Buddha Baby. She looked so tiny, maybe weighing a little more than eight pounds. But this baby girl is gorgeous. In fact, Paolino could not stop staring at her; we pronounced her his first fidanzata.
So today Paolo Main Dell’Anna is four months old. I snapped a photo of him sleeping soundly this morning.
The past few days he has started a new schedule of waking up to eat between 5-6am and then going back to sleep. If I am lucky, he wakes up again before I roll out of the house at 7:45. He did this morning, and so we took a birthday picture:
He is the most adorable thing in the morning. He wakes up every single day with a giant smile on his face. And he is such a schnuggler, too. We usually have him bundled up in his footsie pajamas with a Halo Sleep Sack on top. I love love love these sleep sacks. They are amazing. I still do not let him sleep with any baby blankets because I am terrorized by the thought of him kicking them up over his face. When he is in bed with us, I cover him up to the waist with our comforter, as there is no way for him to kick that around. So the sleep sack keeps him nice and cozy all night long. It is really a fab baby invention.
Four months old!
So this morning I arrived to work thinking that I have on very cute and coordinated outfit. I have on a red, brown, and white dress over a brown slip, brown knee boots, and little white cardigan with pearls to top it off. Cute, right? Well, in theory, yes. Until I got to work and realized that I do not have on brown tights, but black ones. Yes, BLACK ones. Nice.
I guess this is what I get for breaking baby rules. Giuseppe and I have broken the major modern sleeping rule of putting baby to sleep alone in his crib and instead have a “family bed.” We usually put Paolo down to sleep in his cradle, which we have situated at the foot of our bed. BUT when he wakes up to nurse, we bring him in the bed with us, where he sleeps and nurses soundly until the next morning. Granting all of us a better night’s rest.
How does this relate to my mismatched stockings? Well, since the baby sleeps in our room, I do not turn on the lights when I get dressed because waking a sleeping bebe is one rule that I do not break. So I stumble around in the dark trying to find a matching outfit. Which, unfortunately, does not always work out.
Is it worth it? Absolutely.
Especially since I have gone back to work, the night time nursing seems to be something that Paolino is demanding even more. Since he was about 6 weeks old, he would wake up once during the night and then sometimes once very early in the morning to nurse. Sometimes he would even sleep straight through the night. When I went back to work, though, I noticed that he was waking up two to three times every night to nurse. And the days that I am home with him, with the ever-ready supply of baby food, he goes back to one nightly nursing session. I think he is trying to catch up on his nursing time during the week nights. (He’ll take the bottle, but definitely prefers to nurse with me. Which I am happy to do, but the timing is not ideal for my beauty rest.) The days I have work, I am usually awake a lot longer at night as opposed to the days when I can stay home. So I arrive to work a little sleepy. Wearing unmatching outfits.
But I have a snuggly, happy bebe and that makes everything worth it. Even breaking the rules.