Back in the day someone missing on an email chain would’ve been cause for heads to roll and objects to be thrown … but because nothing is what I thought it would be like in Momland, this missing email address wound up being my good luck.
Our Mommy & Me class was cancelled today because our teacher got the flu, but thankfully she’s bad on email and forgot to include a new girl in our class on the cancellation blast! While we didn’t have class, she didn’t get the memo and The Handful and I got a surprise play date. Well, to be fair it wasn’t really that much of a surprise because I figured with the last minute cancellation that there was a good chance someone didn’t get the email and would come by and here I am being right as usual.
We love our Mommy & Me classes, so it was definitely a bummer when we heard today’s class was off. Lately we’ve been hosting the group at our house while our teacher has some renovations done, and it’s become something I really look forward to. See, something they don’t or maybe not don’t, more of a can’t … something they can’t adequately describe yet is the isolation and loneliness of new motherhood. Babies require a lot of sleep, 16-20 hours in fact. Some quick math reminds you that there are 24 hours in a day so that’s basically not a lot of awake time. The research we have available to us today also shows us that there are opportune sleeping schedules to facilitate healthy growth and neurological development. What this means is, the primary caretaker (mom) needs to accommodate this need and that can mean sometimes not leaving the house.
Why? Because first of all 50% of your plans will not go down – and that’s because either you or the other mom need to bail. Some of those days aren’t a big deal, you can call your sister or another mom to go do something. Other days you and the kid aren’t in synch, the baby won’t stop crying and you’re essentially trapped with a crying baby all day. You’ll miss a nap or get out of synch and have a baby that is freaking the fuck out right around the 9 am nap. You say ok, I’ll just run up to Starbucks just to get out of the house. After fighting the kid onto the changing table to make sure the diaper is clean, you wrestle the car seat out of the car, strap the baby in and lug it back out to the car. Kid will not stop screaming. You get in the car. You can’t drive like this. You don’t need a latte that badly, is it worth getting into an accident? Ok, you wipe the sweat off your upper lip and nose and take a deep breathe. You open the car door to get the baby out and are blasted in the face with screams. Fuck.Me.
You lug the 30lb contraption back into the house and crunch your neck and right shoulder when you return to standing after gently placing this invaluable heavy-ass object down. Then you ninja turn and lock the door behind you so the neighbors don’t call CPS. You get a pacifier and hold the baby and rock her back down to a nap. It’s now 10:30 AM. You still haven’t left the house since her 5 AM wake, but she’s asleep now. So from 10:30 until she wakes you don’t even flush a toilet and your body tenses up like there’s machine gun fire in the distance when you hear the rip of a lawn mower starting up. Ok so now you can’t leave the house or make a noise, let’s go wash that pile of dishes and bottles and then try to clean up the playroom until she wakes. Do that butt crunchers dvd workout you made your brother buy you in 2011. Then at 12:30 when she’s still sleeping you think she’s dead. Ok, 12:45 she’s up, let’s friggin’ go somewhere, ANYWHERE. Make a bottle, feed her the bottle. Get her dressed. Change her diaper, get her back in the car seat. Let’s just go to a damn park. Halfway to the park the horrible odor hits you as she starts yelping out that there’s poop in her diaper. Awesome, love changing poops on the go. And so on. If you noticed there is zero interaction with other people. So there’s some light parking and sliding and walking and ok she’s a baby soooooo not really much we can do I guess 30 mins of fresh air will have to be it because she’s crying. So let’s put the crying child back in the car and go home. Ugh it’s 3 PM. She’s supposed to be napping but she’s crying. Daddy’s not home until 7. This is brutal. Let’s Facetime a grandmother again.
This isn’t everyday, but sometimes it’s a lot of days in a row when plans get cancelled or schedules change and it can become isolating. These Mommy & Me classes become so important to a new mom’s sanity because it’s adult interaction with adults who have the same limitations as you. Friends with older kids and friends with no kids aren’t nearly as restricted as moms with babies under a year and so it becomes harder to find companions who understand your needs.
Which was why when our Mommy & Me class needed a host, I was MORE than happy to volunteer because one less trip out of the house is one less battle to fight. I get to have adults and babies and a professional person who teaches baby development all come to our house and I don’t have to risk our lives in traffic for this fun? YAAAAASSSS.
And that’s why I was so happy the other mom didn’t get the email today because I got a freebie play date out of it! Plus she was a mom I didn’t know that well yet, so the one on one time was nice outside of class. Also this was a huge win for us because the last minute class cancellation left zero time for back-up-plans which would’ve put me in the desperate park play I mentioned above.
While I don’t think she was thrilled to have been left off the chain, I hope our impromptu play date was the blast of fresh air for her that it was for us, because it saved my sanity today. Plus I vacuumed the shit out of this house and I really wanted someone to see it while it looked good.