Sunny Days in DC

Jack of All Trades, Master of 3-ish.

Growing Pains

on January 5, 2013

Today, at 5PM EST, I marked the last week of my career as a Stay at Home Mom. And it’s bitter-sweet.

It’s so necessary for me. I’m in awe of women who wake up every day, create a structure for themselves and their children, and take joy out of shuttling the wee folk around to swimming classes and music groups. ESPECIALLY when they’re too young to talk.

And yet…

Max isn’t crawling yet. And what are the odds he’ll do it on a weekend when I can catch it? Someone else will see him crawl. Someone else will come to him when he wakes up from naps, and see his sleepy bed head. They’ll see him smile (because that’s the first thing this child does when he wakes up), and they’ll hear him laugh (the second thing). When he walks for the first time, will I be there? Can I schedule that for two sundays from now?

What will change during the days that I’m gone? What will stay the same? I hope I’m here when he wakes up in the morning, and to put him to bed at night… but I can’t be sure. I know I won’t be able to do that every day. I will miss some bedtimes. I will leave before he’s awake, and I’ll come home to a dark nursery.

It’s an indescribable ache. A longing to be here, and a knowledge that what’s best for him is that I’m happy… and I can’t cut it as a stay at home mother.


Sometimes, when I have him in my lap, he reaches an arm around me and likes to tickle my ribs. I sit there, suppressing giggles, trying to quiet him down for a nap… will he remember to tickle me next weekend? I wish I could make him promise that he will, and I’m crying, knowing that even those days are numbered…

15 responses to “Growing Pains

  1. rainey says:

    You are making a tough decision that only another mother could understand. You may miss some of those little milestones, but every moment you do spend with him will be even more precious than before. And I promise, yes he will remember to tickle you next weekend and even the next…and when he outgrows that, it will be some other beautiful and special moment between the two of you…nothing ever replaces mom. Hugs ~Rainey

    • H. Stern says:

      I know. In my heart of hearts, I know that. It just chokes me up to realize that when he wakes up from naps, he’ll look into the eyes of someone else. I wish I could split myself in half and be in both places. But I can’t.

  2. rainey says:

    Okay, tell me; are you a writer, I mean, like, you actually get paid to write? Because I just sat here with my morning cuppa joe and read every one of your posts, and if you are NOT getting paid, you SHOULD be! I mean, write a book or something…damn girl you are GOOD!

    • H. Stern says:

      I could live for a year off of this comment.

      No, I’m not a writer. I wish. I used to win awards for my writing when I was in school, but I grew up with little money. I was always scared that I would end up completely poor, and writing is rarely a very lucrative career.

      However, when I lost my job 11.5 months ago, I found myself struggling to find work. I spun my wheels for months before having my son, and then again after. Then, one day it struck me: I was grinding myself into the ground to find a job I probably wouldn’t love, in a field that I had just sorta fallen into, to…. what? Spend maybe another few years in this role before I had to find something else? Something that wouldn’t fulfill me either? Is that the kind of role model I wanted to be for my son? That your passions don’t matter, and your soul can die, as long as you can afford an iPad?

      So, yes, I found a job. And I don’t look that gift horse in the mouth!!! But I’m taking this time to explore a career in writing. I have something I’m working on, a kids book (I know; you’d never be able to tell from my posts!), which I’m writing for my son. I’m using the blog to practice writing. If the book doesn’t completely suck, HOPEFULLY I’ll be paid for this some day!

      And then I can look back on your comment and say to myself “It was when people like her took the time to say something nice, that I actually felt I could do more…”

      • rainey says:

        I believe in you! I’m not just saying that. From the little I have seen, you have talent. A kids book? Hell yeah! You must have a certain wit to be able to write successfully for kids. So yes, dear friend, go for your dreams. Keep the (new) day job for now, but don’t pour your heart and soul into it…save that for the little diaper wetter and your writing. 🙂
        By the way, I will be sending good thoughts your way tomorrow…

        • H. Stern says:

          Thanks!!! For all of that!

          I’m nervous about tomorrow. I’m going to TRY not to call my house every hour to check in on the wee little Peanut… but no promises.


  3. You definitely have the talent Hannah–I wish you the best.
    For what it’s worth, one of the best things you can do for you or anyone is NOT make promises that you can’t keep. Honesty and integrity mean more than just about anything.

    • H. Stern says:

      It’s easier for me to be honest with others than to be honest with myself.

      When I was in my twenties, I found a picture of myself when I was maybe two years old. I’m standing on a picnic table in our back yard, and I’m laughing and howling at the camera. On my worst days, I remember that little girl, and I think how completely unafraid she was, and I remember that if SHE can be brave, then I should be, too. I’m unspeakably thankful for that photo, and everything it means to me.

  4. rainey says:

    Thought of you today…so how was it? How did Max do?

    • H. Stern says:

      My aunt was with him today. She took him on play dates with little girl, and took him on long walks outside. He napped in his crib (which I’ve never been able to make him do), ate lots of sweet potato, and drank lots of milk.

      *I* sat in my office, listening to people discuss the details of different peoples’ titles, and sadly stroking a photo of him and my husband napping in our bed one sunny morning.

      …I’m completely redundant. I should be so happy that the day was easy on him, and I am, but I’m so sad, too…

      • rainey says:

        Yeah…[heavy sigh] It will be so hard, especially at first. But he is with someone who cares about him, and that is a great thing. Hugs…

        • H. Stern says:

          I know. But you like to think that nobody will ever love them or care for them the way you do.

          …and you have no idea how hard it is for me to NOT put up cameras all over my house and log into a website so I can watch him all day. Because… I’m pretty sure that’s called CRAZY.

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