Friday, August 14, 2009

Adventures in Parenthood

Week one was kind of a bust. Monday was fine, but then Jason and I got sick. And then the dishwasher went on the fritz. And by Friday, Hadley had figured out that I wasn't around as much as I had been for, well, her entire life, and she was not too happy about it.

And I sort of freaked out. Quietly. In my car. On my way to work on Friday morning.

Before, if the dishwasher had broken, I would have thought, "Well, that stinks. We'll have to get it repaired, and in the meantime, we'll have to hand-wash the dishes." But last week, I thought, "AH! The dishwasher is BROKEN! WAAAHHH! When will we have time to do the dishes? And will they get REALLY clean? When was the last time I disinfected the sink? WAAAHH!"

Then I started thinking about that family with 18 children (and their own TV show). I read that they have a commercial-grade dishwasher that washes the dishes in a minute. For a few seconds, I coveted their dishwasher. Then I started taking great comfort in the fact that they are raising 18 children, and Jason and I only have to raise one right now. Truly. I was giving myself a pep talk: "Hilary, you feel miserable. Jason is sick. Hadley is upset. Your dishwasher isn't working. But just focus on raising one happy little person. You don't have to do the dishes now. You don't have to raise 18 children right now (or ever, given the fact that your clock long ago ticked past that possibility). In fact, all you have to do right now is drive to work."

And I felt better. 

Then I laughed at myself because, really, what does another family's 18 children have to do with us and our runny noses and broken dishwasher and new-parent-back-to-work exhaustion?

It's sort of like when things get tough in your life, and well-meaning people say something like, "Well, at least you've got all your arms and legs." And you think, "Well, yes, I am grateful for my arms and legs, but that's a bit of a non sequitur, since I'm really bummed out that [insert disappointing event that has nothing to do with your limbs.]" That's how I felt.

Mumsie came to our rescue with a delicious batch of homemade chicken noodle soup on Friday night, and again on Saturday with fresh produce from the farmers' market. Hadley had a happy weekend with her mommy and daddy (she loves cruising the neighborhood in her Baby Bjorn). Jason and I started feeling better. We even went out to breakfast on Sunday morning.

Week two of my return to work was much better, for the most part. Hadley definitely still wants her mommy and daddy around, but she had a good day with Mumsie and Granddaddy on Monday. She and I ran an errand on Tuesday and strolled around a cute little shopping area not far from here, and she nearly stopped traffic with her cuteness. (I'm not biased. It's TRUE.) She and her daddy had a good day together on Wednesday, and yesterday, Hadley and I had a great lunch date with our friends Jill (mommy) and Harper (baby, 9 days younger than Hadley). 

But today, I took Hadley to my mom and dad's house before I went to work. Really bad idea. First, she fell asleep in the car and stayed asleep when I moved her into my parents' house, so she woke up after I left. My mom said she was happy for about 10 minutes, and then realized that I wasn't there, and got very upset. Let's just say Hadley had a rough morning. 

I was back by 12:30, and she took a long nap after nursing for a good, long while. The rest of her day was very good. She was her regular, cheery self.

So we live and learn. And I've learned that some days will be rough, and some days will be great, and that's just how it goes.

Truth is, I wouldn't trade any of these crazy days for even one minute of our pre-Hadley life. That life was very good, but this one is knock-us-out amazing, broken dishwasher and all.


  1. I love reading your blog. Not only because you are an amazing writer, but because what you say, is what every mother feels and experiences. I'm sorry to hear about Hadley's rough day, Jason being sick, and the dishwasher. :) You are doing a beautiful job as a mommy :) :)

    PS I'm loving the crazy hair in the last picture :) Love you all!

  2. I hate to say I have not looked at the blog for a while, shame on Grandma!! But I love what you wrote and I am glad that you and Jason are feeling better! Hadley will settle into the routine and then that may make you sad too :-( But she will always miss her mommy and daddy.
    I hope the dishwasher is working better now! What a bummer for that going bad.