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Location: Northern California

Monday, August 22, 2005


Sixteen hours of my life as a mom

Tomorrow is the first day of a new chapter in my life as a mommy. Tomorrow is the day that a nanny will start taking care of Emily and Thomas on Tuesdays and Thursdays from nine to five. I will have sixteen hours a week to call my own. I can't wait.

I will be one of those moms. Those moms are the ones who don't work yet who still need the help of a nanny. Those moms are the ones I used to scorn as being slightly inept because they're seemingly unable to handle the job of motherhood. Those moms are the ones who are not like me.

There's a new me in town. I'm giving in. I'm becoming one of those moms. Without apology.

I have to admit that I've told only certain mom friends of mine that I've hired a nanny and purposely forgotten to tell others. I have no problem being the new me around the moms I used to call those moms. After hearing my news, they tell me what I want to hear: that I'm smart, that I won't regret the decision, that the nanny will shower my kids with the attention I don't have time to give them, and that I'll be a much better parent after taking time to recharge my batteries. Basically, the same things they tell themselves.

I also don't have a problem telling the moms I know who work full-time or part-time from home. They all have nannies, too. When they hear I'm getting one they assume it's because I'm going to start working from home. Some have gone so far as to suggest possible careers for me. They want my situation to be like theirs.

The ones I sometimes tell and sometimes don't are my friends who have kids but who have no nanny. When I do tell these moms of my plan I invariably hear, "But what will you do all day?"

And the answer is I don't know; I don't have an official plan. The nanny situation isn't in response to a job offer or a desire to go back to school. It's nothing more than an idea proposed by my husband and followed up on by me. What will I do all day? Not sure yet, but I might catch up some badly needed sleep. I haven't slept a full eight hours since last December when Thomas entered this world. Heck, I haven't slept a full six or even a full four hours since then. I could use some sleep. My ordinarily crappy memory has been embarrassingly crappy lately. I used to blame the pot; now I blame Thomas.

After I wake up from my nap, I'll probably go to the gym and enjoy a full sixty or ninety minute workout. I find it funny that the girl who almost didn't graduate high school because she was flunking PE is now the woman who would pay any amount of money to feel the burn. Either I've matured or my thighs can no longer be denied. I need exercise now for both physical gratification and mental stimulation.

Maybe after I nap and work out, I'll go shopping. Some friends suggest I'll do nothing but shop all day and I admit the idea is tempting. After years of grocery shopping with a baby, then a toddler, then a toddler and a pregnant belly, and now with a toddler and a baby, grocery shopping with nobody to please, talk to, or tempt with bribes of food, toys, or tit seems almost decadent. Hell, it is decadent.

But chances are I won't spend much time sleeping, working out, or shopping. Because what I really want to spend my time doing is writing. And for some reason, it's easier for me to let others assume I'll be getting twice weekly pedicures rather than explain to them that I intend to become a writer with the goal of becoming an author. Maybe that's because once you announce that kind of intention to the world, the world expects you to produce something for them to ooh and aah over. Try telling people you're pregnant and not have them bug you nine months later about having that darn baby already.

If you're interested in following my new career, check back often. I'll be doing more writing in this blog and this November I'm going to take part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). After that, I do not know. I'm keeping my sights set purposely low. After all, sixteen hours a week may seem like a lifetime of alone time to me now, but as those moms tell me, it will go by faster than I think.