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Mind Numbing

I’m loving being a mom. I love it so much that I can’t wait to get pregnant again, and have felt this way since Ethan was…one month old? Something like that. Probably earlier than that since I was telling Dave I would do it again just hours after Ethan was born.

I’ve become some hybrid of a stay-at-home-mom slash work-at-home-mom. When Ethan was four months old, I realized I needed a day or two a week where I could sit down sans baby and work. My mother-in-law was kind enough to help out here and there, but she frequently travels down to San Diego to see her other grandkids and her stepmom, she travels, and she has far flung friends that she occasionally visits. Instead of being frustrated or bitter when she’d let me know she’d be gone for a period of time, I decided to put Ethan in day care twice a week. That way I didn’t have to count on her to watch Ethan so I could get work done, and when she is able to watch him, I’m nothing but grateful for the bonus work time.

On the three days a week that it’s just me and Ethan, we’re busy. We always have something to do during the day, and usually have two to three activities planned. Here’s a rundown of a typical week:

Monday – Playgroup with other (mostly) stay-at-home moms in the morning, frequently have lunch with a friend, home in the afternoon.

Tuesday – Storytime at the library at 10:15, frequently have lunch with a friend, and starting in March we’ll be doing a music class at 1pm. Generally will leave the house at 9am or earlier so I can drive around waiting for Ethan to fall asleep.

Wednesday – Ethan in day care.

Thursday – Mommy & Me class at 11am, though I usually leave the house around 9am to either run errands or drive around waiting for Ethan to fall asleep. Have lunch with some of the women in the Mommy & Me group, get home around 2pm.

Friday – Ethan in day care.

Saturday/Sunday – Family time. Dave usually watches Ethan so I can work.

I don’t have a lot of down time, and the downtime I DO have is packed with lunch appointments/play dates/activities. I realized without consciously thinking about it that entertaining a baby? Is mind numbing. MIND NUMBING. Let’s play with this toy! No? Not this one? How about this one? Want to nurse? Is your diaper wet? Are you tired? Why won’t you go down for a nap? Let’s get all your toys and strew them around the living room floor! And when you’re bored with everything else, here’s some knives for you to play with.

I’m sure entertaining a baby is interesting to someone, but it holds no interest for me. Don’t get me wrong — I absolutely love hanging out with Ethan. He’s my sidekick. We do almost everything together. I take him to committee meetings, I take him to book club meetings, I take him with me pretty much wherever I go. But trying to specifically entertain him with toys for any longer than 5 minutes? No thanks.

I’m sure at some point I’ll write a post about how I hate crafts. More on that when Ethan’s old enough to do crafts. I’ll be saying, Crafts are messy. Let’s go outside and get dirty instead.


24 Responses to “Mind Numbing”

  1. Ti ()

    That first photo blows my mind! Look how big he is now!
    About the entertaining…I never had to do it with the first
    kid but boy did I have to do it with the second. It wasn’t my thing
    either even though she was glued to my side whenever she was with me. I can relate.


  2. Kathleen

    Ethan is ADORABLE! Your post made me smile and laugh. It is definitely hard to entertain a baby. You are smart to stay busy and carve time out for yourself.


  3. SuziQoregon

    Oh my goodness I cannot believe how big he is!! Love all the photos and love that you love being a Mom!!


  4. Jordan

    I’m totally cracking up. Yeah- entertaining is not so fun. Luckily Luke is getting WAY better at it. I actually love crafts though. Less so the “Mama look at my (random scribbly art)” and having to constantly come up with enthusiastic statements about the creation. I’m not as excited about that phase. But I like painting and gluing and scissoring and playdoh. All told- I’d rather take him to a playground and let him run around. Hopefully he’ll be that sort of kid.


  5. Jeane

    He’s so big! And what an awesome smile. I agree, trying to entertain can be tedious. My baby just went through a week of not wanting to play at all much, being miserable with teething. Now that she’s over that, she seems to be bored with most of the toys that used to thrill her! I can still entertain her at any moment with tickles, visits to the mirror, or peek-a-boo, but it’s getting harder to just set her down and expect her to play happy by herself for a while. I’m eager for the days when she’s old enough to run around the playground.


  6. Stephanie ()

    Hee! It’s refreshing to see a woman with a fresh perspective on motherhood. I can’t wait to be a mom, and I think I’ll be a great one someday (I have a great mom as a model, and I’m very motherly and protective). I think your view on entertaining/fussing over babies constantly vs. exposing them to your own world is a great one, so don’t listen to anyone who might tell you otherwise. I’m sure your child will grow up to be an amazing and unique individual with that kind of approach!


  7. bermudaonion (Kathy) ()

    What a cutie pie! I’ve never been very good at playing with little ones either.


  8. Amanda ()

    Yeah, I was never big on trying to entertain the kids too. Jason seemed to be able to do it day and night without it frying his brain, but I needed breaks!!!


  9. Melissa Sarno ()

    Trish you have to drop Ethan off at my office for a few hours to let him play with all the toys so you don’t have to. He is ridiculously cute. He makes the funniest faces. I love that!


  10. zibilee ()

    He is getting so big, and is so handsome! I love all that coppery hair! I know what you mean about entertaining babies. When I was watching Abby it was always a struggle to find something to entertain her, though she did really like it when I put on music and danced like a fool for her! She also slept a lot, but when I just didn’t know what to do with her, it was Little Bear to the rescue. She loved him. I think part of the problem is that their attention spans are not yet developed, so they move from one thing to another very quickly. When all else failed, I would take her for a walk!


  11. Audra ()

    This whole post cracked me up — thanks for sharing your honest thoughts and comments about motherhood — but I pretty much sputtered coffee everywhere at: “And when you’re bored with everything else, here’s some knives for you to play with.” So.true. I spent time with my 2 year old niece and it was exhausting — whereas the 2 month old nephew was my speed (sleep, rock, eat, etc.)


  12. Trish ()

    Oh I love seeing these pictures of Ethan!! I can’t believe how big he is getting, though I know Elle is not far behind.

    Entertaining a baby IS tough–and mind numbing. I think I could stay home with two kids but with one it was really tough for me and I feel a bit guilty saying that I’m grateful for my time in the office. Though my social life isn’t quite as full as yours is, so most of our time was spent at home and even on the weekends I try not to leave the house before Elle can have at least one really good nap.

    However, because my time with Elle is so limited, I find myself just lying close to her and watching her play–doing absolutely nothing but taking it all in. I love that time–even if it means that I’m not getting anything else done.

    More Ethan updates please!!


  13. Julie@my5monkeys ()

    what a handsome little man and totally understand those mind numbing days. Looks like a fun time


  14. Trisha ()

    I have a feeling that I will think very much as you do. I love Playing With but not so much Entertaining children. And soccer kicks crafts buttocks.


  15. Esme

    Trish, he is adorable-he is a spitting image of you.


  16. Lisa Munley ()

    He’s your twin, it’s so funny!!


  17. Virginia

    You are a mother of my own heart. I don’t do “playing”. I do other things, but playing with toys is not one of them. πŸ™‚


  18. Les in NE

    Entertaining a small child is extremely difficult and at times very BORING! It’s so much better when they’re old enough to converse and actually appreciate (and understand) the activity. I also hate crafts and spent a lot of my time reading, playing with puzzles, coloring (very soothing), building towers with blocks, and going for long walks to the neighborhood park or beach. Best investment? A sandbox and one of those PlaySchool outdoor water tables. Kids (toddlers) and water go hand-in-hand. Good luck. I’m past the child-rearing stage of my life (my babe’s 28!), but I was a nanny to my two nieces for about 5 years. Let’s just say I’m now very happy to be working in a bookstore! πŸ™‚


  19. jennygirl

    Oh my gosh Trish, he has gotten so big! I can’t believe it. I think you have a great attitude towards that work/life/baby balance. You are really making it work for both you and Ethan. Except for the bath….he doesn’t look like he likes those too much πŸ™‚


  20. Ann

    You are a very busy mom. I’m looking after my granddaughter and our days are pretty full too. She’s 11 months and my daughter is expecting twins in March – I doubt we’ll leave the house until they all start school!!!!


  21. Beth F ()

    I remember spending hours and hours playing Barbie with my niece when she was 3 or so — dress up Barbies for a party. No not that dress. No not those shoes. Okay. Barbies are dressed. Now let’s dress them for school. No not that dress. No not those shoes. Okay. Barbies are dressed. Now let’s dress them for a party. No not that …. ARGHHHHHHHHHHHH. Love my niece, but I wasn’t much of endless hours of mind numbing play either.


  22. stacybuckeye ()

    Awesome post! You are busier than we are, but I do try to fill every morning with at least one activity and an errand or two in the afternoon. I’m thinking about a halfday a week of daycare just so I can keep my sanity πŸ™‚ I am not a fan of hanging out in the ‘safe room’ with lots of toys. Jason can do it for a few hours. I usually last 30 minutes. Once a day πŸ™‚
    You are lucky you can take him anywhere. I try to take him to board meetings and he is a huge distraction and I don’t hear anything.
    These pics are the best and I, like everyone else, can’t believe how big he’s getting!


  23. BookBimbo

    He is completely adorable! Love it!


  24. Lisa

    Oh my goodness, Nathan is getting so big – but not big enough yet to really be able to play along with anything. Life is so much easier when babies can start to understand the concept of playing along!


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