Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cabin fever

I have a confession.

I haven't been taking advantage of my FUNemployment time with Em.

Well, I have, but I haven't.

We've been having lots of great time at home together, just us girls. We play together, work on her mobility, babble to each other, etc. But we haven't ventured out nearly as much as I'd like to. And I'm starting to get some serious cabin fever.

I've been hesitant to take Em out of our cozy little nest this past month (yikes - I've been FUNemployed for a month) because:

1) I don't want to get too used to having this freedom. I know -- it sounds weird, but subconsciously I'm afraid that if I really let us go out and get involved in so many groups and activities that it'll be that much harder to get back into Working Mom mode when the time comes.
2) Em can't practice her crawling if she's stuck in her stroller or strapped to me in the Ergo or Beco. (Another silly one, I know.)
3) I tend to take Em shopping, sometimes to the detriment of my wallet. And since the funds aren't exactly coming in as they were before, that's not a good habit to get into.
4) I'm trying to get Em on some sort of nap schedule so I can plan outings better.
5) It can be lonely going out alone, and despite the number of FUNemployed and stay-at-home-mom pals I have, they're surprisingly BUSY so much of the time.

There have also been times where I'm literally headed out the door with Em, only to stop and think about my "chore" list. "Ugh, I have so much laundry to do. I should skip the outing and tackle some of that." I've also got lots of little adult things to do, like combining all my 401Ks and blah, blah, blah, blah...

So I'm making an effort to remedy this rut we've fallen into.

I'm more aware of my feelings re: #1 and therefore just getting over it. I keep reminding myself that when I'm back in the corporate world, I'm going to long for this time I've had with Em.

As for #2, I'll be taking her to wide open spaces (e.g., parks, etc.) where she can roam beyond our 690 square feet of condo. And I'll get over my fear of hindering her mobility in a stroller or baby carrier. I'm sure she'll be just fine.

My remedy for #3 is just to watch my pennies more, which I've already gotten in the habit of over these past few weeks. I'm also looking into low-cost activities, like chillin' in the park, storytime at the local library, free trials of classes, etc.

And once #4 falls into place, it'll be even easier to plan outings ahead of time.

Lastly, I'm trying to schedule stuff further in advance with my FUNemployed pals and stay-at-home moms. One of the qualities I miss about having Em in daycare is her interaction with other kids. I think it's important for her to have face time with her peers and move beyond the comforts of her mommy. I don't want her to be a wallflower - I want her to be outgoing and friendly. (Obviously it's ok if that's how she turns out, but I'd love to try to steer her otherwise.) While she occassionally shows signs of separation anxiety, which is perfectly normal at her age, I'd say she rarely has issues around strangers, especially other kids.

Anyhow, I'm making progress with all of the above.

Last week we had a great playdate with Lilcee, her beautifuly baby girl Lillilcee, and Wan and her lovely little Bean. We were also joined by Winnie, who brought her baby - her camera. It was super hot (94 degrees) -- Em probably would have flipped me off if she could have -- but we had a nice time with all the gals.

Lillilcee and Bean
Lillilcee Bean

All three gals
Bean, Lillilcee, Em

Today my cabin fever was in full affect and the itch to get out of this house had to be scratched. So Em and I tried a free "Music N Me" class at Music Stars & Masters. She was the youngest in the class, which ranged from 10-16 months. (She'll be 10 months next week.) But she still had a blast chewing playing the instruments. If you give her anything and tell her to "shake it," nine times out of 10 she will, as illustrated below.
Em's first music class

We both enjoyed it enough that I'm seriously considering a package of classes, which are reasonably priced. I love the idea of exposing her to more music and instruments in the hopes that she'll be musically inclined like her mama. She'll also get to hang out with more babies her age. Best of all, it gets us OUTTA THE HOUSE!

"An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered."
- G.K. Chesterton

14 comments:

  1. hehe - i liked your comment about how Em probably would've flipped you off if she could because of the heat! you seriously need to enter her gorgeous face in some of the contests on http://iheartfaces.blogspot.com/ - she is too cute not to share with the rest of the world!

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  2. I know how you're feeling. I haven't had a job since December and I'm still not able to just kick back and enjoy the time to relax... Even at nine months pregnant.

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  3. That music class sounds great. How did you find out about it?

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  4. Just enjoy the FUNemployment time! You know it won't last forever and once you're ready / need to get back to a work schedule, you will. It was so much fun seeing you and Em! What a little delight (her . . . but of course you're lots of fun too).

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  5. Just remember, you'll never get this time back with Em, so try to enjoy it to the fullest. With your talents and personality, you'll be employed again before you know it, so cherish all the time that you have with her and get out there!

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  6. Get out there and have some fun with Em while you can, even if it's just the two of you! Rex and I take walks and go to the park a lot and, unfortunately, we don't have many buddies to do things with during the day. We also don't have all the opportunities you do for classes (how cool is a music class for babies?) so try to enjoy those too. Forget the chores and have fun! Sometimes, anyways.

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  7. I have an outing idea for you! You and Em can come have lunch with Jen and I one day at our office. My kiddo obviously won't be there because he is at day care...but it would be fun to see you and Em!

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  8. i love the pic of all three girls, oh so cute. and seriously em's cheeks are just so cute, i just want to squish them, in the cutest way possible, haha.

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  9. Well, since I'm not a mom, I probably have no business commenting, but I think the time you spend with Em is what's important, whether it's at home or out and about. I can't imagine you are just plopping her in front of the tv and ignoring her! LOL! Sounds like you are looking for a balance of the two and are finding it. All I know is that it seems to me that Em is one lucky little girl with an awesome mommy!

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  10. I always feel a twinge of jealousy when I read about stay at home folks... but think I'd go insane.

    Regardless - I'm sure that you will remember this time with Em fondly.

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  11. I tend to find that it's not easy whichever side of the fence you're on. When you're at work, you *wish* you could pull the babe out of daycare and spend all this quality time together... but then when you're home, issues like activities, naptime, interaction come into play. One is not easier than the other. Oy, right?? My only input is to do the best that you can everyday. Em is a lucky little one and will be the best that she can be, cause she's got you as her mommy!

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  12. All any of us can do, whether we're at home or at work, is be the best mom we can - don't let others dictate what that is for you...you have to find your own way, through each transition of you life.

    That said, I think you're doing fabulous, it's totally normal to be feeling the way you do. ;)

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  13. we had so much fun at our baby GTG! must do it again soon. hopefully the bean will be awake this time :/

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  14. What a fun baby playdate. :)

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