My life is wonderful and yet very different lately. I watch my granddaughter five days a week like many stay at home Moms. This is a first for me, I had never been at home with an infant in the winter for this amount of time and you know what? Winter is long! As both my girls came into my life in the spring I was able to take the rest of the school year off plus summer break to be with them until classes resumed in the fall. That way we were outside pretty darn quick and wheels were my friend. We were out in the stroller or in the car going to see other teacher friends who were also off by the summer. I am a water nut, so I took them to the pool from a pretty young age and both were pretty darn easy to sleep train. Cute little Zara was born in December so there were no stroller rides, no pool and very little visiting friends as it was too darn cold. And Zara only got sleep trained recently, yay for now but tough earlier. It was just me and Zara in my daughter's house five days a week. Oh, and the Grandma chair; I had to buy a chair to sit in with her that was good on my back.
I love my granddaughter with all my heart, just like I love my own daughters. And like my own daughters I also really love her a whole lot when she is sleeping and I can gaze adoringly at her beautiful face. Zara didn't like to sleep that much, or that long. I brought a computer, my knitting bag and a book each day to my daughter's and most days, I could only use the computer and then in bits and pieces. I cuddled, fed, cuddled, changed, cajoled and loved my granddaughter. I cried a few times when she had bad days. One day I muttered some bad words under my breath when it seemed there was no break from the poop and spit up. I got bored a few times, I watched the clock a few times and I watched more daytime TV than I would like to admit.
I gained a whole new respect for those Moms who stay home with kids in the cold days in Chicagoland. I got to spend all day long with my kids in nice weather and we had fun nearly every day in the fresh air while we were out and about. I had my girls on bike seats as soon as possible, in wagons, strollers and tandem bikes. When it was cold out, I spent two weeks with them over Christmas when there is lots to do. Otherwise I saw them in the morning, from four until bedtime and on weekends. I never knew how trying those cold days could be. It's good to experience new feelings and gain compassion.
I tried a teacher lesson plan approach by having different themes on different days, Fridays I dress her up in fun clothes, take pics and post them on Facebook for Fashion Show Fridays. Tuesdays and Thursdays I watch her at our house. Yes, I had to buy lots of duplicate items but varying the week really helped. I also found that my husband was falling more and more in love with her as the weeks went by so gradually I had a helper! Plus now it is warmer so Zara and I can go out on walks with the strollers, yippee for wheels up!
Along the way, I have gained more than just insights. I have been able to spend immense amounts of time with a new baby, I got to enjoy the changes in Zara, the way she knows me and how lucky I am to know my granddaughter this well. But still, when Emily comes home I run home to my sewing room and sew like a crazy maniac. Obviously, I wasn't really the stay at home Mom but I got a good taste of it and I am glad I did. I never really knew what that was like and that's a good thing. It was a good thing I worked because I ended up as a single Mom and I had a great teaching job, with tenure and benefits. I was able to provide for myself and my girls. I was able to have a career teaching world languages which I loved and raise my girls and miss them. It is fun to miss your kids, to come home from work excited to see them. Throughout it all, I have had sewing to keep me sane.
I am also glad I worked all those years as a teacher because I was able to retire and see what it is like to be a stay at home Mom at 59, sortof. I am one lucky Grandma to have had the best of both worlds and a new found respect for the patience of those women who are home with their cute kids 24/7. But I still think whether I am a working Mom or the stay at home Grandma, I really do love those kids when they are sleeping. Sleep equals happier babies and Grandmas who get time to sew, blog and post on my Facebook page. Like the page and join the conversation!
I hope you enjoyed reading this and will keep reading my blog. To do so, type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. That's all, you're done. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.