C sleeps about 10 hours a night. She naps about 2 hours a day. That leaves 12 hours a day when she is awake, and for about 9-10 of them, it’s been just her and I. I discovered fairly early on that days went better for me if there was always something we had to do each day, usually outside of the house (and that is part of the reason I feel it’s in our best interest for me to go to work). Sometimes it was taking a walk or going on play dates. Other times, it was grocery shopping or running errands. Similarly, when we were at home, there were times we were playing together and there were times I was trying to get something done. There were even times when I’d leave her with Scott, or take her to my parents to get things done without her. Regardless of what we were doing, I was mindful to keep C safe, keep her entertained and, of course, keep her fed. But she didn’t always have 100% of my attention. I mean, how often have I reached for my phone even when playing tea party with her? I’ve never really felt all that guilty as long as she still feels loved at the end of the day. After all, 84 hours is a lot of time in one week to focus on one person, even if she is quite possibly the world’s cutest girl.
Starting next week, C will still likely sleep about 10 hours a night. She’ll still likely nap about 2 hours a day. And she’ll still be awake for the remaining 12 hours a day. But instead of having 84 hours of awake time together in one week, we only have 48 hours. On the one hand, I’m gutted that I’m losing almost half my “C” time. I have no idea how to wrap my brain around being away from her roughly 50 hours a week. I have no idea how to balance the household tasks I’ll still have to do and paying attention to C. I’m hoping that we’ll start doing a better job of cleaning up after ourselves (and having C out of the house 10 hours a day will likely cut down on the mess strewn throughout the place), maximizing productivity when she is asleep, and finding new strategies for things like suppers (cooking twice as much, and freezing the rest. I used to do that all the time in university, I don’t know why I stopped!).
Those 48 hours are going to go by quickly each week, but I’m going to make damn sure that I capitalize on them as much as possible, whether it means turning off the cell phone, letting the dust build up or listening to the song of that stupid teapot she loves one more time. And hopefully at the end of the week, 48 hours of quality time will be just as good, if not better, than the 84 hours we’ve enjoyed these last 12 months.