It’s funny: I’ve been at home with two children every day since Simon was born over a year ago. But somehow, I didn’t really think of myself as at home with two children until Eric got a regular cubicle-y dress-trousers-required eight-to-five commute-into-the-big-city sort of job and, you know, bailed on the we’re-both-at-home-with-two-children-together-being-unemployed! arrangement. [Okay, technically, he did not so much bail as secure an income months before we hit homelessness, after we both applied unsuccessfully for shit tons of jobs. But whatever: I think that's quibbling, don't you?]
Last week, I entered the world of at home with two children in that solo-parenting-while-he’s-at-work sense. And we’re still working on childcare arrangements to give me writing time and other work time. So for now, it’s all me, from groggy morning coffee-and-diaper-change time through the 5:00-5:45 “When’s Eric going to be home?” interrogation. Writing (like, writing this blog post and emails–there’s no way I’m making progress on the book manuscript right now) happens during the baby’s hour and a half afternoon nap.
On the very first day, I had a perfectly pleasant nearly-eleven-hours of parenting, followed by utter exhaustion and strung-out-ness as soon as Eric got home, a minor second wind after an espresso and the quiet of both children being in bed, and a hard time deciding it was time to go to sleep when we needed to call it a night (but you just got home!). Day two was also pleasant and interesting–most days with these two are, thankmyluckystars–and much less crash-y for me in the evening, perhaps because Noah didn’t have that edge of something-weird-is-happening-and-I-don’t-think-I-like-it to be smoothed throughout the day this time around. Let’s hope the easier transition into evening is a trend rather than a fluke. But oh, how short the evening is! He gets home, we walk the dog, supper happens, and then we’re in both children’s bedtime routines … and it’s late, and we should be moving toward bed. Our society is fucked up, for this distribution of hours between work and the rest of life to be so normal and near-compulsory.