Back to Work
8.4.08: Baby's 12th Week
Three months! This is when many women go back to work. I've done a bit of freelancing, and I will take on some more for August, but I'm not going to be taking any work out of the house till the fall. I can't imagine what it would be like to suddenly start commuting to midtown full-time right now—I still feel grateful when I can figure out how to shower.
I am looking forward to having time away from my little Leo world in the fall—just to read a book on the subway, chat with adults in the office, and focus on something so completely non-baby-related. But pumping? Finding someone I trust to care for Leo? And missing out on the amazing changes and wonderful moments that happen every day with a baby? It's going to be pretty hard.
I imagine most moms have a similar ambivalence. And I bet I'll be able to relate much more to what Aaron's experience of parenting is like: hearing about so much secondhand, and seeing the baby when he's smiley in the morning, then cranky and sleepy in the evening. But what I really want to know is: who's going to make dinner?
Sitting down to a real dinner is such a struggle even now when I'm home and can get a head start on it, then finish cooking after Aaron gets home to hold the baby; What will it be like when we both get home late? We already eat pretty simple meals. Last night Aaron was out and I started making a salad then gave up and ate raisin bran. The night before I made quesadillas stuffed with cheese, grated zucchini, sliced scallions, and cilantro, which I griddled up and served with salsa. As usual when I spend time chopping veggies, there was a baby backlash and we took turns eating to the sounds of Leo's overtired screeching.
So I've got a ways to go in the cooking-with-baby department. I plan to start by using my newly recovered brain (at 3 months postpartum I find I can think a little more clearly) to dream up healthy, summery meals that can be prepared in stages, before "happy hour" hits and Leo starts to sound like a creaky porch swing. And on days when I don't have time to do advance prep, I'll focus on recipes that require minimal chopping and, well, cooking.
I'm not interested in trying to be a supermom who, at the end of a long day, can whip up something fabulous for dinner while simultaneously cuddling with her baby. But I am feeling ready to shed a few more pounds, and to wean myself off milk and cereal. I know this is going to take some work, but I'm used to that. I haven't had a day off in 3 months.
Arugula Salad with Tomatoes, Plums, Mozzarella and Basil