About “rest”, and a routine that’s never quite the same.

(Decided to stop being lazy and take a break from my US trip posts for now.)

So it’s been two months since the whole SAHD gig began, and V was saying the other day, I could look for a job again when “I had rested enough”. I was giving her an incredulous look, like are you effing kidding me? Parenting full-time is probably the most tiring job I have ever had, which part of it sounds like rest? Sign me up for that part, really.

In case no one’s pointed out the obvious yet, you don’t exactly get to take a break from being a full-time parent; it’s a 24/7/365 job with 99.999% (the holy 9’s of uptime) availability with exactly zero remuneration. Compare that to a cushy job where you work mostly fixed hours, get the weekend off and best of all, get paid? It’s a nobrainer really.

Of course, working and parenting is a different tale altogether, but there’s a little bit of compartmentalisation involved – you get to socialise at work, do work, and get home for a few hours of parenting. It’s still tiring, but there is a bit more variety to the day, and I bet you would be a bit happier at seeing the kid, as opposed to a full-time carer who eyeballs his charge an average of eighteen hours a day. Yep, the screaming does get on the nerves after a while, definitely not for the short-tempered or fainthearted.

I was quite offended when the “rest” word came up, because it sounded like I was taking a well-deserved holiday in Hawaii or something, complete with daily massages, getting a good tan and beauty sleep to boot. Honestly, it felt like a total lack of appreciation at first. She admitted it was a wrong choice of words though, so it wasn’t anything serious, just something that I thought made a good rant.

So, rant over.

With all the constant work on our bathroom floor going on, it’s been hard to get any rest at all. Bub takes a nap, I watch the contractors. Bub wakes up, I’m still watching them, albeit with her hanging off one arm. Despite the extreme fatigue at times, I refuse to sleep at bloody 8pm every day. There’s no way I’m going to subjugate my entire life to being a parent exclusively, I need to have some time to myself to do my own stuff.

It’s also been an interesting journey so far, fatigue notwithstanding. Interesting, because it feels good when I figure out her physical and verbal cues. Elly’s also great fun when she’s in the mood for it; one thing about her is that she’s not the type to stay quiet and sit in the corner. Talkative, curious and constantly looking for new challenges, that’s how I’d describe her.

The most challenging bit however, probably has to do with the fact that it’s hard to stick to a given routine for long. Whenever I think I have things figured out, she grows up a little bit more and things change again. The most important thing to keep in mind, is to stay observant and adapt to her as times passes.

To be honest, I’m not sure how long this SAHD phase is gonna last. My original estimate was to stop when she reaches anything between a year and a half, to two years of age. V’ll probably tear her hair out if I stay at home any longer, but we’ll see how things go. Some things are hard to predict, and this feels like one of them. I’ll probably know when the time is right, but for now it’s time to endure, enjoy and appreciate this part of life as it is.

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