When I was younger, I could sleep forever. No, seriously. Actually, Victor and I were just talking about how my sleep is very important, so I don’t know if that has changed. Since the baby has come along, there have definitely been nights where I’ve had to say, “Victor, I am sorry, but you have to take care of her tonight–I’ve got to get to sleep!” Or even in those early days, I would get up and pump, then he would get up and feed Ale later when she cried. (A friend just told me the other day that I had a diamond…so true!)
When Ale was young, she slept a lot! I didn’t complain like other new mommies about sleep deprivation all the time (Seriously, people, that can mostly be avoided if your baby sleeps near or with you…) Now she’s learned that she can fight the sleep–unless we time it just right. (Most of the time, she just cuddles up next to me and breastfeeds–which makes Bedtime Mommy a lot friendlier.) In the evening, she will hang out with us, playing and reading, then when she’s tired–she doesn’t fuss–she just attacks me.
When I came to Mexico, I thought I had learned to put work in its proper place. It didn’t follow me home. It didn’t sneak into my dreams. And my weekends were work-free. Then I got offered a promotion for next year. I will be the literacy coach for the teachers at our school–and I am oh-so-very-excited. I am also determined to prove myself. Here is where the trouble lies.
The monstruo that is inside the heart of every working mom has reared his ugly head. I have started feeling guilty and resentful for the time I spend at work. I know it is good time for Ale and Papi, but doesn’t a girl need her mama? My work can’t help but follow me home. And when I get home, I really don’t mind cooking. It actually makes me feel like a better wife and mama–because I know my family is eating healthier than if we go out to eat. Ale crawls around my feet, and I avoid stepping on her by letting her play in the cabinets. Then we leave the dirty dishes (most of the time), and we play. But we play with the conscious effort on my part to put the overflowing in-box of work that is always in my head to the side for later.
This brings us to the present–where I sit typing this blog while drinking coffee at 5:30 in the morning. This is when I do my work. It is when Ale and Victor sleep. This time is productive (usually)–and waking up at 4:00 isn’t nearly as outrageous as it once would have been. Waking up at four is just what I do to keep Work Mommy and At-Home Mommy from becoming Guilty Mommy.
Sleep? As my mamaw used to say, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”