They say with kids, the toughest weeks are the one you bring them home from the hospital and the one when your help leaves. We have been fortunate to have Grandma come and stay with us for an initial 3 month stretch and a follow up 5 month stretch. Now that the girls are 1 and 3 we are in that painful week when our help has just left.
My wife and I are both working professionals and our children for better or worse are in day care. The time that we do get to spend with them is overlapped with shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, bathing and bedtime ritual. Of course our household also has activity clutter like taking care of paperwork, bills, and on-line activities. My schedule is further saddled with hobbies that take me out of the house 4-5 hours per week.
I am left with a feeling that I am missing out on the girls’ lives. Further the time spent with my wife is more necessary and convenient rather than intimate.
The upside of the transition is that I have the opportunity to figure out what is important in my life. Hopefully I have the attitude to make positive changes to that effect. As an example, I have not watched television the past 3 nights. Other lifestyle clutter will require a more dedicated effort. Grocery shopping and laundry will have to be handled on a regular basis rather than when we are out of something. Also I will have even more incentive to communicate my perceptions and needs as part of the family.
I feel that a goal to reduce stress and enjoy time at home is to avoid developing urgent situations like not having plans for dinner, running out of a household staple or simply not having clean sippy cups in the cupboard.