Hello, Human. I've Missed You.

I felt like a different human today. You know, a human, human--not a mom-human or a breastfeeding human--a human, human . . . for the first time in 7 months.

Don't get me wrong, feeling like a mom-human and a breastfeeding human are absolutely splendid. Honest and truly, I love, love, love being a stay at home mom and I absolutely adore breastfeeding. I am in no hurry to return to the world of work or wean my little Noah Finn--mommying suits me. It fits like a glove.

It's just that today, I saw another kind of human staring back at me in the mirror--one that I hadn't seen in quite sometime.

A few weeks ago, my former boss called to see if I'd like to take a temporary private tutoring job. I would be tutoring the son of the famous Japanese comedian, Masatoshi Hamada, from 9:00-10:30 a.m., Monday-Thursday for three weeks. After briefly discussing the logistics with Dean, we decided that it would be a perfect opportunity to pocket a few extra bucks. See, Dean usually doesn't have to go into the studio until noon or even as late as 1:00ish on most days. Because I am up breastfeeding a pint-sized Keith Richards who wants to drink himself into a drooling daze on most nights, Dean wakes up with Noah Finn in the mornings while I catch a few extra Zzzz's or enjoy a little baby free mommy-time. This being the case, taking this temporary job would mean take home pay without childcare expenses and just a little, not too much, of the "outside" world for mom.

So, I said yes--and this morning at about 7:30 a.m. I rose quietly from bed and left my groggy baby snuggling with Daddy. I groomed for longer than 2.5 minutes--like a human, a real human--not a mom-human. I scuttled through my pre-pregnancy wardrobe to find an outfit that would show off my new pre-pregnancy sized waist (yay!)--a tiny pencil skirt and a shirt that had been shelved for it's breastfeeding unfriendliness. I rustled through my bin of dusty purses in the closet to find the perfect coordinating accessory in which to house my wallet, cell phone, keys, etc. . . all of which have called the diaper bag home ever since Noah was born. Leaving the house with purse over shoulder, notebook under arm, freshly coiffed locks and my trusty travel coffee mug in hand, I tentatively approached school feeling fabulous but harboring unease--what will it be like being back at work? Will I be able to function without diapers, butt cream and chew toy near by?

But as I rushed from our front door to the door of my classroom, a wave of ease swept over me. I was late--just like I always was before. I was speeding down the bus lane past poky morning traffickers and honking at all of the idiots who were parked there before the 9:00 a.m. permitted time--just like I always was before. I was speeding into the parking garage and slamming the car haphazardly into park--just like I always was before. I was running up the flights of stairs two by two on the way to my classroom--just like I always was before. I breathlessly greeted an awaiting student--just like I always did before.

And . . . it came back to me just like riding a bike--I cracked corny jokes, scribbled away on the whiteboard, poked, prodded and questioned. I instructed and bossed. I taught--and it felt damn good.

If today were the first and last day, it would be just enough "outside" world for me--just a taste--just enough to last me at least until my last tot trekked off for his/her first day of school. But, it's not--I made a three week commitment and that is just fine too. Three weeks in which I will enjoy feeling human-human--and three weeks before I go back to being just a mom-human, again. I will leave the house every morning with the same zest as I did this morning, confident in knowing that my little Noey is cozy at home with his Papa spending his morning the same that he would even if I were at home for that hour and a half.

I told my boss to always let me know of any temporary morning opportunities in the future, because after all, a little childcare-free extra income is always welcome in a single salary family household. And, it seems, I also don't mind feeling a little human-human every once in a while--BUT only if there's some kind of reassurance that it's not for too long and that in the end I will get to go back to being ONLY a mom and breastfeeding human again.


Hi! I'm Alex said...

This post made me smile. I'm currently pregnant with number 4, but last year when my daughter was 7 months old I too was given the opportunity to go back to work, albeit in a completely new industry.

I was bleary eyed, sleep deprived and terrified. But I also had to opportunity to dress like a woman again (yay for heels!) and have a break from the whole mummy thing.

I lasted six months before I missed my baby so much I was more than happy to say goodbye to my more than generous income and killer heels. Women can do it all...but sometimes you just don't want to! :)

Rosanna =) said...

I know what you mean about the human-human thing. So far I haven't been able to leave Fin long enough to get a badly needed haircut & pedicure yet!!
And I can't WAIT to wear all my non-breastfeeding-friendly tops again!! But I DO love being mom & breastfeeding human. =)

JJ Keith said...

I so know what you mean. In all my anger over the past few days I've been desperate to work my bidness out as a human human, not a ultra-responsible mom human with sticky milk boobs and blotchy skin. I'm looking forward to going back to work temporarily and then coming home more or less permanently. And I can't wait to hear about tutoring a famous Japanese comedian in more detail. I tutored a wannabe preteen popstar once. It was weird.

dutchgirl said...

It sounds like a perfect arrangement! I had a something sort of similar when my daughter was smaller (my other self emerges from behind a piano, whether teaching or playing) and it always felt good to rediscover just being a human, human.


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