• Archives

  • Categories:

Outings with Adam

Since our return from Philadelphia I’ve been settling in to routines with little Adam as I enjoy the final weeks of the time I’ve taken as maternity leave.

With the improved weather, we’ve been taking a lot of walks around town. It’s been really nice to get out of the house for these simple outings, and he seems to enjoy it as well. We’ve walked all around the village together, gone the the post office. Had his first visit to the comic book shop.

And the library!

And the farmers’ market!

We also spent one afternoon going up to San Francisco. The goal of this visit was to go to the San Francisco Railway Museum & Gift Shop to pick up some of the new streetcar stickers they are selling (also available at https://transit.supply/, along with enamel pins!). This would also be his first BART ride. So I planned a couple days out for this adventure, made sure his diaper bag was well stocked and we were on the right end of the eating/napping schedule, and we were off! I made it to the museum to get my stickers, and then over to Ferry Building for a lobster roll at MarketBar. Fussiness set in as we waited for our train to head home, but in all the trip was a successful and happy one. I’d like to push myself to do these trips more, the more I do it, the less stressed I’ll be about adventures with my little sidekick, and getting out of the house to do things I love does wonders for my overall mental health.

In the house, I’ve certainly been busy these past few weeks too. I’ve tried to find a happy balance between baby-baby-baby and actually getting things done around the house while he hangs out nearby. One project has been to go through stuff in the garage so we can figure out what needs to stay here and what needs to be sent to storage. It took a couple weeks, but I was mostly successful, and going through MJ’s piles of old computer stuff gave me something interesting to tweet about and engage with the broader geek world in a way that I haven’t done a lot of since my maternity leave began. It felt good. Over the weekend we rented a van and MJ did runs to the storage unit so now we finally have free space in the garage!

Now, what prompted this storage sorting is also a story. I’m starting a new job at the end of the month (details forthcoming) and I’ll need to go into the office once a week, which is 40 miles away by car and there are no reasonable public transit options. Since our au pair will need access to the family car during the day, we’ve known for some time that I’d need my own car. Now, I love cars. I have a celebrity crush on James May and subscribe to Car & Driver magazine. I wanted something I would enjoy driving. I succeeded. I’m now leasing a car I’m absolutely in love with. But we only have two parking spaces in our driveway and the street parking situation is complicated. We want to actually park my car in the garage, so we needed a spot for it. Garage clean out!

I won’t get into the car itself (come ask me privately if you’re curious and we can geek out about it). However, the process of getting it was another baby adventure. Since we had Adam in tow, we had to juggle milk and pumping timing, as well as his general mood and nap schedule. Plus, test drives had to be done separately so someone could stay with the kiddo at the dealership. It was stressful, and there was a baby wardrobe change needed, but we made it through, and again, pushing myself to get out of the house is important.

The other big project was getting our HVAC system replaced. The heaters were loud and over-sized for the house, and we didn’t have air conditioning at all, which was fine for most of the year, but a real struggle on the hot days, especially since I mostly work from home. New ducts were run, compressors for the AC are now sitting in our back yard, and the upstairs furnace was moved from a closet in the hallway into the attic, so we got a new closet too! It was a whole week of work, but so far I’m really pleased with the results.

Finally, we’re welcoming our au pair into our family tonight. I’m looking forward to getting to know her, and I’m thrilled to be able to have in-home care for Adam with her help. I know going back to work would be difficult if my first task of the day was dropping him off at day care. With that concern tucked away, I’ve been reflecting on how valuable this time spent physically healing and spending time with the kiddo has been to me. I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I want from life and work, and it has allowed me to pause and get some perspective about what I want from my career at this stage.

I’ve also learned that while I have certainly taken to motherhood, I would definitely struggle with being a stay at home mom. Almost all of my friends were met through involvement with various technology projects I’ve worked on throughout the years, and without work I think I’d have trouble maintaining the social bonds I need to avoid feeling isolated. I’ve also put a lot of work into building my career and I get a tremendous amount of satisfaction from it. As much as I’ve gotten from these first few months with little Adam, it would be difficult for me to bring my whole self to our relationship and home if I wasn’t working. I’m glad I learned this about myself, even when things get difficult to juggle, I can remind myself that going back to work was a choice I made willingly and happily.