I have been back to classes for two weeks now. Two sessions of each class. Four days of daycare drop-off.
Four baby-free days.
This year feels different than last year. Last year, I was still so new to motherhood, so new to Isabel. She was a different baby, still unaware of the world around her. It was easy to pop her in the swing and lull her to sleep for 2 hours, or nurse while reading journal articles, or pop her down for tummy time while stitching word after word of an essay together. In comparison, it feels like I had endless amounts of time then.
Now, I have short windows of time when I can get any sort of work done. We’ve been working at it and have slowly built our way up to 2 hour nap times. We’ve been practicing independent play, in the hope that I’ll be able to snatch a little reading time while she’s distracted by other things. But, mostly, I take good advantage of Thursdays.
Oh, Thursdays. They are heavenly. On Thursday, I have no class, but we decided to send Isabel to daycare for the day anyway. Since I have two night classes, and therefore two less nights to work on assignments and readings, I knew that getting everything done with my now very active toddler would not be as easy as it was my first term, when I had the same arrangement. Thursdays are my rush-around-and-get-everything-done-that-I-possibly-can day.
It’s still early in the term, so at the moment, Thursdays are a day to catch up on life. I go for a run, maybe. I get dressed, properly. I go to campus. I work. I come home and clean or cook or both. I pick up Isabel and for at least one day of the week, I feel like our life is working.
Clothes on these days have taken on a whole new meaning for me. Suddenly, I have time to shower and dress properly, to blow-dry my hair and to put on real make-up if I want. I get to put on a real bra, a bra that doesn’t unclasp to allow for breastfeeding access. I can put on a dress that can’t be either pulled down or pulled up. I can wear earrings without fearing for my earlobes.
It’s freeing, this step back into my old clothes, my old self, if just for two days a week.