Mike has been in his new job for about six weeks now. I was really nervous about him being gone during the day, but luckily he can contact me and respond to my crazy needs and questions whenever I shoot him an email or text. It’s been an adjustment not having him around. We were lucky to be able to spend so much time together after Maddie passed, but it came at such a price.

Annie and I (and Rigby) have settled into a routine without Mike, and we’re making it work. Of course, as soon as I get her on a good schedule, something changes, but we’re doing our best. She goes down for naps on time now, which is great, although she really needs to work on the length. One thing at a time.

Still, as any parent knows, it’s exhausting being home with a kid all day. Seven months is proving to be a very frustrating age for Annie. She wants to do things that her body just hasn’t figured out – crawl, run, long jump. So when she tries and fails she gets UPSET. And damn it, she still doesn’t understand reason.

On the other hand, I’ve been the work outside the home parent, and that’s hard too. Sure, you interact with adults and you get alone time in your car, but you have to be presentable every day and report to a boss. And really, all you actually want is to be at home dealing with poop and tantrums.

We both work hard. I am still writing and running the house in addition to caring for Annabel. Mike drives an hour each way, then works hard and needs some down time. But, I need down time too. I swore I wouldn’t be that wife that throws the baby at her husband the second he gets home, but I find myself doing it anyway. We try to compromise (he gets 90 minutes to himself, I get 90 minutes to myself), but that doesn’t always leave any of us happy.

I would love to hear about how some of the other families out there handle this. It’s a balancing act that I feel is in danger of toppling around us.