Ok…so have you ever had an object that every time you look at it it reminds of something that you did, whether good or bad? Well, my daughter has this onsie, it one of my nephew’s old outfits that he outgrew that is just adorable. I was putting it on her one day and did not realize that there was a stray string inside the leg. As I was putting her foot inside the leg she started screaming. I had no clue why. That is when I realized that her scream was an “I’m in pain scream.” When I looked I saw that her there was a cut under her toe. Now, every time I look at the onsie I think about that day. Every time I put her in it am paranoid that I am going to hurt her again. I know it was an accident but it makes me wonder if this is a taste of my parenting abilities. I mean all I was doing was dressing her and I hurt her. Any other first time moms feel this way?
I have been home with my beautiful daughter for just about 7 weeks now. Is it wrong that I am so unbelievably bored?? I went into my office yesterday for our team Christmas lunch and I brought her with me. Everyone was so excited to see her and it made me feel so great. Every single person asked me the exact same two questions: How are you enjoying being a mom? and Are you ready to come back to work yet?
The answer to the former is not really a simple one. I mean I love my daughter to the moon and back. She is my little girl. But that is a loaded question. There are so many aspects to being a mom that you can not just yes (because you have to say yes or people will think that you are a terrible person.) Do I enjoy all the little smiles that she gives me throughout the day? Do I enjoy it when she holds me finger as she eats? Do I enjoy it when she stares into my eyes? Do I enjoy taking 500 pictures a day? Yes to all of these questions. But that is just one part of it. Do I enjoy it when she screams for no reason? Do I enjoy getting up in the middle of night? Do I enjoy the constant worry that I am doing something wrong or that I am going to screw her up royally? No to all of these questions. But the fact that I don’t enjoy EVERY aspect of being a mom makes me feel TERRIBLE. What kind of mother does enjoy all of it? I feel like I am letting my daughter down in some way that will come back to bite me in the ass in the future.
The answer to the latter question is also not so simple. There is a part of me that is ready to go back to work, to be around adults again. To engage in adult conversation. I mean there is really only so much TV a person can watch. I feel terrible feeling that way. I don’t want to miss all the amazing things that she does as she is learning about the world around her at such a young age. I want to be there for everything little noise, every little movement she makes. But I am just so incredibly bored right now. I understand the stigma of “sitting around eating bon-bons” because all I do all day is eat. I feed my daughter, change her diaper, have a little play time, try like hell to get her to fall asleep and then, if she falls asleep for a nap, I watch some TV and eat a snack. This is not healthy. I now know that I could never be a stay at home mom. I couldn’t do it! I need to be around people all day. I need adult conversation. In addition to the boredom, there is also a lot of stress. Should I be doing this differently? Will doing this hinder her in the future? How long should she sleep? How often? How much should I play with her? How long should I let her cry? and so on and so on! The questions just never end! I look so much stuff up on the internet that Google should pay me for using it! A part of me feels that if I was back at work and she was in daycare I wouldn’t have so much stress. But then I realize that there would a whole new group of things to worry about.
Being a parent really is like a double edged sword. You love your children so so much! You want to them to be perfect and you want all the things that are best for them but then there is that tiny part of you that doesn’t know if they can do it! Does this make me a terrible person? Am I a bad parent? No, I am not! I am just new mom that is trying to figure out what the hell I am doing and hoping to not screw my family up along the way!
My daughter is now 5 weeks old. She is the most beautiful and amazing thing that could have ever happened to me. I love her with all of my heart! I am prefacing my post with these statements so that you don’t think I am unhappy about becoming a mother.
When I got pregnant and shared the news with my friends and family I received all kinds of advice, some was unsolicited. People told me how wonderful becoming a mother would be, how my life would change forever, how rewarding and blissful it would be. They also told me that it would be difficult and tiring and that there would be times when I would have no idea what I was doing. So far all of those things are true.
What they didn’t tell me and what many if the books don’t tell you is that the first couple of weeks you are home with your newborn are practically akin to being in the seventh circle of Hell. It is just a miserable time. As a new mom you get sent home from the hospital just in time for your newborn “bundle of joy” to realize that she is no longer snug and warm inside your womb. Just in time for her to start screaming every 1 or 2 to eat or to have a diaper change. In the hospital your baby sleeps almost the entire time you are there it seems. But then you get home and all hell breaks loose. It seems like no one wants to tell you this. Are they afraid that you will suddenly change your mind about having this child? Are they concerned you might freak out? Whatever the reason, no one prepares you for the sleep deprivation, the tears, the stress, the loneliness (yes, loneliness because even though you are home with your baby all day they can’t talk back to you), the weird dreams, the forgetfulness, the confusion. They tell you it will be difficult and different but some details ahead of time would be nice. A little warning so we know what to expect.
As I said, my daughter is now 5 weeks old and she sleeps well at night so I can sleep at night, she eats less frequently and her cries are now distinguishable. I am ecstatic that we decided to have a baby but those first couple of weeks I thought I had made the worst decision of my life. Turns out I did not!