It Ain’t Always Pretty…

No one ever told me how overwhelming, repetetive, and thankless taking care of an infant can be. When you talk with other moms about motherhood, everything is ZOMG SO MAGICAL ALL THE TIME. And that may be true for some moms but for me, sometimes I get very tired and frustrated and EXHAUSTED. I find myself impatient the most when I’m tired and/or haven’t eaten. I am in my best mood in the early mornings to mid afternoons.

Please don’t misinterpret my words into saying that I don’t love my daughter. I love her more than I ever thought humanly possible, and I enjoy her so much. I love the stretches she gives me in the morning when I open up her swaddle wrap. Her pooched out lips as she raises her arms above her head to stretch out those muscles. I love how she farts when she cries sometimes. The fact that she’s begun sticking her tongue out is amazing. But infancy is such a one-sided phase, sometimes it just gets exhausting. Wake. Feed. Burp. Diaper. Fuss. Nap. Wake. Feed. Burp. Diaper. Tummy Time! Fuss. Nap.
Rinse and repeat.
All.
Day.
Long.
Sometimes after a long day of taking care of baby, I relish in when someone else holds her. I have both arms free to eat, read, or just… Sit. I remember when veteran moms would give me a knowing look and tell me that I’d be dying to pass the baby off after a long day alone with her and I’d stick my nose up in the air and huff, “Not me! I can’t WAIT to spend all day taking care of my baby!”
Ah, the ignorance of a pregnant first-time mom. I also thought I’d breastfeed with ease, magically keep my full nights’ sleeps, and wear my baby everywhere I went. Turns out that breastfeeding was hard and I needed sleep before I died, NO ONE sleeps through the night with a newborn and the Moby is a pain in the ass to put on and sometimes it’s easier to lay her down on her mat while I get some things done around the house.

My daughter isn’t at the stage where she enjoys toys yet. She likes to be talked to, but I can’t sit there and talk and make funny faces at her all day. There is laundry to be done, there are bottles to be washed and of course, blogs to be written (I say that wryly, I don’t neglect my daughter to blog.). While she naps, I have to choose what I want to do. Do I catch up on the laundry? Do I clean the floors? Do I zoom through my blogroll and comment on posts? There aren’t enough hours in the day to get what I need and want to do, done. Nighttime is easier (I NEVER thought I’d hear myself say that because once upon a time, nighttime was the HARDEST) because Nellie is actually a wonderful sleeper and around 10 she goes down and sleeps for 3 1/2-5 hours. I have more time to myself to do things I’d like, or to catch up on a few chores.

Life with our baby is getting better and better with each passing day, because Nellie is becoming more and more aware of her surroundings and life in general. When she smiles at me, I could die. Doing something funny and having her respond with a big, fat, gummy grin sends a gratification straight to my soul that is unlike anything I’ve experienced before. I enjoy being a mom and I know that once she’s in the toddler stage I will probably miss this infancy. But I have a sneaky suspicion that I’m more of a ‘toddler mom’ than an infant mom. Some people love nothing more than to care for a small baby. I myself cannot wait until I can DO things with my daughter. Yes, I love the sweet and sleepy snuggletimes. I love the smell of my baby daughter when she first gets out of a bath but I also can’t wait to watch her experience life as an aware, active child.

I feel kind of terrible writing this post, because I worry it makes it sound like I don’t enjoy or love my daughter but I do. I’ve talked to a few other moms who feel this way which is what inspired me, and gave me the ladyballs to write this post. Once upon a time I wanted to be a SAHM. Now that I have been a SAHM for 12 weeks, I know that it’s not for me. I am not cut out for it. The fact that we only have one car leaves me feeling extremely isolated and stir-crazy. I don’t want to be a working mom, but a happy balance is required. It’s very likely I’m going to have to return to work full time… Which I’m kind of dreading. Even though I get stir-crazy, the thought of leaving Nellie when we’ve had so much time together is sad.

Because even as frustrating, mundane, and overwhelming this routine can be I still don’t want to leave my lady. Not at all. I just need to switch it up a little bit. I think that will make all the difference in the world.

I don’t feel like this all the time. Just sometimes. There are those times when Nellie is zonked out in my arms, blissfully full after a bottle and I feel like the world could crash down around me and I wouldn’t care. As long as we were together. Sometimes, I have the overwhelming urge to bring my beautiful babe into bed with me on the nights that daddy works (and I am WAY not a co-sleeper). Sometimes I will and just stare at her. I can’t sleep with her in the bed w/ me because it makes me nervous.. But just having her beside me is like a tonic on my frazzled nerves.

So to all the new moms out there who are feeling like I feel sometimes: You’re not alone, and you’re not a terrible person for feeling this way. Becoming a parent is the strangest, craziest and scariest thing that’s ever happened to me. I love it, and wouldn’t change it for the world… But sometimes it’s not all roses and sunshine. If we all just hang in there together, we’ll be okay.

Promise!

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