So . . . I couldn’t really find the time or strength to blog for the past few (read: four) weeks. Who’s surprised? I bet the mommies out there are not.
The initial new-baby-energy wore off and the weeks of sleep deprivation set in–compounded by the worry and hypervigilance of new parenthood–and wow, I just could not get anything done.
If I had known, truly viscerally known, how difficult all of this would be–pregnancy, birth, caring for a newborn, BREASTFEEDING*–I don’t think I would have gone through with it. And so I am very grateful that I did not know.
And it’s not as if people didn’t warn me: friends, parenting books, and basically all of popular culture indicated that these things are difficult. But maybe it’s just not possible to (capital K) Know it until you’re in the thick.
And then I think, “Maybe I’m just weak. Maybe I’m not cut out for this. Maybe it’s not this hard for other people.”
But then I take a deep breath and remind myself, “I’d probably be better at coping with all of this–the worry, the boredom, the doubt–if I were getting enough sleep.”
And I study the cold hard facts: she sleeps enough, she poops enough, she is gaining weight, and we have even caught glimpses of a few seemingly responsive smiles.
I try to follow the sage parenting advice of my friend Shannon and forgive myself. I try to be patient with myself and my baby, and remember that we are both still learning. I try to be grateful for my amazing partner. I try to listen. And it is getting easier, or maybe just better, every day.
*Dude, breastfeeding is bonkers hard for me. I will cover this in more detail in a separate post.