On becoming a caretaker….


Having a baby, it turns out, is mind-numbingly exhausting.

And while I’m one for routine, it’s getting pretty monotonous. I’m looking forward to the day my little monster is able to play with me and make messes and generally screw with my routine. Mostly, I’m tired of all the sitting. That’s kind of the bummer of having a baby in the middle of winter. There’s not a lot of outside time that can happen when the temperature is “bone chilling”, especially for a baby! I miss running and doing yoga, both of which I’ve finally been cleared to participate in again.

The only thing is…my little monster is kind of the worst.

Okay, she’s not. She’s pretty much the prettiest baby every invented and I love her more than words can say. But she’s a handful. And DAMN does that girl have a set of pipes on her! Her shrieks are nothing short of blood curdling. She doesn’t want to be held, until recently she didn’t want to sleep, she doesn’t want to be in a carrier. Basically all the things that should work to calm her, don’t work. And it’s infuriating. For the last seven weeks, she’s been either attached to my boob or screaming.

I can’t count the times I cried, wondering what’s wrong with her or how to fix her or “why the hell won’t my baby stop crying?” or asking why she doesn’t like being snuggled by me or why every other baby is happy and calm or when she’ll finally smile at me.

Then yesterday, I just sort of gave in and gave up.

I woke up, fed my daughter, and set a crying baby in her swing while I had breakfast and coffee.

And I didn’t feel one iota of bad. She was fed, changed, and safe.

It’s a hard thing to learn, taking care of oneself. It’s something I’ve never been terribly good at. But having a baby certainly changes things and one thing it changed for me has been learning to care for myself. I’m allowed to have a shower and eat breakfast every day. What that really means is: caring for me is just as important as caring for Godzilla. It means that I still get and need to write and read. It means that having a glass of wine with dinner is okay (and sometimes necessary). It means that if a shower turns into a bath, even if it’s only for a few minutes, THAT’S OKAY.

Being a mom is hard.

Being “just me” is hard.

And every morning is a chance to try again.

3 thoughts on “On becoming a caretaker….

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