Last night was a good night; in fact it was a great night! And by great, I mean we only had to wake up about 4 times for feeds, and that was that. No crying, no fussiness, and back to sleep. And yes, that is what I call a good night these days.
Because it is all part of being a mother, the lack of sleep, the odd hours, and all of the madness that goes along with it. Motherhood is not all roses and unicorns, and as much as the mainstream media tries to push that image, we need to understand that its just a façade.
The truth is that motherhood is mental, messy and maddening. It is magical and miraculous and everything in between.
I remember going through the first few days living on adrenaline! Every little thing was exciting, but a lot of things were terrifying too. Like a lot of moms, I was scared of every move we made. Is the baby too hot? Too cold? Hungry? Happy? Breathing? I know for a fact that many of us have gently nudged a sleeping baby to confirm if all was well.
And if everything related to the baby didn’t consume us, there were other things on the mind – the husband, the house, and even ourselves.
Sleep becomes a long lost friend. I thought new moms with first borns were having a tough time when I heard a comment from another mom with three kids who said it has been seven years since she had a decent night’s sleep! Sometimes I wonder why we do it, but then, the answer is obvious, no?
When was the last time mommy had a decent bath? Ha! Good one. I have even gone out of the house with bubba pee on my clothes, because I just couldn’t bother changing. And on the other end, I have had six baths in one night, because I woke up for every feed sweating like a piggy! And on occasion, the hubby had to gently break it to me that I might need a bath! Oooops!
I spend hours everyday connected to a machine! Pumping milk for the wee one! Fun? absolutely not! and I can’t wait to see the last of my pump!
And even now, almost six months on, if the options were have a bath vs sit doing nothing, I almost always pick sit doing nothing! Or sometimes, it is a stroke of genius, and I sit under a hot shower doing nothing!
Mealtime is another exciting event! Yes, I did say event. Because that is what it is now. Sometimes I think bubs has some unique in built radar that goes off the moment I sit to eat! And then it becomes almost a race to finish my meal.
And getting ready to go out! Sigh. Bags and more bags. And diaper changes and getting dressed. And car seat and ensuring bubba is tucked in well! I don’t do any trips anymore if its less than an hour! No way am I going through all of this packing, and checking, and dressing up if I am not going to be somewhere for atleast an hour. Unless it is shopping! Although, I must admit that most of my shopping now seems to be online!
And there is also the worry of how we take care of ourselves.What about the fact that most clothes don’t fit anymore! I mean, after delivery, I was able to fit into everything, and now after a few months, I feel like I am gaining even more than I did when I was preggers. But I just can’t seem to stop eating. The hair falling out in clumps. I am convinced that bubba and I will have the same amount of hair in a few weeks. And absolutely no time to take care of it, no time for oil massages or conditioning sessions. I mean, can I try harder and make the time? Yes! Would I rather just relax and not do much in that time? A bigger yes!
I have stopped meals midway, and I have even left the bathroom mid-business. And once in a blue moon, I have taken bubs to the bathroom with me! I have cried, and I have screamed, and I have been too tired to move.
Would I love some more me time? Of course! One night of sleep – about 6 hours! One long bath with no disturbances. One day without washing bottles, and worrying about sterilizing it! One movie at the cinema!
But then I look at my options, and you know what? None of this matters! When that little face lights up with a smile! That little hand touches your face. When bubba looks u with you with eyes full of love, trust and hope, when at the end of a long day, you cuddle up with bubba for a while! The rest of it just melts away.
And as much as I would like some me time, I wouldn’t change a thing! Because, as mental and maddening as it may be, motherhood is the greatest experience ever!
PS – By no means is this a critique of the man of the house. He is more than supportive and have been and will continue to be my full partner in parenting. And he has been the chief diaper changer and baby-carer, and yes, I do get plenty of time-offs, but some things still need me!