It’s been a crazy few weeks, to say the least. Week one felt like one big long day. Week two was half getting the hang of it, half introducing EV to her paternal grandparents. This week, with Daddy back at work and no guests (until next week), it’s the first time I get to know what it’s really like to be a stay-at-home-mom.
And I’ll be honest, I don’t love it all the time.
In fact, I’m writing this at 1am because my newborn (who is basically not even a newborn anymore, since I put away all her newborn clothes) is being rocked to sleep between my legs after needing to be nursed, and I’m a little overwhelmed with a feeling of hopelessness. Will I ever sleep, eat, or relieve myself without being needed in the middle of it? No? Ok.
How about let’s focus on the good stuff?
I love breastfeeding. It’s not all fun and games, but I’m so happy we can do it. Yes, it’s exhausting and painful and I just want my body back already, but there are so many good things about it. First, it’s beautiful. The bonding that happens (triggered by a release of the fantastic super drug, oxytocin) is incredibly special. I often feel relieved when she nurses right for a long time, and not just about that she’s eating well. But she sure is, she’s put on a lot of good weight! Plus I know she gets extra benefits from my milk, like immunities and long term brain development. That’s not to say I’m against formula at all! It’s wonderful that we live in a time where mothers don’t have to go insane if breastfeeding doesn’t work out, and that every baby can be fed. But man, it’s nice to feed her for free! I just wish she didn’t need to eat at 1am and 4am!
I love those fake smiles. Only sometimes are they “fart smiles” as Daddy likes to call them. Most of the time they are just unsolicited practice smiles. And a couple of times, usually when she’s sleepy, I’ve watched her laugh! I know they don’t actually mean anything (except that she’s not crying) but I still enjoy them as much as I will enjoy the real thing.
I love being needed. Also, I hate this sometimes. But there is something about a little, tiny human being happy just because you are there. Do I want her to sleep on her own? Well, yeah, but it’s also sweet that she essentially is saying, “I need you to feel comfortable enough to sleep!” Or just “hey, I don’t really want to do anything else except have your attention.” Ok, baby girl, I guess I can pause my episode of Cupcake Wars to watch you go cross-eyed at me.
I love co-parenting with the man I adore. He’s her daddy, and I see him when I look at her face and I can’t get over how much I love both of them. Together, especially. Nothing compares to seeing the man you love most cuddle the person you made together and love her more than you thought was possible. I love that he stills sees the woman I was before I stretched out into a balloon, and that he’s willing to lose just as much sleep as me, even if all he can do is stroke my hair as I weep from exhaustion. He’s a strong person, and I couldn’t imagine this without him.
I love every little feature. I love how small she is now, and how pudgy she’s becoming, how much monkey fuzz she was born with, all of that beautiful dark hair, her pretty little eyes and cute nose, and how I’m still discovering whose traits she has. And I love that so many people see a beautiful baby! Of course she is beautiful! I’m her momma, so I can’t help but see it, but so many others just dote on her.
I love being Mom. It’s hard, but nothing hasn’t been worth it. I can’t imagine not being mom. I also can’t imagine being mom to a toddler, or grade-school kid, or, good grief, a teenager! But I don’t have to, because I get to enjoy EV as a little 3-week old for a few more days. Then she will be one month old, and 8 months by Christmas, and before I know it, I’ve got a person with opinions on my hands! I just hope I don’t royally screw it up before we get there, although, I have a feeling I probably will in some way, and it probably won’t matter in the long run.
I love you, EV. Always.