better daysPosted: June 5, 2013
my mistake, i’ve realized, was in thinking my life could go on as it was, only with a child. i was okay with being a mother as long as i could fit caring for an infant into the little gaps in my life, in between working, hanging out with friends and keeping house, and i couldn’t understand when it wouldn’t quite work out.
for weeks, i struggled to put some sort of semblance of order into my everydays with roque.
i got up and fed him when he woke in the middle of the night, burped and rocked him to sleep after. i changed his diapers. i gave him baths. i cuddled him when he got fussy. i did all these as fast as i could, my mind on the other things that weren’t getting done because as it turned out, time flies not only when you’re having fun, but also when you’re tending to a demanding, needy three-week-old.
before i knew it, half the day was gone and the laundry, which i had planned on doing that morning, sat in one corner, still unwashed.
and so hours and days passed and i got more and more anxious and more and more tired and more and more frustrated until finally, i collapsed in my husband’s arms one afternoon, sobbing uncontrollably and blubbering ‘i can’t do this anymore’ over and over.
my mistake, i’ve since realized, was in thinking my life could go on as it was, only with a child. it took almost a month before this realization dawned, and when it did, everything clicked into place.
i don’t fit caring for my child into my life, i fit my life *around* caring for my child.
and so i tried doing things differently.
i still get up and feed roque when he wakes in the middle of the night, burp and rock him to sleep after. i still change his diapers. i still give him baths. i still cuddle him when he gets fussy. Only now, i don’t rush through each item to get to the next one on my list. i force myself to relax and instead of anxiously rocking my son so he hurries up and naps, i let him decide when he’s good and ready to stop playing and go to sleep.
two weeks later and it seems to be working.
i get up each day now not knowing how it would go. sometimes roque wakes up at 10am and sleeps the whole day. sometimes he wakes up at 8am and stays awake the whole day. alvin sometimes comes home to a happy mommy and baby tableau, and he sometimes walks in the door and gets snapped at by a tired, crabby wife.
i obviously still haven’t gotten it all figured out, far from it. letting go of the other things on my list goes against my nature and tears continue to flow, but my days are better.
more importantly, i don’t wake up with dread at the thought of another day alone with my baby anymore. at least not everyday.