Apr 25, 2017

I Love My Kid, But...

This post is inspired by conversations with other moms about our secret and not-so-secret struggles.  You really don't want to complain all the time, because there's not really a solution or even necessarily a problem.

But that doesn't change the fact that sometimes you feel like your house is a mess, your dogs aren't getting enough attention, you can barely get projects completed and sent in to your clients, neither you or the baby has bathed in 4 days, and your brain is so chaotic that you can't figure out how to handle any of it any better than you are.  If, indeed, such an improvement is possible.

I love my kid, but...

... I went to a "coffee date" (meeting with a potential client) with green something crusted on my sleeve.  Guacamole?  Breakfast smoothie?  Bodily fluids?  Who knows!

... sometimes I only breastfeed because I'm hoping it will make him sleepy enough that I can read a few pages in my book before he wakes up enough to eat more.

... he has peed on me far more times than seems necessary.  And not once on Ryan.  Fair?  I think not.

... I wish he would nap for more than 30 minutes at a time.  Oh!  And sleeping through the night.  That was nice.  Why did that go away?

... nipple pads suck.

... our current situation makes running my (not-very-profitable-but-very-time-consuming) business seem impractical.  I'm torn between clinging on despite the dust gathering in my bank accounts or giving up and looking for a full time job or maybe just being a house wife.  Anything that would require less multi-tasking and fewer late nights!

... I miss frivolous shopping for myself instead of always baby things.  I can't justify it right now but I would love to buy a tunic or blouse instead of more onesies and diapers.

... evening fussy time is not my favorite.  Nor is his newfound tendency to spit the bottle out and scream despite being hungry.  I know he's still hungry because we swaddle him, he calms down, and then he drinks 3 or 4 ounces of formula.  Jerk.

... I'm afraid to take him anywhere.  Who wants to be that person with the screaming baby in public?  Not I!

... it hurts my feelings when he won't breastfeed.  Ridiculous?  Yes.  But I am apparently incapable of being rational about breastfeeding.

... tensions are high in our household.  It's not Orion's fault, but Ryan and I are definitely both easier to get along with when we've had proper sleep and some alone time and right now neither of those is happening.

... I miss earrings and my ring and wearing clothes without first considering their potential impact on a baby.  (Is it sharp?  Is it easy to remove?  Will I be devastated if it gets poop on it?)

... I feel like a bad mom, no matter how many times Ryan tells me I'm doing a good job.  I feel like I don't have my shit together and I'm setting a terrible example for everything and each new event and client project that I schedule is an attempt to keep this train from derailing.

On the first runthrough of this post I ended on kind of a negative note.  Because there have been some pretty tough days, like lay face down on the carpet next to Orion's play mat and cry days, and I don't want to sugarcoat that or be just another rose-tinted pretend-perfect mom making everyone else feel like I'm doing it better than they are.  Hahaha, no.  Our house is far from perfect.

But I also don't want to make it sound like I regret having a child.  I've been making a lot of jokes on Facebook, both because sometimes it's better to laugh than cry and because I don't want to be a super sappy parent, at least not in public.  But I've had a few comments that make me think I'm coming across rather complain-y.

I don't regret this.  I chose this and I know it and if sometimes it isn't all I thought it would be, well that's my problem to deal with.  And there are other ways in which it's more than I ever thought it would be so it balances out.

Raising a child is a challenge, in the same way that running a marathon, writing a book, starting a business, overcoming a fear, or achieving any goal is a challenge.  For me, it's been more emotionally loaded than some of the other challenges I've taken on, and it's affected all the other areas of my life in ways I didn't necessarily expect.

But it is in all ways I challenge I appreciate because I love my little morsel of humanity.  Like rampaging mother bear love.  Like fussy mother hen love.  Like apparently-only-animal-comparisons love.

And I think it's making me a better person.  Stronger, more patient, less judgmental.

But that doesn't mean I can't laugh at it sometimes.  And admit that it's hard sometimes.  Because I love my kid, but...

What's something challenging you've decided to do and how has it changed your life?

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