Thursday, September 18, 2014

2 months in

I hear some moms look at pictures of their kids or something while they pump but this is the reading material I go for.  Getting anything that isn't an audiobook finished is a challenge these days.  There are just so many things I want to be doing daily.  Freddie and I are all the way up to page 25 in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which I think is impressive.  But that's 25 pages over 2 months (my baby is 2 months old...and a whopping 9 pounds!).  Somehow the "bath, book, breast, bed" routine has been mostly truncated to "breast, bed."  

So often, I feel like I'm just barely scraping by in terms of being active and present with her.  So often, I find myself just sitting with her in my lap, zoning out, because by the time my day is done and we're there sitting together at the end of the day, despite the fact that it's the longest amount of time I even get with her, I'm so tired that I can't bring myself to do much with it.  Then I beat myself up about it -- 'You only have about two hours of time with her when she's awake per day, and you're wasting it!' I might say to myself reproachfully as I hold her and Internet at the same time (keeping the screen away from her visual range).  My mom plays with her a ton during the day and she gets lots of mental stimulation that way -- by the time my day is done, I'm barely there.  On Tuesdays I don't get out of work until 9:15PM, and then it's still a 45 minute drive home.  I barely see her on Tuesdays at all.  Even my normal days are as follows:

5:45-6AM: wake up

6-7AM: feed/pump/shower/get out the door

7-8AM: drive to my mom's house, drop Freddie off

8-9AM: drive to work

9-5:30: work

5:30-6:15: drive to pick up Freddie (I do this part for 2 weeks while I'm at one library branch, then Patrick does for 2 weeks while I work the farther-away branch, so this at least is ok, although what I wouldn't give to flip-flop the morning shift instead...but doing that makes less sense, alas)

6:15-7:15: pick her up, go home

By the time I get home, I'm dead to the world.  I have a generally easy baby, but still.

Someday, we will spend our time together doing things other than zoning out.  But these are not those days.  At least not during the week.

At least there are weekends.  Of course, she zones out a lot then too...but at least I feel like I make up for my lack of weekday presence on Saturdays and Sundays (at least, when I don't work Saturdays, which I do off and on in rotation).

I am trying, sweet little baby.  I am trying so hard to be there.  It's just hard.  The hours slip away.  

I'm writing this during a lunch break.  It's not the best I could pull together, but the best will have to wait.


  1. This is easier said than done, BUT! BUT BUT ALL THE BUTS! I used to worry about this - I left before anyone and got home after everyone every day for the majority of Gabe's first year. BUT BUT BUT - Think of her life, her WHOLE LIFE, think of your childhood and your relationship with your parents. If your mom was working a ton and just sat with you snuggled on her lap did you notice? Did it impact your life? That actually sounds incredibly loving to me. Just BEING with the new human. And she is young, so young. She needs to be protected and touched and fed and changed and comforted. I didn't even speak directly to my own child for a month - I would sing and stuff, but I felt like I was talking to myself when I tried, so I just didn't. You have years and years and years ahead to be amazing and engaged and present. Just keep her alive and you get straight As. You are a great mom just for having these thoughts, but let yourself off the hook. Be hookless.

    1. Be hookless -- I like that. Thank you.

  2. I have a friend who has suffered severe depression off and on throughout the past several years. She was consumed by guilt over how the depression was limiting her in what she was able to give to her daughters. Finally her therapist told her to stop trying to be a great mom, that it was absolutely okay to just be a "good enough mom." That stuck with me and, even though depression is not something I've had to deal with, I have found myself in circumstances for periods of time that I've been able to tell myself, "maybe I'm not that great, super-involved, motivated mom right now. But I can be a good enough mom. It's fine." And, honestly, I think sitting with your baby in your lap at the end of the day when you are exhausted and dead to the world is probably even a step better than good enough. There were nights when my baby girl was fussy that I didn't hold her much at all because she was happier, quieter in the swing (that swing I swore I wasn't ever going to buy, because that sort of thing is for lazy, hands-off moms...ha!) I'm not sure that I have any specific point here except to encourage you that barely scraping by still counts.

    (And, also, that's the cutest baby bonnet ever.)

    1. That's pretty much what I'm trying to tell myself -- that not reading her three books a night and counting her toes twenty times and then getting her to giggle while I pinch her cheeks is okay sometimes. That if I'm dead to the world and just need to sit and stare at the wall for a while that it's okay, and I'm not harming our relationship. I guess part of my frustration is that I want to do these things but just can't muster the energy much, and it's such a small amount of energy to muster that I end up feeling a bit like I'm failing. But then...I know I'm not.

      (UB2 bonnets are the cutest!)

  3. I can understand. I have about the same amount of time with Lorelai once I get home from work, but between school and hypothyroid fatigue/brain fog I am just done. It's a struggle to get her fed and not turn to something microwaved/fast food and lately I wonder if she really is just a quiet kid or my slack with reading or my own quietness is hampering her language skills. :< It's kind of a slap in the face after the long wait to conceive and then the epic struggle through pregnancy with my health issues. Sometimes though, what we need is to be able to stop and look back more closely at the weekends and the moments where you felt warm and enough and understand that you are absolutely enough, even in the moments where all you can do is stare into the distance and let your system recharge. She's there, recharging with you. <3