Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Always On

These past four months since my sweet boy has arrived have been filled with more joy than I could have ever imagined. He is just perfect in every way and I love him so much.

There has definitely been an adjustment period as evidenced by the lack of posting to my blog, cleaning of my house, washing laundry, and generally keeping up with the day-to-day stuff I had under pretty good control previously.

Orion is a pretty easy baby. He is not extremely fussy, though he has his days (today was one of them), and he is much more fussy in the evening than in the morning. He has been a good sleeper, increasing his stretches of night time sleep from about a month on. Up until last week he had been sleeping through the night for 9 weeks but those of you with babies know that can change. He likes to be held a lot but he is smiley and happy and playful and truly a joy.

BUT...

Taking care of a baby is hard work. Taking care of a baby with 3 older kids in the house is hard work. Taking care of a baby and three older kids while your hubby works a bazillion hours is hard work.

The first month was definitely the hardest. Day-to-day was hard. Orion ate more often, he ate all night, and he cried more. I was still not 100% physically and definitely not emotionally. Getting the hang of breastfeeding and learning to nurse while running around with 3 big kids to all their activities takes time. Looking back though around a month things started getting a little bit easier and by 6 weeks I really felt like we had hit our stride. Orion and I knew each other better. I knew his needs and special cries and knew his likes and dislikes.

The part I struggle with most is that I always have to be "on". What do I mean by that? I mean that while I can rest while the baby rests but my mind is thinking of all the other things that need done. I mean that he may be sleeping now but I know in 30 minutes he'll be ready to eat again. I mean that as soon as he fusses or needs something I have to be "on". There is no sick days or I'm too tired or many breaks. Really and truly I'm always "on". I jump up when he cries. I hold him in the evening when he fusses because he'll just cry for daddy. I do bedtime routine. I do grocery shopping with a cranky baby because trying to etch out time in the busy schedule of a family of 6 for me to shop alone is difficult. I'm always on.

I realize some of this has to do with the dynamic of Nate and my marriage. I know not every mother feels this way but I think a lot do. I know Nate could give him bottles occasionally to give me more freedom but honestly it is more hassle than it's worth with all the pumping, cleaning, preparing, sterilizing. Breastfeeding is easy and natural for us now. This is the child I waited many years for and also my last and I know it goes by in a blink of an eye (my oldest is 12, something I cannot believe most days) so I want to savor every moment I have with Orion. Some moms don't love the newborn phase but I do. I love when they are teeny tiny and just love to be held. I love that I'm Orion's favorite person in the whole world and if no one else can calm him down simply being in my arms is enough to bring him calm.

Despite all that sometimes I just wish I could have a day off. Not a whole day away from my baby but a whole day without responsibility. A day I didn't have to be "on". A day I know someone else would take care of what needed done. A day to just relax and enjoy and just be. I guess that is parenting though. Mixed emotions. You don't want them to grow up too quickly but you need a break too.

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2 comments:

Catherine @ Evolving Mommy said...

I hear you, Michelle. It's tough. Really tough.

MommaBird.net said...

I can so relate to this.

When I was breastfeeding, I felt like I had an invisible leash attached to my son and no matter how I could explain it to the hubs, he just didn't quite get it. I like your explanation better, that you always have to be on. Though I did pump (and wash pump parts, store, freeze, thaw, etc) due to supply issues, I still loved the bonding time BF gave us.

I'm a new follower, found your blog from Greeblemonkey's list of CO bloggers :)