They say the first child is the one you stress over. Everything is so new and unknown. Stress is higher, germs are scarier, you’re constantly afraid of making some life altering mistake. As if choosing breast or bottle will somehow determine if you child will ultimately be capable of running for president in their adult life.
For me, my first child was stressful yes. I was young and naive, I had just turned twenty five, my husband and I had never been around children much so our expectations were pretty clueless. Our daughter was a fantastic sleeper right out of the gate and ate like a champ. Sure she cried uncontrollably every time her eyes were open for the first few weeks but overall she was a great baby. At least that’s the way I see it now that I have my son.
You see, for the longest time I remember my daughter being this terrible baby. I remember feeling so happy to be a mother yet frequently feeling stressed by shopping trips and simple outings because of her crying. My husband on the other hand, remembers things differently. He says she was great, slept all the time, ate like a champ.
Facts are, she was sleeping through the night at nine weeks old and never looked back. From the day we bright her home from the hospital she slept for four hours, nursed for an hour. Slept for four hours, nursed for an hour. She was predictable. It was constant. We quickly had a routine. At five days old we found ourselves walking around Target, her sound asleep, not a care in the world knowing we had hours before she would wake.
I see now my fear of breastfeeding in public was my number one issue with my daughter, which I have now quickly gotten over with my son. Because with my son well, I learned fast that if I didn’t nurse in public, standing up, walking around cooking, cleaning, painting with my daughter, on the toilet then I would never leave the couch again. In the past six weeks of my sons life I’ve had a very rude awakening of the other side. The “bad baby” the colicky crying all day long never stops no matter what you do won’t nap unless you’re holding him standing up bouncing around baby. The screaming uncontrollably in line at the grocery store while everyone is staring at you like what the hell is wrong with this person taking this tiny baby to the store alone? When all you wanted was to pick up milk and bananas so your husband can come straight home after working twelve hours on his feet. It shouldn’t be such a task to leave the house, but it is. I admit it, there are at least two ten minute cry it out periods a day at this point. I know he can’t self south but honestly, mommy needs a shower and to switch the laundry without having to do that weird back bend thing while supporting you in your little boba wrap with my other hand. Mommy needs to make at least one sandwich a week using two hands. It’s been days since I ate more than bananas and granola bars for lunch. Help a sister out here.
Help. Even when I have it, doesn’t matter. Baby wants mommy. It’s ok. Mommy loves every waking second of it. After everything we went through to bring his precious life into the world I adore every second of his beautiful little face. Those big smiles I’m starting to see that light up a room, even if they are few and far between. I love it all. I have somehow yet to become stressed for more than a second. Even though this post probably makes me sound like I am. Today is the first time I’ve even complained.
Truth is, I love being home. I love taking care of my family. I have never been happier in my life. I feel truly, deeply happy. I could spend every waking minute cuddled up watching him sleep on me. I really could. I just wish I had a maid and a personal chef to take care of everything else around here while I do that. Just for now. While I get us through this hard part.
And when they say the second time around is supposed to be all, drop the binky in the dirt wipe it with your shirt move on. Well, we don’t use pacifiers but that’s not the point. The point is, I’m more nervous now than ever. About everything. Five years have passed since having a little one around and the years of experience have only added to my neurosis. But at least now I know how fleeting these moments are so I know better than to take them for granted. I would take these cry baby days non stop for the rest of my life if I never had to go back to work again.