Last week I was all fired up about getting! the baby! on a schedule! so we can sleep more than a few hours at a time! These people say you can, even at this age, so I paid the money and watched the slide show and then existentially freaked the f*ck out.
Freaked the existential f*cking out? Freaked the f*ck out existentially? Whatever. I freaked out and it was existential.
Short version: what is my job as the mother of a newborn?
I keep wanting to do things (or not do things) now for the benefit of later. (If I was a Writer, I’d somehow work in a reference to those hard candies you have to drool all over to be able to chew well enough to swallow, each time risking death-by-choking.) I worry about carrying Jav around now so we don’t have to break him of the habit later. We have now begun using every single thing I hoped to avoid lest we be miserably trying to wean him of sleep dependencies later: a swing, bouncer, white noise machine, swaddle, and walking-around-while-bouncing-frantically-and-praying-to-the-gods-of-sleep that this cute kid of mine would go the f*ck to sleep. Or at the very least, STOP CRYING PLEASE YOU’RE MAKING ME CRAZY BECAUSE I FEEL BAD FOR YOU IN YOUR MISERY.
That’s the thing about parenthood so far: I just feel so bad for the poor little guy that we can’t figure out what he’s trying to tell us.
Food? Here, have more food! You must be hungry! <he pukes> Okay, not hungry. Too full? Keep puking! Whatever you need to feel better. <still cries>
Hmmm. Diaper change? Diaper change! Maybe you have diaper rash, even though your tukus isn’t red? And a pee diaper makes it burn? We will change you and lube you up with b*tt paste! <calms down> <then loses his shit again>
Sleepy? <yawn> Oh, yay, I saw you yawn! Here, I will rock you! No? How about swaddled and rocked? <loses shit as he has never lost his shit before… well, this morning> Okay, no swaddle? Crap, now you’re flailing. How about a swaddle, sush, pacifier, and laying on your side? Damn you, Dr. Karp, IT’S NOT WORKING. How about this $200 swing? ARGH. Maybe I’ll climb into the swing. Do we have booze? ARGH!
My husband and I hand him off to each other like we’re relay partners and he’s the baton, the hand-er leaving the nursery with head in hands trying to keep it together, the hand-ee taking deep breaths and looking deep within for a positive attitude and some hope.
Where was I? Ah, yes, finding perspective. After a very long weekend The Sleep Nazi, I’ve come to realize the only way to survive is to stop thinking ahead. Much like we got through his Birthday Eve by living three minutes at a time (two and a half minute contractions plus a 30 second break), we’re going to get through the next few weeks a day or hour or minute at a time. What else can we do?
I spent half of my free time reading Sara’s posts about parenthood, finally cluing in that what works now might not be necessary later as the kiddo grows up (!), then perusing the Dr. Sears website (attachment parenting) and the rest writing this post to remind myself that I am being paid to do what my newborn needs, and if I don’t know what he needs, I can be watching closely so I can learn more about him. I’m fighting the anxiety that comes with not being able to do X and get Y and knowing every day will bring new challenges. I’m just doing what needs to be done when it appears it’s necessary and trying not to think about how tired I am or hopeless I might be feeling.
We just get through the day. We’re doing pretty well, actually, something I tend to forget as I find myself wishing we were more textbook, but of course, one can’t expect that with a baby. I’m going to need to focus more on finding a solution now and leave dealing with later to… later.
This post brought to you by swaddling blankets, Boudreux’s Butt Paste, Moby wrap, Fisher Price’s Snugabunny swing, my husband, the dog, Dr. Karp’s Five S’s, and the glider my mom sent us. None of them sponsored the post or anything, but all were helpful at some point today.
Baby J is one month and two days old/ four weeks and five days old.