What I am about to say will likely either resonate with you or really piss you off. Either way, I have to say it:
Right now, I do not like being a mother.
This makes me feel terrible – not only because it seems as if I should love it from the beginning but also because I went through so much to get here. I’m not a 16 year old who got knocked up by accident. I pursued motherhood the way many people approach climbing Mt. Everest. How could I go through so much to get something and then not want it when I got it?
Unfortunately, I never spent much time while we were trying to get and stay pregnant thinking about the details of what would happen if we actually had a child. I mean, it just seemed so distant, so alien, so … not going to ever happen that I did not want to torture myself with thoughts of what we would do with an infant. Then, once I was pregnant this last time and it looked like it was actually going to stick, I didn’t want to jinx myself by thinking about the future for fear that something terrible would happen.
So I was seriously unprepared for the utter shock and awe of the introduction of a newborn into the household. I knew that there would be disruption and sleep deprivation, but I didn’t know that taking care of an infant day in and day out would be such a soul-sucking endeavor. Because, right now I have a baby that does what any almost 4-week old does: eats, cries, sleeps, poops, pees, and repeats. No smiles, no giggles, no cooing. It’s just not in the developmental milestones yet. Which means that I am a janitor, waitress, chef, and nanny all rolled into one with not even a little smile to break the monotony.
There is at least one moment, each day, when I want my old life back or when I fantasize about getting a full-time nanny to whom I can give him whenever he cries or when I want to sleep. Whenever I get out of the house by myself, I feel as if I am on parole but still required to return to the prison after a few hours. Everyone tells me that it will get better, but that was like telling me that I would eventually get pregnant when we were dealing with infertility – it did nothing to help me at the time. I’m also afraid that these feelings mean that my dad was right all along: I’m too selfish to be a mother because I do want my time, my sleep and my freedom, still.
That being said, I am slowly accepting that this is my new life. And, I still look forward to those little milestones – longer sleep, the first smile, the first day we can put him in daycare. I’m also trying to find some enjoyment in this period – I don’t want to look back and regret that I didn’t enjoy it more.