I have so much to say these days but I worry that people will get tired of hearing about Josie and how much she is growing, how lovely it is to lay in bed with her and nurse, how much absolute joy I am finding in this whole stay-at-home-mom gig. When it is hard and I worry about money and how we are going to do this on one income, I worry that people are going to laugh and say “You asked for this!” and take me less than seriously. Worry, too, that if I say anything about just how hard it has been to adjust to a new baby, one who cries and doesn’t sleep and spits up all of the time, I will hear the “yes, but you planned this and knew what you were getting into…” What happens, then, is that I worry myself into a frenzy about what people will think and I don’t write anything at all.
I don’t understand why I worry so much about any of it. My sister and I were talking recently about this very thing, about how the first few months were just so, so hard for me, and I couldn’t figure out what to do with this sad, crying baby, and I spent a lot of time crying myself…and I didn’t feel like I could SAY that because yes, I did want this. She asked me why I judge myself so harshly, because the joy and wonder of it all doesn’t negate the fact that sometimes it’s just really hard. I forget that sometimes, that people don’t necessarily see me in the same light I see myself, and those who might tell me I made my bed and therefore must lie in it are probably not people I hang out with or talk to on a regular basis.
And it IS hard. Josie is much better in terms of crying, and is turning into quite a happy baby. I don’t think it is a coincidence that her general disposition began to change as soon as I started working part-time, and has improved a thousand-fold since not working at all. She just had such a hard time with daycare and bottle feeding and being with someone who wasn’t me. That doesn’t mean it is suddenly a breeze, you know? There is definitely a big difference in having a baby at almost forty and, say, 20. Or 34, when I had my last one. I am a lot more tired than I used to be, for one thing. And the sheer amount of work involved is sometimes overwhelming; some days I find myself not even wanting to leave the house because of the work it takes to get her all loaded up in the car, and the CARSEAT! Yikes!
As with anything, though, there is so much good that it outweighs most of the hard, or at least makes it tolerable. I think it’s all hard, no matter what-working out of the home and trying to balance that, working part-time, not working at all-it’s all just a different kind of hard.
Today I resolve to worry less about what people might think, and instead just write like I used to. Life is still life, and I have much to say about a lot of it (really? We are going to stop teaching cursive in schools? Are you KIDDING me?). I haven’t lost my mind since having this baby, haven’t forgotten that life still goes on, haven’t forgotten that I have a brain and need to use it.