Yesterday was hard. Joseph has become super clingy in the last week or so, which makes trying to do anything even more difficult than it usually is. Nearly every time I sat down to play with him, he'd abandon his toys and flop his way over to me. It's adorable the first twenty times, and then it starts to wear. As soon as I'd get him distracted a little with a toy and get up to do something else, he'd wail and flop ineffectually in my direction.
Mothers always talk about getting their bodies back. I always assumed they meant that they wanted their figures back. While that's certainly a component, I think it's even more that my body is always in demand by someone else, usually Joseph. I've enjoyed breastfeeding, for the most part, but I look forward to wearing a dress in about 6 months. I also look forward to the day my hair won't be seen as a toy (or lately, food) and I can wear it down. While wearing a dress.
Joseph's feet are clammy. This didn't bother me when it was winter and he was wearing socks all the time, but now that it's warmed up, his feet drive me crazy, especially when I'm trying to get him down for a nap. I'll put my hand on his chest and he'll wrap his legs around my arm (which is kind of sweet), but then his clammy, sticky feet are all over my dry arm. Ick. I nearly lost it yesterday. I can usually deal by putting the other hand on his chest so he can't reach it, but sometimes only the one hand will do.
The couple I wrote about a few posts ago were finally able to adopt a sweet little baby boy. I was trying to get Joseph to sleep while I read about it. I couldn't help but smile to myself at their pictures on Facebook. And then my child gave a mighty scream that broke my reverie and then continued screaming for several very long minutes. Having a baby is awesome most of the time, but the hard stuff is REALLY hard.
I really do like being a mom. It hands-down beats any other job I've ever had. But there's also way more pressure than with my other jobs, so much far-reaching responsibility for this one tiny person. Am I feeding him the right things? Am I making the right medical decisions? Am I a failure because he doesn't sleep through the night? Am I helping him develop language and motor skills? How do I arrange this small apartment that has almost no storage so that he doesn't pull the crock pot down on his little skull? In all my jobs I've prided myself on being knowledgeable and competent. In this job, I'm neither.
This is not to say that I don't read and try to find out, but it seems that all the information on raising a child is contradictory. Feed him cereal at four months or exclusively breastfeed until he can feed himself? Ferber as teaching a valuable skill or Ferber as torturing your helpless child? Binky or thumb? Nothing you do is ever right, at least to someone, and that someone always has something to say about it. As if mothers needed more guilt.
However, avocados were a smashing success. After the frustration that was rice cereal, it's nice to know my kid will not be looking to my body for sustenance for the rest of his life.
Resentment Not Hate
17 hours ago