Happy December! It’s December now, I think. I don’t know about dates or days of the week or time anymore — I just go where the calendar tells me, which is usually to a doctor — but I know it’s cold, and the baby needs a hat, and I know when he ate last and when he will probably want to eat again (immediately).
Readers, our son is two months old tomorrow and I am here to tell you that the first two months are HARD TIMES. So tough that honestly I am inclined to beg you child-rearing couples to please reconsider. Traveling the world is wonderful and very rewarding. So is going to the theater and museums and dance parties and restaurants and not seeing four different doctors to treat “severe nipple damage” and sleeping more than 3 hours at a time and not spending 75% of one’s income on childcare.* Every single parent I know says the same thing: these are hard times, but you will get through them, and it gets better — not easier, but better. Many of these parents have gone on to have MORE children, which tells me one of two things:
- They have all experienced permanent brain damage from 2+ months of no sleep;
- They’re all right.
Look my money is on the brain damage, but I’ve been in a lot of physical pain for a long time and that colors one’s world view. The alternate title to this blog post was going to be “oh honey, you’re brave” — which is what the last lactation consultant said before my angel baby child chomped down on the aforementioned severe nipple damage.
The days are shaped by a sense of urgency bookmarked by feedings and sleep. When the baby goes down for a nap, I usually get between 20 minutes and three hours to pump, eat, go to the bathroom, do chores or sleep. This means that whatever I’m doing that’s not sleeping is compromised because I’d rather be sleeping, and the sleep sucks because I’m racked with guilt about not doing all the other things.
Fun fact: missing a meal now means not only do I go hungry but also my breast milk supply will probably dry up and I will no longer be able to feed my child. So eat/drink up!
My mom is here to help and I’ve taken advantage of her presence to take a course on React. Yes I know I just told you I have zero free time but I needed something to remind me that I am more than a (flawed) feeding machine, so we’re making it work — and I’ve wanted to add React to my developer toolbox for some time. So maybe one of these days I’ll write about that. Maybe in month four. I’m holding out big hopes for month four.
I should probably end this post on a positive note so I don’t bum you out, or at the very least give you a cute baby picture. I mean, the kid is really very sweet and cute and I love him, but that does not make these times less tough. And, this blogging is taking away time when I could be sleeping.
So toughen up, readers.
Yours in hanging in there,
*Did you know that to hire a nanny you have to become that nanny’s employer what with the health care and sick days and the whole nine yards? So get on the daycare waiting lists, parents to be. Do it now even though you don’t want to.