Monday, November 7, 2011

Keeping Afloat

Even when your baby only eats, sleeps, and poops, there are a multitude of things to get done during the day. And let's face it: when you're waking up with your baby every few hours in the night (because even the best of newborn babies wake up several times a night...even with help from the best of husbands) there's only so much energy at your disposal to do all of these things. To clean all the clothes your baby pees on during a diaper change, or all the clothes you soak with milk because baby was asleep and didn't need to eat, but your body hasn't quite figured that out yet. To keep up with the normal housework so that you're not preparing your candidacy for an episode of Clean House or Hoarders: Buried Alive. To change and feed your baby and generally keep him from crying and feeling unloved. To get food to feed yourself once the baby has been fed. To spend what quality time you have with your husband and your mom (who, incidentally, has flown trans-Atlantic to see her first grandchild and you) rather than neglecting them unless they're offering to do things for you.

This, my dears, explains why I've been so remiss in keeping up with my blog lately. Even if I were medically allowed to yet, I can't even find the time and energy to get out to the gym, or take more than the shortest of strolls round the block, let alone catch up on all the blogs I read, write in my own blog, or make it through reading Lord of the Rings after having renewed the book....oh, three times, now. It's pathetic. Not entirely unexpected, but pathetic. Motherhood really takes it out of you, people: be warned.

I confess myself stunned. I mean, I feel really blessed that I have Ethan and that he's such a good baby. He doesn't cry much, and generally, when he does, I can figure out what's wrong with him and fix it relatively quickly. He sleeps for about 3 or 4 hours at a time, he's never had a problem with breastfeeding, he even takes a bottle from Sebastian when I'm too tired to get up and feed him in the night. But let me just say, even with a good baby, you do not know the meaning of the word TIRED until you have a newborn. You know the days when you stayed up for ages finishing a thesis or a term paper in college? Child's play. Not being able to sleep on an 8-hour flight? Kids' stuff. Driving for 7 hours after being awake for 48? Piece of cake. When your sleep is so frequently interrupted, I swear it's even worse than just being awake for days on end with no reprieve. Even waking up becomes difficult work. Getting to sleep without waking yourself up five times by thinking, "Oh Lord, the baby! He needs me!" is a feat worthy of praise in a Homeric Hymn. Dragging yourself from bed to shower and eat something more labour-intensive to prepare than a cold Pop Tart is a goal of Herculean proportions.

This is why new mothers get the bad rep of being uninteresting, uninformed zombies; only able to converse on subjects relating to their offspring: we have no energy left to power our brains beyond keeping our babies alive! It's only because I've had the 24-hour help of my mom and husband that I was able to function well enough to put on make-up yesterday.

People: appreciate now any guilt trip your mother ever booked you on. From where I now sit, the odds are that she deserved and well-earned the right to shame you into whatever it was that she wanted after putting up with the crucible of new-motherhood in order to make you the functional adult that you are today.

And with that, I've officially spent more than the day's quota of calories powering my brain to think long enough to write up a blog post. It's time to lie down, put E on a pillow, and watch a few episodes of Modern Family...oh, and grab myself another Pop Tart. The breakfast, lunch, and dinner of champions.

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