Thursday, June 14, 2007

too much introspection is a bad thing...

I’m still having some reservations about the whole motherhood thing. It can be so rewarding but also so taxing. The social worker who runs our mad mummies group says it’s ok to have some negative feelings about motherhood. I piped up and opined that why was it ok to say that you hated your teenagers or unruly toddler, but not ok to say you hated your newborn? She said that hate was a very strong word, but you know what I mean. What is it exactly? I mean, you still love them and would lay down your life for them, but when they have been screaming in your ear for a hour and a half (I have new- onset tinnutis. Really) what exactly is it that you are feeling? A love/not like very much sometimes relationship? A love/hate the behaviour not the child relationship? A love/frustration relationship? The fact is, this job is hard. Really hard. I used to secretively think that people who said “This is the hardest thing I have ever done” just hadn’t done some of the things I have, like, you know, brain surgery or rocket science. But it is harder than those things. Emotionally and physically- not intellectually, obviously, but harder overall. Yes, harder than the freaking exam. Because you don’t get a break. And you are just so emotionally involved.

Patrick was awake for two hours last night. Not two hours in total, two consecutive hours.

Now all you parents of newborns can stop sniggering right now- I’ve done the newborn thing. And for a little guy who demands a feed every 90 minutes during the day and sleeps- make that catnaps- for maybe 45 minutes after a scream fest of at least a similar stretch, we deserve a little shut-eye at night. To add insult to injury, four weeks ago he was sleeping up to 13 hours overnight, so this night waking seems a little rude.

Anyway, it was probably my own fault. I have this private theory that it doesn’t matter what you do to put a baby to sleep, they’ll probably fall asleep in the same time anyway if you just let them to it. Wronggggg. As he was feeding, his lids were getting nice and droopy, so I thought that I’d just let him sleep where he lay, in our bed (T is on night shift at the moment, so there is plenty of room). He was going along fine, but then at about the 8 minute mark, opened his eyes wide. And continued sucking. That’s fine, I thought, he’ll drop off to sleep any minute. Any minute now. Annny minute… 40 minutes later he pushed off the boob, opened his eyes wide and smiled at me. Uh oh, this is playtime. But he was happy, so I thought I’d just turn off the light and see if he got the message. Wrong again. An hour and three quarters after he first woke up he was till awake, and starting to get unhappy. I caved in, gave him the other side and… ahhhh. Sleeeeeeep

I have to say, night feeds are a whole lot less uncomfortable since I swallowed my prejudices and got a dressing gown. I used to consider dressing gowns as tools of the middle-class suburban hell I so despised- along with knee-high beige stockings, pink clothes, coffee tables, Corollas, marriage, co-ordinated sheet sets and mothers groups that met for lattes at Merewether beach. I now, of course have/do all of these- except the Corolla- I drive a Prius (can you hear my tone of self-righteousness? Feel free to throw something at the computer. I know, I know, it’s a sure sign of middle class guilt. By the way, did I say we have two Priuses? One for each of us? Ner ner ner ner, we’re so good, we’re so good… actually it’s almost kind of embarrassing, it’s like we’re trying too hard. Let’s face it, if we wanted to be really good, we’d have no cars and use public transport or bicycles, so it’s just a make ourselves feel better exercise. Well, that’s our excuse and I’m sticking to it) (oh, and the knee highs. –shudder-)(and I only wear the pink cardi to work. Mostly. Well it is cashmere-soooft- and Trelise Cooper)

Sorry, what was I saying? That’s right, dressing gowns.

But night feeds were getting kind of cold, so I went out and scoured the shops for a suitable garment. I had no idea dressing gowns were so expensive! And so twee! I am not ‘wuvable’ and hope never to be. Neither do I want to wear anything made of pink polar fleece sporting ‘cute wittle wuv hearts’. But I did cave…I am now wearing it- it’s so comfy and warm. I couldn’t find any black ones so it’s bright red, from Target- (anyone who is interested they have 30% off this week…). It’s cold here now (all you southerners can stop rotfl) it’s 6.5 outside and 9.7 in my living room where I am. And I’m going swimming.

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