I’ve talked about the man in my home- but I neglected to inform you of the other woman.
I can’t stand her.
She’s moody and irritable, her patience is slim to none and she’s often disheveled.
How did we ever let her in here? Get. Her. Out.
Oh, wait. That’s a mirror.
Surprise, the other woman is me.
As new mothers, and I say new mothers as in mothers of new babies regardless of how many they’ve had before, we take on a lot and so much is required of us.
If you’re breastfeeding, it’s midnight meals.
If you’re formula feeding… it’s midnight meals.
Then you’re on-call every 3-5 hours during the day. Add in another munchkin or two and it’s easy to see how you’d forget to eat lunch or shower at 3pm instead of 8am.
Ahh, but the other side of the sword is that there is no place else you’d rather be than with your babies. That’s why so many women cherish maternity leave. Though it’s hard it’s so very worth it.
“Why don’t you let your husband help?”
Umm, I do- there is no way I could do most of this without backup. I can’t imagine how single parents survive. BUT some days, Little Bear just wants mommy. Apparently, this is normal and part of her development, thanks BabyCenter email. That doesn’t make it any less busy, or tiring.
“We can come help if you need us to.”
I appreciate it, really I do, but sometimes I just need those few moments when she falls asleep to sit quietly, can’t do that if I’m also entertaining.
“You don’t have to entertain.”
No, but my Mama raised me right, I’m not going to just disappear and leave you to fend for yourself in my well-lived-in home.
It’s cool-really, I’ve got this. Please don’t think I’m neglecting you or think I don’t want your help. I promise, when I need it, I’ll ask.
When Bubba was tiny, we went through the Mommy-Only phase. With him, it ended up being Stranger-Avoidance combined with Mommy-Only. I had arms like a woodsman from carrying him all the time. Then, one weekend, it switched. Just like a lightswitch, click, he wanted Daddy. Mommy-Only, was over.
I know that time is coming again and it’s probably coming faster than I want it to, selfishly. But come, it will. Until then, this other woman will have to continue to navigate through these first few months. I’m hoping she’ll pull it together a little. She’ll continue to find random patches of baby drool on her shoulders and prefer yoga pants to buttons and zippers. Will it kill her to throw on some eyeliner and mascara, if only to make herself feel better, I doubt it. Slowly but surely, I’m sure she’ll find her way out- and into a stronger and more confident Mommy- until then, we’ll coexist. At least Little Bear is sleeping through the night now.