The mommy thing

This week I had an email from a friend. I liked my answer and since I’m pressed for time and words and ideas, I clearly decided to make it a blog post.

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So, tell me with 100% honesty… What do you think of the Mommy thing? I am afraid that maybe I am only good at the “your my kids for no more than a few hours or a few days” gig. I am wondering if I really want to put in an additional 20+ years into this torture they call parenting.

Since our tolerance level is similar, what do you think?

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I thought about this answer all day yesterday. And at different points in the day, I had different answers.

You remember having to write the philosophy of education in undergrad? This is kind of like that.

Bottom line. If you choose to have kid(s) or not to have kid(s), you’ll be happy with your choice. You’ll also look over at the green grass on the other side and wonder if you should have chosen differently.

There are days I’m not a great mom. I’m not down on the floor playing with Alex, reading him books, and showing him new things. I am on the couch knitting and gazing at the tv while he scoots around on the floor doing his own thing. There are days I merely keep him safe, fed and more or less adequately diapered. I spend too much time on the computer trying to cling to the part of me that is mine all mine and no one elses. I write the blog to have something that is mine. I take time away from Alex that maybe he deserves to have – maybe not – because I’m still with him more than if I had a full time gig, and I certainly wouldn’t expect a sitter to spend every minute with him.

Sometimes he’s a pain in the ass and I want to call the gypsies to come take him away. Sometimes I picture throwing him into the wall just to make the crying stop. (Carrie once told me about feeling that way and I didn’t get it – now I get it.) He’s not a good sleeper, and while I’m really okay with that in theory (he can’t feed himself, toilet himself, walk around himself or communicate with words, I don’t expect him to sleep well either), after a night or two of soul crushing wakeups followed by a couple of days of only taking naps on me … I’m ready to put him on the curb with a free sign.

Like now, when he’s crying in his crib – It’s about time for me to go get him – but I’m trying to give him a chance to fall asleep on his own.

I can’t watch the news anymore, every time I see a headline that has a baby in it – I see Alex’s face. I see him hurt, abused, tortured, or dead. I’m oversensitive to it so I’ve shoved my head in the sand and I rely on mommy blogs and the husband to get me important news. Well, that, Saturday Night Live News and the occasionally Daily Show and Colbert Report.

OMG, I think baby might just put himself to sleep.

I still don’t care for other people’s kids just because I have a kid. Some kids are sweet and likable, some are not.

My marriage is different. There’s less passion right now – which is mostly from me – It’s hard to want to have sex when I’ve had a baby attached to me all day long and then on the weeks where I’m attached to the breast pump trying to keep the baby fed – forget it, I don’t even want to be touched at all. On the other hand, I love him more for seeing him as a father, for seeing him with Alex, the love that is there, the way he lets himself be vulnerable to this little dictator that we have in our home now. I have a real partner in this parenting gig, it is a shared responsibility, which is a pleasant surprise. I didn’t expect to feel so 50/50 with the parenting thing.

I think my heart is full with one. I don’t think we need another baby. Ever. I have the occasional fleeting moment of wanting another one, and then Alex screams or whines, or basically acts like a real live baby and I remember that this is hard and I have my limits and I need to respect those limits.

I do love him more than I thought possible. And through that I love hubs more each day. Which sounds like trite bs, but it is actually true. I do have a drive to take care of them both, even when I’m feeling tired and bored.

Sometimes I resent that I have no schedule – that I can’t plan to be someplace and have a clue as to how Alex will act. Like right now, I’m supposed to be walking with people, I’m supposed to be outside, getting exercise, doing something good for my body and having conversation good for my mind. I had shoes on and was in the process of being in the process of walking out the door. Then Alex got hungry and wanted his bottle, so I gave him the bottle, then he didn’t want the bottle, then he did want the bottle, then it was 4 minutes before I was supposed to be 20 minutes away and I gave up on the idea of getting to do something *I* wanted to do. And I don’t do that with a free heart. I don’t like not getting my way.

(baby needs me. he’s past sleeping on his own, and the cry now has changed to the one that breaks my heart. I’ll be back)

I get tired of having to type one handed because I’m either holding baby or a breast pump. I wonder why he just can’t sleep. I wonder why why WHY I have to be everything to this little boy.

But.

If I had the choice, like the country song, I’d choose him again. I’d choose this little boy who’s smile in the morning is a welcome sight, even when I’m tired. I love watching him learn new things. Somewhere around 4 months, I felt a change when I would pick him up, it’s like I could feel his little heart next to mine, and I could feel the mommy love there. And that’s pretty addictive.