Teething, self doubts and the rest
I wanted to write this post for so long. I have tried to find the moment so many times and meanwhile the ideas passed by, the topics I wanted to talk about came and went, stopped to be accurate or just got forgotten. I was trying to hold on to my life really badly for past two months.
Before Little L was born I was sure that first weeksor months are the toughest of all. If we make it through first 3 months without any major loss on sanity we ‘r safe. And than things are only gonna get easier up to the point where it will be like eating bread with honey. OH my, how I was wrong. Last month and a half was really hard. We came back from Malta to Warsaw where we stayed exactly for one day. Half of it I was waiting for my lost suitcase and second half was unpacking and packing again. In the night we hit the road and drove to Klodzko to stay for couple of days, than we moved to Dusseldorf where my sister lives. Little L, Mr.T and I stayed there for 3 weeks while Mr.B was flying to work. Short trip to Amsterdam and than on the way to Slovakia we stopped at Klodzko again, stayed in Kraliky drove to Vienna came back to Kraliky. I feel like my whole life is packed in suitcases and all I do is unpack and pack. And during this whole time Little L was teething.
I thought first three months are the toughest, oh my how I was wrong. First three months were not easy for many reasons, I was not feeling well physically, my hormones were going crazy, Little L did not know what the hell is going on, he was shocked from where he landed, but I have to say he was coping with us – two strangers – his parents for rest of his live pretty well. Everything was new for him and for us. But that was nothing compared to teething phase. Teething means that Little man does not like anything for longer than 5 minutes, OK he likes to watch baby einstein puppets for about 30 minutes when he has a good day, scream like a hurt animal for quite some time every day but what he loves most of all is my breast, all day and all night. It also means that I carry his proud 12 kilos in carrier most of the days, we cook together, iron together, vacuum together, walk together, take photos together and that might be a lot of fun for him, but don’t ask me about my back. He started to move a lot lately as well so I can’t practically leave him out of my sight cause he is able to change his location quickly and without any prior notice.
Lately I’ve been hearing a lot from older women – older women meaning my mom and her generation of mothers – that we are raising him wrong. That it is wrong that he is used to being carried, that he sleeps with us in one bed and that he is vegan just as we are. And I have been going through a lot of self doubts. How does one know if she is a good mother ?
During my last month of pregnancy when I grew into monstrous proportions, I was all swollen and could hardly move and breath at the same time I had a lot qualms that I don’t work enough. Mr.B used to tell me all the time that I should not worry about it, because women have some magic ability and they manage to do much more after they give birth. Well I was waiting for that moment, imagining myself as a super woman who gets as extra a package of super powers during the delivery and does everything she was doing before plus much more with a baby stuck under her arm. And guess what I was terribly terribly wrong. I am not a super women, I am not a super wife and I am probably not a super mother even thought I try to be at least one of it at a time.
Little L is almost eight months old and there are still days when I am happy to find time for a shower, days that are better, days that are worse. But I am by far not doing what I was doing before and more. I am not drawing and I miss it intensely. I am not doing all those new things that I was expecting to do. No explosion of energy, no explosion of new ideas, no super powers. I did not sleep through one whole night since Little man was born, actually I have not slept longer than 3 hours for eight months. I am often tired and I have a lot of self doubts. I compare myself to other women and sometimes I even compare Leo to other babies and I hate that. But I kind of feel like I failed, like I disappointed somebody, don’t know exactly whom, but when it comes to the point it does not matter. I simply feel like a looser almost every evening when I go to bed and look back at my day.
I thought when baby is eight months I simply put her to some “safe area” – whatever that is – and she is gonna play by herself for hours, than eat and sleep and I can start doing my things. OK I really knew shit about babies until we made one. There is no such as safe area unless I don’t want to put Little L into some cage. He also does not play by himself for hours and he has two very short naps a day, if he has a good day :).
So I really really wander how those super women out there do it. What is the secret of their time management. How come they look great, feel great, they go to gym, take care of a baby, work and in the evening when their little treasures fall asleep they feel sexy enough to seduce their men and whats more they even have enough energy to have a wild sex. And they have my respect if they manage just half of it.
I’m not joking here. I really am in a HUGE self doubts phase. But at the same time I am as happy as I never was before. I am happy at night when I feel his hands reaching for me in the dark and his face with closed eyes trying to find my breast – for the 5th time in three hours – looking for comfort. When I see him calming down and falling back to sleep while he nurses and while I am lying in a terrible inhuman position just not to wake him up again.
I feel happiness that can not be described when he looks at me and smiles looking already so aware of word around him. When his eyes search for me in the room after he looses me from sight. When he laughs and giggles laud on my attempts to be funny.
When he hugs me and snuggles his head somewhere between my breast and arm as if he wanted to be a part of my body for a while again. When I see him being curious and so eager to be discovering and learning. When he explores my face with his hand and always finishes with squeezing my nose for five minutes.
I love that he gives me a chance to have a look at the world that already got usual for me. I feel like blind who was given new eyes. I love his facial expressions when he experiences something new, when he feels new tastes, when he hears weird sounds, I love how his emotions are so pure and intense. I loved his toothless smile and now I love those two tiny teeth sticking out and even those two new upper monsters that are giving him such a hard time. Its a bitter sweet feeling to watch him grow and change every single day, but what it brings along is overwhelming.
I remember my mother always using a phrase “U will understand THIS only once you have a child of your own” which I of course hated from the bottom of my heart. Oh my, how right she was. Only now through him I can understand what is fear, what is happiness, what is humbleness, what is unconditional love. Becoming a mother is such valuable thing, it changes the perception of the world, it is a chance to be reborn and it is definitely a source of extreme emotions. So I guess self doubts are simply part of the journey and I have to learn how to live with them.