Today, our baby boy is one month old. Ella turned 21 months old yesterday. Where did that time go?
As you can imagine, life at our house is constant chaos. It’s a whole new ball game with two under two. Now that I am back to work, Sam is getting the bulk of the chaos and she is exhausted. Tonight she posted this on her Facebook page:
“Keith is at work. Ella has her first cold and is extremely whiney and has cried the majority of the day. Andrew is in his ‘witching hour’ of the day. Cocomelon has been on repeat on the TV for the past two hours… Pretty sure this is a preview of what hell is like!”
While that is very funny – it really isn’t. I have never understood why both parents do not get leave after a baby is born. In some countries, the father and mother each get a full year off with their newborn. I’d be happy with a few months to help with mom’s sanity! There are so many pressures that mom is going through with just one baby, let alone a second or third child on top of that.
Breastfeeding is a sure way for a mother to snap! It is a constant need for the baby. Dad really can’t do anything until mom starts pumping, so until then – it’s all on mom. I felt so helpless. I watched Sam sit up in our bed utterly exhausted from no sleep. I tried to help by taking the baby to the couch in hopes that Sam would be able to sleep, but if the baby fussed, she heard him and couldn’t sleep.
We recently switched to all formula for him, which has allowed me to get up with him at night and feed him. Sam is finally able to sleep when I am home. However, for four nights a week, it is all her while I am at work. When I come home I try to help with breakfast and such , but then I have to go to bed for work that night. I try to set my alarm to get up and help, but some days I am just craving every second of sleep. I really am no help to her, which I hate.
Amongst all of those changes, there is the change between us. We long for a ‘date night,’ but really aren’t that comfortable going out to eat yet. We’re heading into the colder weather, so it makes it hard to even go for a walk outside. We are both craving that “us” time!
Sam sent me something via Facebook tonight. It really hits home. I had to walk away when I started reading it because I knew I would tear up. I wanted to share it here, not only for me, but for some of my friends who recently had babies who may be feeling the same things we are ….
This was on The Birds Papaya Facebook page:
I miss us.
Can I say that?
I think in a way and as I’ve always done, I romanticized the situation. I romanticized what a baby would mean for us.
How we would swoon, how much closer we would get. Being bonded forever. How you’d look at me through new eyes.
This all feels real and true, and yet the complete opposite. It doesn’t make sense sometimes.
We are both here.
We share a common goal.
We swoon and bond over this being.
But, I miss us.
I miss who I was before depression and a troubled pregnancy. I miss the energy I exuded. I miss not mumbling things under my breath (I’m sorry for that by the way).
I miss being the center of your attention, an impossibility with a little human who happens to be louder and more commanding than I am (go figure that that’s the part of me she reflects).
I wonder what parts of you that you miss.Or, do you just feel the same? (is it just me?)
Are we getting weaker or are we getting stronger? Perhaps both?
This is temporary, right?
What parts will last forever?
Why does nobody talk about how hard this is sometimes? Or just how weird it is?
Why do we just show how sweet it is, in the moments that are oh-so sweet?
Can it be both? I need it to be both.
I miss us.
But, I am proud of us.
Minute-by-minute figuring out what it is to be a couple with boundless energy and ambition transform into a couple that is tired and at capacity and yet leading with love…and some mumbled words.
Why is this not romance? Or did I just misunderstand it all, all along?
When you rub my back in the middle of the night knowing I’m struggling. When you get up at 5am with her so I may sleep a little longer. When you feed me while I feed her. When we carve out time in the chaos for us. When we just sneak a moment in the middle of it *air high five*.
When we just are doing the dang thing. All of us are. A family. Us, a family.
Remember when we were just coworkers with a crush? Look at us now.
My gosh. Look at us now.
Maybe I miss us, but… I love what we have found.
There is so much truth to that.
Thank you, Sam, for sending it. I completely feel the same way. We WILL find “us” again and along the way, we’ll enjoy what we have found together as a family.
For the record, my wife is pretty “right on” with the description of Cocomelon ….
…. or Little Baby Bum