Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I ought to be napping

It's really hard. When she's sleeping, I want her awake. When she's awake, I just want her to go to sleep. I'm afraid I don't talk to her enough, hold her enough, wear her enough, bathe her enough, feed her enough, play with her enough, sing to her enough, change her diaper enough...  She's two weeks old. Two weeks, and the farthest we've been separated by has been about 35 ft - the distance from her bassinet to the garbage box down the lane. I also made two trips to the woodshed, but that was only a 20-ft separation.

Already there are things I miss. I miss sleeping soundly. I miss snoogling with her father. I miss our uninterrupted suppers. I miss jumping in the car and going to the Next Big Town at a moment's notice. I miss not having to plan my showers around a sleeping baby, or a fussy baby. I miss having two arms free. I miss my stretch-mark-free belly. I miss my breasts as my own. I miss my independence. I miss all my fantasies about parenthood because now that it's here, it's so much harder than I imagined.

And so, I feel guilty. Guilty for doubting my parenting. Guilty for doubting my love for this perfect little girl who is so SO beautiful she takes my breath away. (Just thinking about her takes my breath away), and even now as I relish these moments of quiet, I want her to wake up so desperately, because my arms ache for her. And then I hear her stir, and I wish her back to sleep because I haven't had a nap yet and the supper dishes are still unwashed, and then I feel guilty for that. I feel guilty for resenting her father's work schedule. I feel guilty for not welcoming my partner's parents as readily as I do my own. I feel guilty for the stack of birth notices still unmailed, for the coursework I've been neglecting, for the hours I spent watching The Mom Show and Friends instead of lighting the fire and sweeping the kitchen. And even though I know I'm a danger to my own mind when I haven't slept, I'm still up, still writing, still checking on her bassinet to make sure she's warm enough, not too hot, still breathing, still sleeping, not hungry and growing enough.

It's a mental and physical tug-of-war between my wants and needs, and her needs. It is exhausting.

I imagine the women who Do It All must have cleaning services, nannies and zero financial worries. They must also be even more organized than me, and I had casseroles in the freezer. They are probably living in finished houses, too.

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