A repeated character on the Style Network's What Not to Wear program is that of the over-stressed mother. She spends so much time taking care of everyone else's needs - her kid's, her husband's, her co-worker's - that her wards eventually stage an intervention to remind her that the last time she bought clothes was in 1995 and she really needs to start combing her hair. Viewers at home watch the hidden camera footage going: "Is she really wearing pajamas to the grocery store? What would it take for her to put on a little mascara?"
Today, I am that woman.
The past week opened my eyes to the grueling nature of motherhood. Now that I am back on my feet and we've kicked out of our house all judgemental helpers ("Do you REALIZE there's DIRTY LAUNDRY on the STAIRS?"), every second that I'm not rocking or feeding a screaming baby finds me in the laundry room running through load after load of poop-covered diapers (and onesies, and blankets, and bed-sheets) or in the baby room processing said laundry, or in the kitchen unloading and reloading the dishwasher. Or sleeping, or rather more likely stuffing inserts into diapers while daydreaming about sleeping.
It's a big battle to try to take care of yourself while taking care of a newborn. The other day I took an hour and a half to eat one piece of toast because of constantly needing to nurse and rock and nurse and rock the baby. Dan asked me if I wanted dinner, and I was like, "No, eating that piece of toast was already a big production." Last night after the 4th hour of over-tired fussiness I sat upstairs with Harvey in the rocking chair, my eyes barely keeping open, the oxygen draining out of my brain, and all of a sudden I though, "Oh my God,In the process of trying to calm this baby I'm going to starve to death."
Dan has approached sainthood many times this week by taking the baby away from me when it looks like I'm crossing over my breaking point. But he's tired too. It makes no sense evolutionarily that two adults on vacation shouldn't be able to handle one 9lb baby. I mean, I can't see a clear benefit that fussing provides. The other day Dan pointed out that "If a baby monkey screamed this much, he'd be dead!"
It goes without saying, however, that between the pauses in open-faced crying, the baby is very cute when he yawns or sneezes (or sleeps!!!) and in anouther month or so he'll even make smile at us!