And yet, I’m still fucking exhausted.
We had a rough start, it’s true. Often times, parents have a hard time really bonding with their NICU babies. Their tired, they don’t provide all the care for the baby, they’re in the hospital (which is never comfortable, but especially not after labor), and every tiny worry and fear puts a weird little wedge between you and your lil’ nugget.
After we brought Ransom home, I was like, terrified. The whole car trip home I was freaking out that we were going to break him.
As you can see, he was completely unbothered.
Once we were home…
Life went back to normal, sorta. Obviously there were some adjustments, but he was such a good baby. He was never sick, he was a good eater, and he started sleeping through the night around 5 months. Now that he is one, he’s still an “easy” baby. His mannerisms are cute and mild, his temperament is playful and sweet (mostly), and he still is a good eater and sleeper.
So why am I so tired?
- I went back to work. I am now a server at a large chain restaurant and it is. so. goddamn. exhausting. Serving the public can be much more tiring than when I worked with adults with developmental disabilities.
- My house is never clean, and that makes my brain tired. Like, I should be cleaning right now because my mom took him to the lake, but it’s so bad, I don’t even know where to start.
- I have so many other things going on. Between doctor appointments, getting me and my roommates to all of our appointments and interviews, grocery shopping, trying to clean, going to work, getting signed up for school in the fall, trying to make time for family, and carving out a sliver of me-time, there just isn’t a lot of time to sleep.
- J snores. He’s dealing with it, but I just can’t sleep next to him when he’s snoring. Sometimes I kick him out, but his back is bad, so I end up on the couch.
- I sleep on the couch. Ok? Ok.
- I worry all the time. It’s mentally exhausting, yet it keeps me awake, so even when I get the time to sleep, I can’t.
- Having a newborn is draining. Having a toddler is a N.I.G.H.T.M.A.R.E. It’s so bad that I underlined, changed the color, and made it bold.
- I have so little time to do the things I enjoy, that I forgo sleep so I can paint or bake or write. Like right this very moment
- I have, like, 9.8 billion pictures of him sleeping. I posted once, “Why can’t I sleep when he’s asleep”. My moon mother said “That’s when you STARE at him.” She’s not wrong.
I’m sure I forgot one, but you get the gist of it.
I guess what I’m saying is “This shit is hard.”
Even with a pretty perfect baby, a supportive family, and a really wonderful husband, motherhood is absolutely exhausting. I would never give anyone a hard time for choosing to not do this. It’s brutal. And not just the raising of the actual child, either. My body is WRECKED. I was never skinny, and that’s not what I’m talking about. We’re talking about my nerve damage, my scar tissue, my mental health, and my teeth crumbling.
Every day, I have at least one beautiful moment with my son; usually more. I wouldn’t trade him for anyone or anything in the whole world. I just cling to those moments in my hours of darkness and exhaustion.