I have tried to write a blog post a number of times in the last few months. Honestly, all of the baby-ness that has consumed my life doesn't seem to be very pertinent to highways or high heels. I've tried to tie Jack into a neat little blog about how precious he is and then move onto "work related topics," but that doesn't seem to work. I've tried to consider the feminist views of working with a baby in the office. Yes, you may refer to my post in December 2011 and call me a hypocrite. I wouldn't blame you--in fact, I feel like a hypocrite daily. And I still find our arrangement less than ideal, but this is survival mode. And honestly, none of my life is separate from Jack now. So, I'll write about being a mom, and consider highway topics one day in the future.
This summer, I considered joining forces with several girl friends to write a blog from multiple perspectives of ladies in their twenties. Every post that I wrote for that blog was bleak. It was ugly. It was thinly veiled with humor, but it was clear: I was in a hole. I think that I have come out of the 6 or 8 week old baby hole, and life is starting to balance out nicely again. But it doesn't mean that it isn't hard. And this is what I've found:
Nobody tells you the truth.
Everyone talks about the cute little cheeks. The smushy mouths. The warm cuddles. They are all fabulous. And I swear, I wouldn't trade this sweet baby for anything. In reality, I have one of the happiest babies that I know. In fact, I posted a picture of him crying the other day, just to prove that he does it. But it's still exhausting. And it's doubly exhausting to do it while working full-time. And it's triply exhausting to do it while working full-time WITH the baby. I am truly blessed to be able to bring him with me, but the pressure is almost crushing at times. I try to accomplish all of my tasks in a frenzy, while keeping the baby from making a peep. I try to make phone calls while he naps, but quietly, so that I don't wake him. I try to type one handed while I hold him, and bounce him on one leg, and take him out for lunch so that we have somewhere other than the office to be during the day. This is my struggle, but everyone has some kind of struggle when they have a baby--we may just not have the same ones.
A dear friend blogged about her constant anxiety since she had her baby who is just days older than Jack. I don't think that I have constant anxiety, but I understand where she is coming from.
Someone else confessed that she wanted to see her doctor about what she suspected to be postpartum depression. I encouraged her to, because until early August, I had considered the same thing. But no one talks about this.
Someone else said that she thought it was supposed to be so much better than this. That her six week old son was sweet, and she loved him, but he was HARD.
I even quickly spoke with a friend in passing and confessed how tired I am. She confessed how tired she is, too. And then we let it hang. We didn't dig into it. We didn't share gripes or complaints, we just left it there. I almost feel like the conversation was tangible, and that if I walked back into her living room, I could pick it up. Literally. Why did we do that? We even laughed, dry, mirthless laughs...both knowing that if we actually told the truth, that we might be a little too vulnerable.
Why don't moms tell each other how hard it is, without trying to fix each other's problems? Why don't we say, I know that your struggle isn't the same as mine, but I do have a struggle. We complain about our husbands' constant desires to fix things when all we want to do is express our frustration, and then do it to each other. I know that it is well-meaning, but gosh, it's tiring. It's tiring to want to fix each other. And it's tiring to feel that you are the one being fixed.
There is no doubt, that October is not a big black hole like July seemed to be. I am glad that I didn't write anything then! I can honestly say that four months is SO MUCH BETTER than six or eight weeks. But, wow, so much better is relative. And I'm trying not to wish away his baby days, because he is growing so quickly! I appreciate all of my well-meaning friends, but sometimes, a gripe is just a gripe. And let's be honest, sometimes it is just nice to know that other people's children aren't perfect, that life isn't all baking cookies and taking trips to apple orchards. And that other moms are struggling with learning how to be moms, too.