One thing they do and don’t tell you about raising children, or even one child, is the utter fatigue that it brings on. I think there were a few well-meaning friends who did tell me that I would be very tired with a new baby in the house and I remember thinking: “How could that be?” That is how naive I was.
No one prepares you for how fatigued you get from just concentrating on the needs of this one little person all day long. And I’m not even talking about all the mind-numbingly repetetive, physical labour that it involves. ( I can’t even be bothered to correct spellings here, clearly).
I am talking about constantly anticipating or guessing their needs so a tantrum (which would cause even high levels of stress and fatigue) can be avoided at all costs. This kind of emotional attachment can only bring on a kind of closeness that mothers do share with their children. In the meantime though, if Baby cries, we are supposed to fix it and although we all do get better at it (otherwise who would have more kids?) it does not get us younger or our nails prettier.
Ok, I am on a serious ramble in the woods here but when people ask me or DH “Does she cry still? (Like she used to when she was three weeks old cos Mum just could not get her act together)”, I feel like it’s a direct questioning of my ability as a mother. Is it? Am I also that judgemental? Dads are somehow excused from this particular area of parenthood. It’s the mother who should know it all but between housework, errands and other work that we do, we effectively get about the same time as Dads with our kids. I mean quality time. The rest of the time aren’t we just juggling? Why do Dads get a free pass on this? Why is it ok if Dads can’t fix the problem? And why is it such a problem when Mums cannot fix a problem? And why are we all trying to be super Moms?
I am so tired of trying to get it right just to be falling short just by that little bit all the time.
Now I better stop this questionnaire and clean up the mess under the high chair!
P.S. Shooting such inane questions into cyberspace somehow makes me look at all these questions from the outside and I feel better coz it reads like someone else’s problem and then it’s so easy to find the answers isn’t it? Which leads me to another question: Is it all in my head? But that’s another post for another day.